Why Mahmoud Abbas Prefers an International Approach to a Regional One

(Gatestone Institute) Khaled Abu Toameh - Recently, officials in Israel and Washington started talking about a "regional approach" to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which Arab countries can help achieve peace in the Middle East by persuading, or rather pressuring, the Palestinians to make concessions. This misapprehension is both misleading and baseless. It assumes that Arab countries such as Jordan, Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have enough leverage with the Palestinians to compel them accept a peace agreement with Israel. But Palestinians simply do not trust their Arab brothers and consider most Arab leaders and regimes as "puppets" in the hands of the U.S. and its "Zionist" allies. Arab involvement in a peace process with Israel is the last thing Abbas and other Palestinians want. No Arab leader in the world can persuade the Palestinians to give up the "right of return" for Palestinian refugees or accept a solution that allows Israel to retain control over certain parts of the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Any Arab or Palestinian leader who promotes such compromise is taking his life in his hands. Even if Abbas were to accept terms dictated to him by such an alliance, his own people would reject them. Any solution offered by the Arab governments will always be regarded as an "American-Zionist dictate."

2017-03-03 00:00:00

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