Local Jewish activists are joining a petition drive against a “unilaterally declared Palestinian state.”
The Community Relations Committee representing United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ and the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey is urging members to sign the petition, which asks the United Nations General Assembly to “vote against endorsing a unilaterally declared Palestinian state and to promote the resumption of bilateral negotiations.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to declare an independent Palestine and seek recognition of it when the UN meets in September.
A unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state would “be used by Israel’s opponents to further isolate and delegitimize Israel as resisting the commonly expressed will of the body of nations,” said CRC chair David Lentz. “That will make everything Israel does more difficult.”
The campaign is being spearheaded by the Israel Action Network, a project of the Jewish Federations of North America in partnership with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.
To date more than 100 Jewish organizations across the country are joining in the effort. The goal is to present the petition at a press conference in New York on Sept. 26, around the time the UN General Assembly is expected to vote on the measure.
“I want to the see the Jewish community united,” said Lentz. “I want to see the American government and elected officials recognize and appreciate a united stance of ours.”
The petition endorses a two-state solution and calls for “bilateral negotiations immediately and without preconditions.”
“I want European countries and I want the Palestinians to see that there are many American Jews who, while supportive of a Palestinian state, don’t think this is the way to go,” said Lentz.
Lentz called the petition “a supportive document that also expresses that we do generally support the president of the United States and the Israeli government’s stated position that it wants to have a negotiated end of the conflict that will result in two states, including a Palestinian state.”
Last month, the United States reiterated its opposition to any unilateral Palestinian attempt to seek statehood recognition at the United Nations.
The petition may be found online at www.ujcnj.org/crc or jcrcny.wufoo.com/forms/petition-against-a-unilaterally-declared-palestine/.