The Arab League endorsed a recent statement from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that he would never accept Israel as a Jewish state.
The League backed the comment Sunday in a resolution reached at its headquarters in Cairo. In the statement, the Arab body said, “The council of the Arab League confirms its support for the Palestinian leadership in its effort to end the Israeli occupation over Palestinian lands, and emphasizes its rejection of recognizing Israel as a ‘Jewish state.’”
The call echoed comments from Abbas last week, when the Palestinian Authority leader said, “They are pressing and saying, ‘no peace without the Jewish state.’ There is no way. We will not accept.”
The remarks came as Israel and Palestine continue a round of peace talks, brokered by the US.
Meanwhile, Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby said during Sunday’s Cairo meeting that member nations should take a “firm stand” against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand that Palestine recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
“This is a deviation from the international resolutions agreed upon as a basis for the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, which requires a firm Arab stand to … reevaluate the negotiation track as a whole, and to strongly express definite Arab rejection of this serious turn,” Elaraby said.
And Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Malki told reporters that the resolution is aimed at strengthening Abbas’ position ahead of a planned visit to Washington to meet with President Barack Obama.
“The foreign ministers issued the resolution to tell (Abbas), go to Washington and speak in all our names,” Malki said.