Palestinian President Abbas raises alarm over ‘apartheid’ at J Street, calls for lobbying support

Palestinian President Abbas raises alarm over ‘apartheid’ at J Street, calls for lobbying support
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas addressed the liberal pro-Israel lobbying group's 2021 National Conference.
2 min read
19 April, 2021
Mahmoud Abbas' even called for J Street's lobbying support [POOL/AFP/Getty]

Abandoning the two-state solution would result in a “de facto apartheid one-state solution,” Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas reportedly told J Street on Sunday.

Abbas told the US-based pro-Israel lobbying group's 2021 National Conference that this was an eventuality that would be rejected both in Palestine and around the world, Haaretz reported.

He added that the Palestinian Authority (PA) advocates a two-state solution as per the June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Abbas explained that, while the PA cut ties with Donald Trump due to his “Deal of the Century,” which “renounced the rules of international law,” it had a better relationship with Joe Biden.

Biden was praised for backing the two-state solution and seeking to reforge bilateral connections with the PA.

However, Abbas said that to strengthen these ties, some barriers need to be overcome, for instance the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) inclusion on the terrorism list.

He added that the Oslo Accords mandate both Israel and the PLO must recognise one another.

Abbas also requested J Street support in lobbying for the removal of all legislation that prevents closer US-Palestine relations. The Palestinian leader said that Ramallah would “remove all obstacles” on its end, possibly referring to the PA’s financial support for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

In a nod to electoral issues, Abbas said authorities were "incessantly working to conduct general elections in all Palestinian territories."

The PA has recently called for international support amid fears that Israel will block Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem from voting in the upcoming May legislative and July presidential elections.

J Street is a liberal pro-Israel lobbying group whose website say it “want[s] Israel to be secure, democratic and the national home of the Jewish people.”

The group opposes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, however has previously defended Americans’ right to engage in it.

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