Why does the West misunderstand Abbas?

People insist on theorizing about how the Palestinians will react to the terms of a peace proposal; in doing so it becomes apparent that they are simply not listening to what the Palestinians themselves are saying loud and clear.

By
May 29, 2011 23:12
Winston Churchill

winston churchill 311. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
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“So now here is the question,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu posited in his masterly address to the US Congress, “if the benefits of peace with the Palestinians are so clear, why has peace eluded us?” Netanyahu’s provided an astute answer to what seemed to be a rhetorical question: the Palestinian leadership has always refused, and continues to refuse, to sign a peace agreement that entails the acceptance and permanence of the Jewish state, regardless of its borders.

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Hence the PA’s rejection of the offers by former prime ministers Ehud Barak (in 2000) and Ehud Olmert (in 2008) to establish a Palestinian state on virtually all of the West Bank and Gaza.  Former PLO leader Yasser Arafat said no, and PA President Mahmoud Abbas followed suit for these reasons: They refused to recognize the Jewish past of the Temple Mount and they couldn’t abandon the fantasy of invading Israel with the descendants of the 1948 Arab refugees. Ultimately, they could not commit to ending the conflict once they achieved statehood. 



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