Special Envoy Mitchell left the Middle East on Sunday, after completing the first round of proximity talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. The talks were serious and wide-ranging.The reference to Abbas, like the whole idea of these 'proximity talks', is absurd.
Both parties are taking some steps to help create an atmosphere that is conducive to successful talks, including President Abbas’ statement that he will work against incitement of any sort and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement that there will be no construction at the Ramat Shlomo project for two years. They are both trying to move forward in difficult circumstances and we commend them for that.
We have received commitments from both sides, and we have made assurances to both sides, that are enabling us to move forward. The full scope of these discussions will remain private. [emphasis added]
As Arlene Kushner points out:
Abbas will refrain from naming any new squares after terrorists and everyone will say it is a wonderful step in the right direction. But the fact is that the school books are rife with incite, and unless a project is undertaken to start printing revised versions of these texts, the rest is a joke. A whole generation of young people is learning that jihad is good, Israel is not legitimate, and all the rest.Of course, indoctrination is not limited to the schools--Israel Behind The News has been tracking incitement by Abbas and the PA since the end of last year and has published 3 reports so far.
So the question is: will Abbas make the necessary changes in the textbooks and remove material that incites children against Israel--or will he merely agree to not do anything provocative for the next few months?
Technorati Tag: Proximity Talks and Abbas.