New York, NY, May 14, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed disappointment with today's statement by the Council of the European Union regarding the Middle East peace process, calling the statement's substance "unbalanced" and its timing "counterproductive."
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
The unbalanced and counterproductive statement issued by the Council of the European Union unfairly casts much of the blame on Israel for the difficulties facing Palestinians in the West Bank. Coming a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered Israel's response to the letter he received from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in which Mr. Netanyahu called for the advancing of Quartet-led negotiations between the parties, the timing of this statement is unfortunate and counterproductive.
The Council's statement prominently highlights the extremism of a small group of West Bank settlers, while ignoring Israeli actions to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of violence against Palestinians and to prevent the recurrence of such incidents. The Council also omits any mention of acts of violence by West Bank Palestinians, including multiple incidents within the past month related to explosive devices.
We simply cannot understand why the Council fails to single out the Palestinians for criticism of their unwillingness to return to negotiations. As an important member of the Quartet, the European Union should adopt an evenhanded approach that supports the renewal of serious negotiations between the parties and avoid similar counterproductive statements.