Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sent a Christmas letter to Palestinian Christians using Jesus’s teachings to justify refusal of any peace deal negotiated by the U.S.
Abbas wrote that Palestinians refused to accept any peace deal from the U.S. in light of President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, according to Haaretz. Abbas called Trump’s decision an “insult to millions of people worldwide, and also to the city of Bethlehem,” citing Jesus’s birthplace and quoting Christian scriptures to justify Palestinians’ refusal to reconcile.
“We are inspired by the message of Jesus, who refused injustice and spread a word of hope,” Abbas wrote in the letter, according to Haaretz. “The Holy Bible says ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be filled.’ Threats against those who support justice will be met with the same spirit and response from our nation and from millions of dignified people around the world.”
The Palestinian president’s letter also cited local Palestinian churches’ opposition to the U.S. acknowledgement of Jerusalem, and said that such an acknowledgement supported “illegality and the blatant violations of our rights.”
Abbas had the letter sent during his meeting and subsequent press conference in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron. Abbas called on European countries to aid the Palestinians in achieving their goals in peace negotiations, and said that the U.S. was “no longer an honest mediator in the peace process.”
Macron responded by condemning what he saw as an overreach on the part of the U.S. in the peace process between Palestinians and Israel, which he said was a process that should be left entirely to the Israelis and Palestinians.
The United Nations also rejected the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem in a resolution member countries passed Thursday. The U.N. resolution garnered support from Abbas, Palestinian diplomat and peace negotiator Saeb Erekat and Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum, who called the resolution “a step in the right direction.”
“The world is saying that President Trump’s declaration in the eyes of the international community is a void and unjust decision,” Erekat said, according to Haaretz.
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