Abbas to address J Street conference, thank Biden

Abbas will reportedly thank President Joe Biden for resuming aid to the Palestinians.

By World Israel News Staff

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will address the J Street conference on Sunday in a pre-recorded message. The conference will take place virtually and will be attended by 4,000, according to the The Times of Israel, which first reported the news.

J Street’s president Jeremy Ben-Ami told The Times of Israel, “We’re pleased to host President Abbas at our conference this year, as the Palestinians seek to move on from the nadir of the Trump era and repair the bilateral relationship with the United States under President Biden.”

Abbas will reportedly thank President Joe Biden for resuming aid to the Palestinians. Earlier this month, the Biden administration announced $235 million in aid with two-thirds of it going to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

The Trump administration had cut ties to UNRWA, declaring it corrupt and responsible for perpetuating the refugee problem. That administration also cut funds slated for the Palestinian Authority, citing its continued support for terror. Critics have pointed out that the decision might violate U.S. law.

J Street supported the restoration of aid, saying in an April 7 release, “These moves begin to undo the damage done by the Trump administration, which unilaterally and harmfully cut off virtually all forms of US assistance to the Palestinians.”

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In a scene that offended many Jews, J Street’s Ben-Ami was seen kissing and embracing Abbas in greeting during a Manhattan press conference on Feb. 11, 2020. The Republican Jewish Coalition condemned the act, noting Abbas supports pay-for-slay payments to terrorist killers and their families and has denied the Holocaust.

J Street, a controversial organization on the fringes of American Jewish life, takes positions more in tune with the Palestinians than Israelis. It came out against moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, condemned the killing of Iran Revolutionary Guards General Qassem Soleimani and opposed the Taylor Force Act, which called for cutting off U.S. funds to the Palestinians until it stopped its financial support for terrorists.