“I was disappointed and even appalled to read Mahmoud Abbas contend in the New York Times that it was the fault of the Jewish people that war and violence erupted after the United Nations determined a Jewish homeland would be established. Such historical revisionism does nothing to advance the conversation of negotiation toward Middle East peace, but only contributes to confusion and perpetuates misplaced anger.
On behalf of Hadassah, a 99-year-old Jewish organization founded on Zionist principles and proud of Israel’s endeavors to come to consensus with the Palestinian people, I am afraid that President Abbas’ message only serves to send the peace process a step backward. His misinterpretation of the past is misleading to those who would like to help achieve peace in the region, and his antagonism toward talks and face-to-face negotiations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a dangerous example of the little headway that can come from such a one-sided perspective.
The fate of Palestinians’ and Israelis’ future should not be restricted by the unilateral declarations of a zealot. Hadassah is gratified by the ways our organization has in the past – and will continue in the future – to partner with the Palestinian people, specifically in providing health care and using medicine as a bridge to cooperation, and we will not let politics get in the way of forging relationships and making certain the legacy of the State of Israel is one of cooperation and collaboration, not of prejudice and possessiveness.”