Abbas Says One Thing to the Palestinians, Another to Obama

(New York Daily News) Elliott Abrams - "I say in front of you, Mr. President, that we have nothing to do with incitement against Israel, and we're not doing that," claimed PA President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit to the White House in June. It is unfortunate for the prospects of Middle East peace that this denial by Abbas was just plain untrue. In fact, proclaiming peaceful intentions to the international community while inciting their population to hatred of Israel is one of the primary impediments to any sort of solution. There are countless examples of pronouncements or actions by Abbas and other Palestinian leaders that suggest a glorification of violence and terrorism and undermine the belief that they seek peace. Abbas should handle incitement by stopping it, not by denying that incitement occurs in the first place. If he cannot do so, the chances for real peace are slim. The character of a Palestinian state, and of Palestinian society, is more important than final borders in achieving and maintaining peace. Is terrorism defended and glorified by the top officials? Are terrorists who murder children branded as heroes? Is war with Israel a tactic that must be set aside only for pragmatic reasons as a short-term strategy? The Palestinian leadership never seems to pay any penalty for its words. The writer is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

2010-07-15 09:11:46

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