TEL AVIV – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas thanked the leaders of J Street for their work lobbying the Trump administration against its recent decisions regarding the Palestinians during a meeting with the dovish policy group at his Ramallah headquarters.
Abbas told Executive Director Jeremy Ben Ami and other senior J Street employees that he had “appreciation for their efforts to support the peace process within American society,” the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
Abbas thanked J Street, which is partly funded by George Soros, for its efforts in getting 112 Democratic representatives of the House of Representatives and 34 senators to sign a letter to the White House urging the government to change its decision to cut off aid to the UN Palestinian “refugee” agency, UNRWA.
“The administration’s decision will exacerbate the already dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where one million people — half the population — depend on UNRWA for food assistance,” the J Street-backed letter said.
President Donald Trump cut some $350 million of annual aid to the agency earlier this year over its practices.
Abbas told the delegation that despite the current rift with the U.S., “We distinguish between America and the current American administration that has brought the peace process to a dead end.”
The meeting was attended by PLO Executive Committee member Ziad Abu Amr, Fatah Central Committee member Hussein al-Sheikh, PLO Executive Committee member Ahmad Majdalani, PA General Intelligence Services chief Majid Faraj, and Fatah spokesman Osama Qawasma.
Ben Ami said that his organization is committed to “supporting peace and continuing to work in American Jewish circles and with American society to achieve peace,” Wafa reported.
J Street also “affirmed their readiness to continue efforts to resume the peace process on the basis of a two-state solution including the establishment of a Palestinian state on June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Wafa reported.