Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in New York for the UN General Assembly, gave an address at Cooper Union College on Monday. The event was sponsored by Churches for Middle East Peace. President Abbas was introduced by Ambassador Warren Clark, executive director of Churches for Middle East Peace and a WNDC member, who was also interviewed by news media after the speech.
President Abbas’s speech made repeated references to great figures of American history, including Abraham Lincoln, who spoke at Cooper Union, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Abbas compared the courage shown by President Obama and Secretary Kerry in pursuing Middle East peace to the courage demonstrated by Lincoln’s in arguing “at this very podium” for the end of slavery. He called on his audience to “rethink Palestine,” and urged the students listening to him to follow the “Seeds of Peace.” “Seeds of Peace” is an organization, founded in 1993, that brings together Israelis, Palestinians and other high school students in Maine every summer.
Planned protests of his speech did not materialize, although his appearance was highly controversial.
Speech can be heard here.