“My enemies say of me in malice, ‘When will he die and his name perish?’ When one of them comes to see me, he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander; then he goes out and spreads it around.” (Psalm 41:5–6)
After Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas claimed that he is waiting for an invitation to discuss peace, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he is welcome to talk “any day he can come.”
On March 31, in a rare interview with Israeli TV, on Channel 2’s “Uvda” program, Abbas said he hopes to see Israel and a Palestinian state existing in peace side by side.
“I still extend a hand to Mr. Netanyahu because I believe in peace,” Abbas claimed. “I believe that the people of Israel want peace and that the Palestinian people want peace.”
Netanyahu, who has long declared an “open” invitation to Abbas for peace talks said in response to Abbas’ posturing:
“A few days ago, on Israeli television, I heard President Abbas say that if I invite him to meet, he’ll come. … So, as I said this morning to an American congressional delegation, I’m inviting him again. I’ve cleared my schedule this week. Any day he can come, I’ll be here.”
“My door is always open for those who want to pursue peace with Israel,” he added, noting to journalists that the first item of discussion for peace would be “ending the Palestinian campaign of incitement to murder Israelis.” (Business Standard)
Palestinian leaders, including Abbas, have supported that campaign of incitement. So much so that Abbas’ offer to discuss peace with Israel has been called “despicable” by the PLO’s second largest political party, The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), who called for Abbas’ immediate resignation after the interview. (Gatestone Institute)
Abbas’ comments certainly seem out of step with the continued call for terror on the Palestinian side.
“Without mutual trust between the sides there won’t be negotiations and there won’t be a solution,” said Israeli President Reuven Rivlin last Monday in a meeting with Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaorálek.
Rivlin told Zaorálek that Abbas’ position in the “Uvda” interview sounded a “little more promising” and stated his own willingness to meet with him. (BIN)
“He [Abbas] said he believed that it was necessary to stop all types of terrorism and find a way back to negotiations,” Rivlin told Zaorálek, emphasizing the need for a longer-term or permanent peace deal.
“But as long as Abu Mazen [Abbas] believes in fundamentalism and doesn’t abandon the aim to destroy Israel or the Hamas ideology that there is no way to accept Israel, or that only a ceasefire is possible with Israel, then we will get nowhere,” Rivlin said.
Meanwhile, the PA distributed a draft resolution last week to the UN Security Council that seeks to condemn the settlements and freeze building in east Jerusalem and Israel’s ancient heartland, Judea and Samaria. It also calls for the “prevention of all acts of terror … by Israeli settlers” as well as “accountability for the perpetration of all such illegal acts.” (Haaretz)
The draft resolution also calls for a conclusion to peace talks within a year.
Abbas will be in New York on Passover Eve, April 22, for the vote. Netanyahu said the proposal would make peace less, not more likely.
“The Palestinians teach their children every day that the settlements are Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Acre,” said Netanyahu. “Abu Mazen’s actions will push peace talks further away. The only way to advance peace is through direct talks and Abu Mazen is hiding from that.”
If the resolution passes, it could result in international sanctions against Israel, he said. (Haaretz)