Arab Leaders Pressure Mahmoud Abbas

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Yoni Ben Menachem - Several Arab countries, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, have begun to come to terms with the fact that they can't change the U.S. president, and that they need to be more pragmatic and try to work with him on his new plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Egypt and Saudi Arabia are closer to the American position than that of the Palestinians, and they are pressing the PA chairman to show political pragmatism. The east Jerusalem newspaper al-Quds reported on March 17, 2018, that both Arab countries were putting pressure on Mahmoud Abbas and on King Abdullah of Jordan to stop opposing the "deal of the century." Even the European countries, which usually support the Palestinian position, don't want to clash with the Trump administration with regard to the Palestinian issue. They are expecting Abbas to be prepared to listen to the details of the deal and not reject it out of hand. Apparently, what interests Abbas right now is preparing for his retirement from politics, while leaving behind a legacy of strict adherence to Palestinian "red lines." For this reason, according to senior Fatah sources, the current dispute with the Trump administration serves his desire to step down dramatically from the political stage as the leader who never gave in to American and Israeli pressure. From his point of view, rejecting the American plan outright and withstanding the pressures upon him are his greatest achievements as Palestinian leader. The writer is a veteran Arab affairs commentator for Israel Radio and Television.

2018-03-19 00:00:00

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