President Mahmoud Abbas will seek to form a government of technocrats by mid-June which will accept the demands of the Quartet, including recognition of Israel, Israeli media reported Thursday.If only there was some basis in fact--because the facts of course indicate the opposite.
Sources close to the president told the Israeli daily Haaretz that Abbas also appears determined to see Salam Fayyad appointed as prime minister on the unity government, despite widespread objection as he considers Fayyad integral to foreign support.
Haaretz said the sources believe Hamas will ultimately agree to the appointment.
While the English-speaking media is told how hard Abbas is working towards recognition, in the Muslim media the Muslims are being told that Israel will not be recognized:
"No one in Fatah and Hamas movements recognizes Israel," Abdullah Abdullah told FNA, asked if the so-called Fatah-Israel peace talks would continue, given Hamas's opposition to the process.One could argue that this is the Iranian press and have their own agenda.
Then let Abbas clearly state in the Muslim media what his friends are telling Haaretz.
Simply put: Has Abbas ever clearly stated in the Arab media that he recognizes Israel?
I only mention that because when Abbas has talked about this topic in the Muslim media, Abbas himself does not say straight out that he recognizes Israel.
As I've mentioned before, Joel Mowbray wrote in 2008 that Abbas does not recognize Israel:
Discussing the question of whether or not Hamas must recognize Israel, Mr. Abbas explained, I don’t demand that the Hamas movement recognize Israel. I only demanded of the [Palestinian] national unity government that would work opposite Israel in recognition of it.Again: if you'll argue that things have changed over 3 years, let Abbas clearly say publicly in Arabic that he recognizes Israel.
This comment raised eyebrows because it shifted the common understanding of what it means to recognize the Jewish state. Most understand recognition to be fairly straightforward: The acknowledgement of the right of Israel to exist peacefully as a Jewish state neighboring a Palestinian one. Mr. Abbas, however, now defines recognition as acknowledging in a literal sense that an entity named Israel is the country at the other end of the negotiating table.
Mr. Abbas does not deserve the benefit of the doubt on this count. Defending his recognition of Israel on TV network Al-Arabiya in October 2006, he explained that it was more a practical reality than a meaningful political position. He cited as an example the need for the PA to get $500 million from Israel: The Palestinian finance minister has to come to an agreement with the Israeli finance minister about the transfer of the money. So how can he make an agreement with him if [the PA finance minister] does not recognize him?So I do not demand of Hamas nor any other to recognize Israel. But from the government that works with Israelis in day to day life, yes. [emphasis added]
If he cannot do that, then that speaks volumes, wouldn't you think?
Oh, and that is a nice touch, reporting that Abbas is looking to set up elections for the unity government next month--considering that this coming from the same guy whose term as president expired over 2 years ago.
Is the media so starved for news to report that it has to sink to repeating whatever Abbas says in English?
Technorati Tag: Abbas.