Palestinian Leader Defies Israel and Vents about Obama

(Newsweek) Dan Ephron - "It was Obama who suggested a full settlement freeze," Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, told me. "I said OK, I accept. We both went up the tree. After that, he came down with a ladder and he removed the ladder and said to me, jump. Three times he did it." In September, Abbas plans to make his big UN gambit. He believes a resolution that recognizes a new state of Palestine in the 1967 borders would be a game changer. But UN votes don't make 500,000 Jewish settlers suddenly disappear from the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Netanyahu's spokesman, Mark Regev, said about the UN initiative: "The Palestinians can go for more empty rhetoric or choose a path of real change. The only way to peace and Palestinian statehood is through negotiations with Israel." For the statehood resolution to have more than just symbolic impact, Abbas would have to assert sovereignty over the territory the UN just handed him. But that would entail confrontational measures with Israel. Abbas told me that's a path he will not take.

2011-04-27 00:00:00

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