Talking to Israel is 'crisis' for Abbas

Sunday, July 21, 2013 |  Israel Today Staff

The circumstances under which US Secretary of State John Kerry was able to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians is a source of debate in the Jewish state, but there are still widespread statements of support and thanks.

Not so, it would seem, on the Palestinian side.

Not one leading Palestinian official has made a positive public statement regarding the resumption of peace talks. And, in fact, by Sunday afternoon some were even saying the resumption of talks was not a done deal until Israel guaranteed the release of some 100 blood-soaked terrorists.

Even if the talks do take place, just the very fact that the Palestinian leadership will be again negotiating with Israel has caused a major rift in its ranks.

The Jerusalem Post's Arab affairs correspondent, Khaled Abu Toameh, cited a leading Palestinian Authority official as saying the reported resumption of talks had caused a "deep crisis" in the regime of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Another said that Abbas ultimately only agreed to the new talks because other Arab states were putting pressure on the Palestinians to do so. If that is the case, then Abbas and his delegation are not coming to the table in a spirit of compromise and reconciliation, and it would be silly of anyone to believe this round of negotiations will end any more successfully than past attempts.

In fact, Abbas and his government had appeared to be quite happy with rebuffing bilateral negotiations and instead pushing the United Nations ever closer to giving the Palestinians all that they demanded in an unilateral fashion. Likely, Abbas would prefer a return to that situation, and, so, once again, don't expect the Kerry-brokered talks to produce any real results.

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