NEW YORK, June 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an open declaration, Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, sent a clear and powerful message in support of Middle East peace urging President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority to accept Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel's multiple offers to come to the peace table and negotiate without preconditions.
Lauder said, "Israel has extended its hand in peace to the Arab countries ever since 1967. Since 1979, two Arab countries, Egypt and Jordan, have signed peace treaties with Israel. As events take unpredictable turns in an ever-changing Middle East, we believe that it is urgent that Israel and the Palestinians move together forward to a diplomatic solution and make peace. Though Prime Minister Netanyahu has made repeated offers to come to meet at any time and any place for direct talks, Israel has remained alone at the peace table."
"During my recent meeting with Mr. Abbas, I urged him to accept this historic chance to make peace and achieve statehood. It is more important than ever for Abbas to seize this opportunity and finally come to an historic agreement with Israel. Any Palestinian unilateral moves by way of the international organizations would seriously undermine the trust that is needed to make a genuine peace and cannot resolve any of the core issues that are critical to a durable and lasting peace. Only through direct talks around the peace table can the claims on both sides be addressed and a peaceful solution be found."
"This time, the Palestinians cannot afford to miss an opportunity – it is vital for the entire region. We urge President Abbas to take the courageous step that will benefit his people and the people of Israel for generations to come. It takes two sides to make peace," said Lauder.
WJC Ad in Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2012:
On June 14, 2009, exactly three years ago today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared his government recognizes the need to establish a Palestinian state and offered to meet with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to negotiate an agreement.
With his historic speech at Bar-Ilan University broadcast live in Israel and parts of the Arab world, Prime Minister Netanyahu extended his hand. "I appeal tonight to the leaders of the Arab countries and say: Let us meet. Let us talk about peace. Let us make peace. I am willing to meet at any time, at any place, in Damascus, in Riyadh, in Beirut, and in Jerusalem as well."
Yet three years have now gone by. And the Palestinians still decline the offer to begin direct talks with no preconditions.
Neither the Israelis, nor the Palestinians, nor any of us who seek peace in the region can afford further delay.
President Abbas, both your people and the people of Israel will benefit from an agreement. Both will continue to suffer without one.
Accept the offer to talk, President Abbas. It takes two sides to make peace.
Ronald S. Lauder
World Jewish Congress
SOURCE World Jewish Congress