'Abbas account of departure from Safed is contradictory'

"No reason to hope for successful peace process when PA leader selling false history of Israeli independence," Jeffrey Goldberg writes in 'Atlantic.'

May 18, 2011 11:02
1 minute read.
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Palestinian Flag 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's accounts of his family's departure from British mandated-Palestine are contradicting, correspondent Jefferey Goldberg wrote in an Atlantic post on Tuesday.

Goldberg cites Abbas's story Wednesday in a New York Times op-ed about how he was "forced" to leave his home in Safed and compares it with an account from 2007, in which Abbas said his family left Safed voluntarily out of "general fear" that the Jews would seek revenge against the Arabs for the 1929 Arab uprising.

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Based on these conflicting accounts, the Atlantic correspondent wrote "There is no particular reason to hope for a successful peace process when the leader of the Palestinians is selling a false history of Israel's independence."

"Reaching a successful settlement of this dispute will require both sides, Arab and Israeli, to grapple with their mistakes," Goldberg wrote. "Mahmoud Abbas cannot bring himself to note that the Jews accepted the partition plan, while the Arabs rejected it, and went to war to extinguish the new Jewish state in the cradle, and then lost their offensive war."

"During this war, many Arabs were expelled from Palestine by Israeli forces; many others fled," he said.

He also pointed out that a large number of Jews was also expelled from their homes in Arab countries, "where they and their ancestors had lived for hundreds, even thousands, of years."


Instead of trying to rehash history, Goldberg wrote that Abbas and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would fare better by focusing on the aftermath of the 1967 war.

"Mahmoud Abbas won't be returning to Safed. But he could be president of an independent state of Palestine on the West Bank and Gaza with a capital in Jerusalem," Goldberg said. "If only he - and, of course, Prime Minister Netanyahu - could find a way to avoid rehearsing old grievances and instead work toward a future in which both parties don't get all that they want, but get enough to live."

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