Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas returned to the West Bank last weekend to a triumphant welcome by the Palestinian people. The reason for the warm welcome was his perceived successful visit to the United Nations where Abbas asked for full United Nations membership without having to make peace with Israel. Abbas also took public a position that many Palestinians have always and continue to demand; an end to the Israel as a Jewish State.
Abbas’s rejected a proposal being crafted by the peacemaking Quartet that includes the U.S., EU, United Nations and Russia. Before the ink was even dry on the proposal, Abbas told reporters accompanying him that: “we will not deal with any initiative” that doesn’t upfront demand a freeze to Israeli settlements, as well as negotiations based on pre 1967 borders. In other words, Abbas demands Israeli concessions before negotiations begin. This is actually an effort to forestall any negotiations and shows the real intent of the Palestinians.
The Palestinians publically professed the willingness to accept a two state solution with the Israelis. However this is but subterfuge and doubletalk. When pushed on a key issue, they also publically stated that they will accept this solution only if Palestinians are granted the “Right of Return”, a backdoor way of eliminating Israel as a Jewish State, while at the same time demanding that the Palestinian state be Muslim. This unwillingness to accept other religions as equals is ingrained within Muslim societies.
The Palestinian intransience on Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State began long before Barack Obama was elected president. However, Obama’s waffling on Middle East policy emboldened the Palestinians and has made even the slight chance for peace in this region less likely.