The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America today praised the United States Senate for approving a resolution asking President Clinton to oppose any unilateral declaration of an independent Palestinian state.
The resolution, which was passed by the Senate 98 to 1, stated that “the President should unequivocally assert United States opposition to the unilateral declaration of the Palestinian state … and that a declared state would not be recognized by the United States.”
Mandell I. Ganchrow, M.D., Orthodox Union president said, “The Senate sent an important message today to the Palestinian Authority emphasizing the fact that issues regarding the peace process must be directly negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians.
“Any attempt by the Palestinians to bring pressure on Israel outside of the negotiating process will not be tolerated nor will it carry weight. Yassir Arafat has been declaring his intentions to declare statehood outside the scope of negotiations and in doing so has seriously undermined his credibility as a trustworthy negotiating partner.
“Rather than helping to reach the goal of peace, these kinds of declarations only serve to defeat it.”
Betty Ehrenberg, Director of International Affairs and Community Relations, said:
“This was a very important statement made by the United States Senate and we hope that the House of Representatives will pass the resolution as well. As Mr. Arafat tries to take advantage of a politically delicate time period leading up to the Israeli elections, this is a significant reconfirmation of the fact that a unilaterally declared state would not be recognized by the American government.”