Time for Abbas to Talk Peace with Israel

(New York Times) Editorial - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has agreed to direct negotiations on a two-state solution; the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, is stubbornly resisting. It is time for him to talk. The proximity talks - the American envoy, George Mitchell, is shuttling again this week between Jerusalem and Ramallah - don't seem to be getting very far. Mr. Obama is pressing hard for direct talks and aides say he is losing patience with Mr. Abbas. Mr. Abbas has the backing of the Arab League, including crucial states like Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Last month, the group formally gave him a green light - important political cover - to enter direct talks. They need to press Mr. Abbas to move now. If Mr. Abbas is not at the table, there is no serious way of testing Mr. Netanyahu's intentions and whether there is any real chance of peacefully achieving a Palestinian state. Mr. Abbas, who has long advocated a negotiated two-state solution, is seriously wrong if he thinks his leverage - and the future of the Palestinians - is in staying on the sidelines.

2010-08-11 09:19:07

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