Tayeb Abdelrahim, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ chief of staff, said Wednesday that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s warm reception in Washington showed clear bias on the part of US Congress, Agence France-Presse reported.
“The greeting given to the Israeli prime minister by the American Congress, where he was applauded more than 25 times, made us feel the complete partiality of Congress towards the Israeli prime minister who compromised all the foundations of a just peace in the region,” Abdelrahim said in a statement.
“If George Washington or Abraham Lincoln were to return from the dead, they would not get such a welcome,” he added, according to AFP.
In his address to the US Congress Netanyahu said Israel was willing to make “painful compromises” for peace if the PA would recognize Israel as a Jewish state, but he ruled out a division of Jerusalem, any return of Arab refugees, or any withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines.
Last week, US President Barack Obama made a much anticipated and controversial policy speech in which he said the armistice lines in place before the 1967 Six Day War, combined with land swaps, should be the basis for talks on a peace deal between Israel and the PA.
The idea was rejected out of hand by Netanyahu and hailed by PA leaders, with senior PLO official Yasser Abed Rabbo on Wednesday urging the UN Security Council and the Quartet of Middle East peacemakers to formally adopt Obama’s proposals.
Reading out a statement at the end of the PLO meeting, Abed Rabbo said the PA leadership wanted the two bodies to “lay out a mechanism and a time frame... to implement Obama’s ideas in accordance with all the Arab and international references to launch a serious peace process”.
PA leaders have refused to sit down and negotiate with Israel since September 2010.