Palestinians Say 'NO' to Peace Talks

Sunday, January 26, 2014 |  Israel Today Staff

Thousands of Palestinian Arabs rallied in cities across the so-called "West Bank" on Saturday demanding that their leadership stop participating in US-brokered peace talks with Israel.

Organized by left-wing Palestinian political movements, the demonstrations lambasted US Secretary of State John Kerry's peace proposals as legitimizing the "Israeli occupation," according to Bethlehem's Ma'an news agency.

Israel has long maintained that one of the principle obstacles to peace is the failure of the Palestinian Authority to educate its people to favor a compromise peace agreement with Israel. For the Palestinians, including the Palestinian leadership, it's "all or nothing."

Also on Saturday, a senior member of the ruling Palestinian party Fatah told Arab media that it was time for the Palestinians to give up on negotiations and resume violence against Israel.

"We have to resume action, as action can change many things. I mean resistance in all its aspects," Tawfiq Tirawi told the Beirut-based al-Mayadeen satellite channel.

Those familiar with the conflict will know that "resistance in all its aspects" means suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks targeting Israeli civilians.

Even Israel's most liberal voices appear to finally be seeing the light.

In a weekend interview with Israel's Channel 2 News, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is in charge of negotiations with the Palestinians, said that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' positions are "not only unacceptable to us but to the whole world, and if he continues to stick to them, then the Palestinians will be the ones to pay the price."

The remarks were somewhat shocking to many Israelis, as Livni has long been one of the most ardent defenders of Abbas as a viable peace partner.

Still, Livni remained every optimistic, insisting that Channel 2's poll showing that 87 percent of Israelis now believe the current negotiations won't lead to a peace deal can not be allowed to influence her dealings.

Livni was adamant that if a reasonable peace proposal can be put on the table, the majority of Israelis will change their minds and get behind it.

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