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US-based peace groups back Palestinian UN bid

Nov. 28, 2012 9:03 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 28, 2012 9:03 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Two Washington-based organizations that support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Tuesday backed Palestine's bid for admission to the UN.

Americans for Peace Now, the US branch of Israel's centrist peace movement, and the Foundation for Middle East Peace, which monitors Israeli settlements, called on US President Barack Obama to back the bid.

"In the wake of the latest Gaza War, we believe the international community, led by the Obama Administration, must take urgent action to restore faith in a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to strengthen those ... who are standing firmly with such a solution," Americans for Peace Now president Debra DeLee said in a statement.

"Supporting Abbas' UN effort is a first step to doing just that. This effort is explicitly predicated on support for Israeli-Palestinian peace based on parameters long-endorsed by the US and governments around the world, and once again demonstrates Abbas' laudable determination to achieve progress through non-violent means," she said.

In a separate statement, the Foundation for Middle East Peace said the Obama administration's reported negotiations with Israel to potentially support the UN bid under certain conditions indicated it was aware of the dangers to US credibility if it stands against the will of the international community.

"The damage of such a confrontation between the US and the international community could have severe consequences, not least of all to the leadership and credibility of President Mahmoud Abbas, a consistent advocate of a two- state peace compromise and non-violence," the group said.

"The United States should vote for the resolution, even if it cannot achieve a perfect text. The resolution supports a two-state peace agreement, thus adding much needed legitimacy and international sanction to this goal at a time of growing doubt about whether this can be achieved. It is not too late for such an agreement, but time is short."

The group added: "An American yes vote on the Palestinian draft resolution, whose text is consistent with long standing US policy, would emphatically serve US interests."
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