An Abbas of Failure

[Jerusalem Post] Barry Rubin - Consider PA leader Mahmoud Abbas' March 29 speech to the Arab summit in Damascus. According to Abbas, Israel's aggression is unprovoked. He speaks of "barbaric attacks, causing hundreds of defenseless victims," and its evil intent to "undermine the possibility of reaching a peace agreement." He ignores constant attacks on Israel from Gaza and offers no credible way to deal with them. Hamas (and elements in Fatah) attack Israel, Israel responds, and Abbas cites this as proof that Israel doesn't want peace and that negotiations cannot succeed. We've become so used to this behavior that we forget there's an alternative. Abbas could say: "Israel is ready to make peace with us if we prove we'll keep our pledges. Let's defeat the radical Islamists, stop the attacks on Israel that breed conflict, end incitement to violence, reform our own regimes, align with the West and get an independent state." Israel needs to work with Abbas and keep him afloat as the lesser of two evils. But Abbas is incapable of making peace. By not demanding and getting PA concessions, and by giving money unconditionally, the U.S. and the West ensure not only that peace will fail but that there will be decades of conflict ahead.

2008-04-08 01:00:00

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