Israel has long criticized the Palestinian leadership for its penchant to “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” The saying was first voiced by legendary Israeli diplomat Abba Eban in 1973, and he was referring to the entire Arab world, which at the time was still as a whole at war with Israel. But in more recent decades, Israeli leaders have applied it exclusively to the Palestinians and their failure to recognize the benefits of advancing the peace process.
Many in the Arab world are beginning to agree with Israel in this regard.
“While we as Arabs have always respected the Palestinian leadership’s decisions, and always will, many of us — respectfully — disagree with the decision not to attend the Manama workshop,” wrote Faisal J. ‘Abbas, chief editor of the Saudi English-language daily Arab News. He was referring to the Palestinian leadership’s refusal to take part in a US-led gathering in the capital of Bahrain aimed at jumpstarting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by focusing on economic incentives for all involved.