Statement on Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks

TORONTO, April 3, 2014 /CNW/ - In response to news that Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations are on the verge of ending, David Koschitzky, Chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), issued the following statement:

"The Palestinian Authority's inflammatory, unilateral actions announced on Tuesday have threatened to derail negotiations and beg the question: was the Palestinian leadership ever at the negotiating table in good faith? The addition of seven new 'preconditions' by Mahmoud Abbas following consultations with his negotiating team almost certainly doom any prospect of continued negotiations and clearly demonstrate that the Palestinian leadership is simply not interested in peace. This is a shameful failure of leadership on the part of Abbas, one that – above all else – betrays the Palestinian people.

"Mahmoud Abbas' actions are in keeping with reports of his recent admission to President Obama that he will not agree to end the conflict and will not recognize the existence of the Jewish state. If the Palestinian leadership maintains its hardline stance and continues manipulating international institutions to isolate Israel and evade peace, it will condemn the next generation of Israelis and Palestinians to conflict. Canada and the international community should strongly urge the Palestinian leadership to return to negotiations without precondition, renounce destructive unilateral moves, and demand the PA commit to seeking genuine peace with Israel.

"For decades, a majority of Israelis have supported peace through the two-state solution and have been willing to make painful compromises. Successful negotiation requires compromise on both sides. Since 2000, Israel has extended three generous offers that have included painful concessions, all of which have been rejected by the Palestinian leadership without counter-offer. Regardless of Palestinian efforts to undermine goodwill, the dream of Israelis and the Jewish people to secure a peaceful future will remain unshaken."

As the non-partisan advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) serves as the voice of the organized Canadian Jewish community.

SOURCE Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs

For further information: Martin Sampson, Director of Communications, The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), 613-219-3500, msampson@cija.ca