Where Are the Palestinian Concessions?

(Council on Foreign Relations) Elliott Abrams - News reports make it clear that the Palestinians are seeking various concessions as the price of returning to the negotiating table. The Palestinians should be jumping at the chance for serious negotiations, not creating obstacles for their resumption - yet PLO and PA head Abbas does not appear anxious for talks to start. It is also striking that as has almost always been the case in the so-called "peace process," all the concessions are being sought on the Israeli side. The U.S. has not, for example, demanded an end to Palestinian glorification of terrorism or incitement against Israel in official media as the price for starting new negotiations. It's as if the Palestinians are doing Israel and the U.S. a great favor by entering into negotiations that are the only route to their stated goal of an independent state. Secretary Kerry has said he seeks progress by September. Progress is more likely if he tells the PA and PLO officials that he will judge them by their conduct, and that "incitement" - including anti-Semitic attacks, lies about Israeli behavior, and glorification of violence and terror - must cease. The writer, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush.

2013-06-28 00:00:00

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