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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New York Times Editorial "President Abbas and Peace Talks" Reveals Astonishing Naiveté

In an editorial in today's New York Times entitled "President Abbas and Peace Talks", it is claimed:

"But if Mr. Abbas is not at the table, there is no serious way of testing Mr. Netanyahu’s intentions and whether there is any real chance of peacefully achieving a Palestinian state."

It never occurred to the author of this editorial, who is swift to label Netanyahu a "master manipulator", that Abbas is not interested in testing Netanyahu's intentions. As Abbas stated in May 2009 to Jackson Diehl of The Washington Post:

"'I will wait for Hamas to accept international commitments. I will wait for Israel to freeze settlements,' he said. 'Until then, in the West Bank we have a good reality . . . the people are living a normal life.'"

Unacknowledged by the author of this editorial is the current murderous enmity between Fatah, rulers of the West Bank, and Hamas, rulers of Gaza, which prevents Abbas from reaching any agreement involving Gaza. Satisfied with 8% GDP growth, security collaboration with Israel against Hamas, and only 14 remaining Israeli checkpoints, Abbas is currently loathe to take steps which could jeopardize Fatah's dominion over the West Bank.

Remarkably, the author of this editorial also ignores Israeli Prime Minister Olmert's 2008 offer, which was predictably rejected by Abbas, to swap Israeli territory for settlement blocs and to provide a safe passage corridor between the West Bank and Gaza.

Abbas is not standing on principle. Deathly afraid of Hamas, he has good reason to avoid talks with Israel, which could undermine his regime.


  1. On Russian TV, a peson from Israeli government said that the less talk about peace, the more peace. He said: Arabs perceive talks about peace and concessions as a show of weakness and it provoks their aggression.
    He brings an example of Olmert, who had lots of talks and had to fight two wars.

    What do you think? Perhaps, it is Netanyahu's victory that the pressure is on Abbas, and nobody demands any concessions from Israel at this point.

  2. Marina, my guess is that the demands on Netanyahu from the Obama administration will return after the midterm elections.

  3. My comment to that NYT editorial which I was reading while:
    "I am watching the re-run of the West Wing episode from 2004 \"The Birnam Wood\". Direct talks brokered by fictional President Bartlett.

    Must be President Abbas' favorite episode."

    JG, I would not guess anthing about Obama after the midterms. The way things are going, he might withdraw into a bunker and watch West Wing re-runs until the new Congress meets in 2011. :)

    You do realize the NYT has a deep history of slanting anything to do with Jews or Israel? This is nothing new.

  4. Thanks, K2K.

    The NYT's bias is not new, but it's never been this bad in my recollection. Perhaps banking on a bailout, they are very much in lock step with the Obama administration.