Abbas Proves He Prefers Posturing to a Peace Process

(Washington Post) Editorial - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas claims to be interested in negotiating a two-state peace settlement with Israel. Yet Abbas has mostly refused to participate in the direct peace talks that Barack Obama made one of his top foreign policy priorities - and now he has shown himself to be bent on embarrassing and antagonizing the U.S. administration. Rejecting direct appeals from both Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, Abbas chose to persist with a proposed one-sided UN Security Council condemnation of Israel. The only effect of the Palestinian initiative will be to embarrass the Obama administration. It will have no impact on Israeli settlement construction, and it will deal a further blow to the prospects for peace talks. In fact, the UN gambit allows Abbas to posture as a champion of the Palestinian cause without having to consider any of the hard choices that would be needed to found a Palestinian state. The Obama administration has all along insisted that Abbas is willing and able to make peace with Israel - despite considerable evidence to the contrary. If the UN resolution veto has one good effect, perhaps it will be to prompt a reevaluation of a leader who has repeatedly proved both weak and intransigent.

2011-02-21 00:00:00

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