Posts Tagged ‘Mahmoud Abbas’
July 18th, 2012 at 12:55 pm
The Perversity of “Doing Something” for It’s Own Sake
Posted by Print

With most media attention focused on the thrust and parry of the presidential race, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 13-day trip abroad garnered precious little media attention. That’s a shame, because an important message came out of the Secretary’s stop in Israel. It just wasn’t the one she intended. As Seth Mandel notes at Commentary‘s “Contentions” blog:

According to an Israeli official who was briefed on the content of the meetings, Clinton told the different Israeli officials that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad are the best partners the Israelis ever had, adding that “it is unclear who will come after them.”

If Abbas and Fayyad–who resolutely refuse to even meet with Israeli leaders face to face–are the best Palestinian “peace partners” Israel has ever had, it is clear the peace process has gone practically nowhere since it began.

Mandel is precisely right. Peace in the Middle East is such a talisman to American presidents that they often stop thinking about the quality of any potential deal, looking solely for the achievement. That’s easy to do when you’re thinking of it as nothing more than a wing in your presidential library, but harder when you’re considering the lives of the people on the ground.

We may be waiting beyond our lifetimes for meaningful peace in the Middle East. But that’s a far preferable outcome to an agreement reached in haste that condemns the region to increased strife in coming years.

September 7th, 2010 at 6:37 pm
Palestinian Leader, 77% of Americans Agree: Recognition of Jewish State a Deal-Breaker

On the heels of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s offer of an “historic compromise” Mahmoud Abbas rejected the notion of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s talk about an “historic compromise” and said there would be no compromises on core issues such as Jerusalem and borders.

Abbas also reiterated his rejection of Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. “We’re not talking about a Jewish state and we won’t talk about one,” Abbas said in an interview with the semi-official Al-Quds newspaper. “For us, there is the state of Israel and we won’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state.”

Regular news watchers in any of the last four decades will recognize this pattern.  Israel offers to negotiate a peace deal; Palestine refuses to negotiate any of the “core issues.”  You know; like borders, how to share – or not – Jersusalem, and perhaps the most important: whether one of the state parties to a “two-state” solution will be recognized as a state by the other.

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) refusal to recognize Israel seems grossly hypocritical when the biggest concession Palestinians demand is Israel’s recognition of Palestine as a state.

As for what the United States government should do about the impasse, probably nothing.  Rasmussen Reports found that 77% of Americans think any peace treaty between Israel and Palestine must include recognition of Israel’s right to exist.  So far, Abbas and the PA won’t even acknowledge that Israel as a state does exist, so it may be a while before they get around to saying it has a right to exist.

Let’s hope the Obama White House doesn’t dither on this issue while the country’s economic house continues to burn down.