Now the EU is pitching in:
In a final thrust to persuade reluctant Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to enter direct talks with Israel, the EU coupled strong exhortations on Wednesday to Abbas to immediately begin them, with statements designed to give him confidence that once at the negotiating table, he will have strong support for a number of his key positions.Gee, do you think the Arab League will back him?
Abbas arrived in Cairo on Wednesday for a two-day visit to attend a special meeting of Arab League foreign ministers that begins on Thursday. The parley will evaluate the current proximity talks and discuss the possibility of starting direct negotiations.
Despite pressure from the US and the EU, Abbas has signaled in recent days that he does not intend to enter direct talks until Israel stops all settlement construction, as well as construction in east Jerusalem, and commits itself to the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the June 4, 1967, lines. He is expected to seek Arab League support for these positions.
Funny how Abbas himself has nothing to bargain, nothing to offer in order to get in negotiations, but he sure does have a lot to demand--even before the negotiations themselves get underway. It's even stranger when you realize everything that Olmert was offering Abbas--before Abbas himself stopped the talks.
So what is the problem?
Apparently Abbas cannot afford to concede anything--not even the most basic, as Jonathan Tobin points out:
That’s because the last thing the Palestinian leader wants is a viable peace process, a fact that the administration may finally be starting to understand. Had Abbas wanted to accept a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza, and part of Jerusalem, he could have accepted Ehud Olmert’s offer from 2008. He refused to even discuss that proposal because a peace deal would have forced him to accept not only peace but also the legitimacy of a Jewish state, even one inside truncated borders. Abbas knows that he cannot sign a peace agreement of any sort and survive, so he continues to prevaricate and seek excuses for not holding direct talks. The only question is how long it will take before Obama finally understands that although the Israelis have accepted the concept of a two-state solution, it is the Palestinians, who stand to benefit from such a scheme, who are incapable of accepting it. Until he does, the peace-process charade will continue.This certainly has nothing to do with peace--and not about land or politics.
It's still all about war.
Technorati Tag: Abbas.