Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas giving his
speech in Ramallah
(Pal-Press, April 27)
1. In a speech given to the Preparatory Committee for the Palestine Youth Parliament, which convened in Ramallah on April 27, 2009, Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen said that the Palestinians were committed to the PLO’s obligations and that they were willing to carry on with the political negotiations based on the Arab Peace Initiative, the two-state solution, and the Roadmap. At the same time, Abu Mazen reiterated his refusal to recognize the Jewish character of the State of Israel : "As for the Jewish state, we say ‘the State of Israel’. You Israelis are free [to do as you wish], call it as you please, but I will not accept [the definition of Israel as a Jewish state]. This issue was discussed at length in Washington [i.e., during the Annapolis summit] and we told them [i.e., the Israelis]: We are only saying ‘the State of Israel’, and you are free to call it [as you please]” (Wafa News Agency, April 27, 2009).
2. Following is the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s response to Mahmoud Abbas’s statement (April 27): "The recognition of Israel as the sovereign state of the Jewish people is an essential and necessary step in the historic process of reconciliation between Israel and the Palestinians. The more the Palestinians assimilate this fundamental and substantive fact, the sooner the peace between the two peoples will progress toward fruition”.
1 This is a follow-up to our April 19, 2009 Information Bulletin, " Basic disagreement concerning the two-state solution: the Palestinian refusal to recognize the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people has resurfaced, as it did at the Annapolis meeting”.