Jewish leaders condemn postponement of PA elections

Conference of Presidents criticizes PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas for postponing the elections that had been scheduled for later this month.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Monday criticized Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas for postponing the elections that had been scheduled for later this month.

“We deplore the decision by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to postpone indefinitely the parliamentary elections that were to be held this month and to pin the blame on Israel. His actions and rhetoric could once again incite violence against Israelis,” said Dianne Lob, Chair, William Daroff, CEO, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chair of the Conference of Presidents.

“It is widely recognized that his lack of popular support and internal political divisions led to this desperate move. This action by Abbas, who is in the 16th year of his four year term, is clearly motivated by his fear of losing power,” they added.

“Rather than proceed with this election, he is instead denying democracy to the Palestinian people while trying to use Israel as a pretext for the postponement. Overall, Abbas demonstrates that he cares more about political self-preservation than the well-being of the Palestinian people,” concluded the Jewish leaders.

Abbas officially announced last Thursday night that the Palestinian elections would be postponed, citing Israel’s refusal to allow Arabs residing in eastern Jerusalem to vote.

“We have decided to postpone the election until the participation of our people in Jerusalem is guaranteed,” Abbas said in a speech that aired on PA TV.

The PA has continuously demanded that Israel permit Arabs residing in eastern Jerusalem to vote in the elections. In this regard, PA officials have been working in the international arena in an attempt to get Israel to agree to this demand.

This would not be the first time that the PA has used Israel’s refusal to permit Jerusalem Arabs to vote as an excuse not to hold elections at all.

Hamas, which opposes the postponement of the elections, has threatened a confrontation with the Palestinian Authority in response to the move.