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The Palestinians and the American Jewish Community: A Challenging Relationship
PLO Chief Representative to the United States Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat addressed a group of Jewish communal leaders, professors, and students, at NYU Wagner.
He discussed the situation between the Palestinian leadership and the Israeli government, and what needs to happen for the peace process to move forward. “Time is not on either side,” said Areikat, but he emphasized that it is of the essence. He stated that Israel has the opportunity to work with a willing Palestinian government who is committed to peace. Palestinians are frustrated, however, with the fact that Israel continues to build settlements while also claiming to want peace, he said. Areikat held firmly to the stance that “peace negotiations and settlements cannot go hand in hand” and contended that it is necessary to find a new approach. With respect to American Jews, Areikat said: “Don’t blindly just support Israel. Do not abandon [it], but…look beyond tomorrow.” Practically speaking, he stated that American Jews should support their government’s efforts to end this conflict.
The discussion was followed by a Q&A that addressed issues about the effect of the recent uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, environmentalism, the role of Turkey in the region, and more.
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Areikat, Maen R. The Palestinians and the American Jewish Community: A Challenging Relationship. Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner (BJPA),NYU Taub Center for Israel Studies. 2 March 2011: http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=8784