The Palestinian Leadership Does Not Want to Return to Negotiations with Israel

(World Affairs Journal) Brig. Gen. (ret.) Michael Herzog - PA Chairman Abbas used President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital as an excuse to "check out" of the U.S.-led peace process. He was afraid of the U.S. peace plan coming his way. The Palestinian leadership does not want to return to negotiations. They feel that the Arabs have lost much of their enthusiasm to actively support the peace process. The Arab reaction to the U.S. decision on Jerusalem was rather moderate and not what the Palestinians expected. When Turkish President Erdogan convened an Islamic summit in Istanbul to protest the U.S. decision, only two Arab leaders showed up, Jordan's King Abdullah II and Abbas. Most Arab leaders are highly critical of Abbas and Palestinian dysfunctionality, and a number have developed close, below the radar relationships with Israel. Yet Abbas is in a position to accuse Arab leaders of betraying support for Jerusalem, a highly sensitive and emotional issue which could damage them on the "Arab street." This weakens the hand of those who were hoping that the Arab states would play an effective role in the peace process. The writer, a fellow of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, is a former chief of staff to four Israeli ministers of defense.

2018-03-15 00:00:00

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