Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is opposed to lifting the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip because this would bolster Hamas, according to what he told United States President Barack Obama during their meeting at the White House Wednesday. Egypt also supports this position.
Commentary Magazine points to other statements from Abbas, just as shocking but in a pleasant way for a change:
One: “Nobody denies the Jewish history in the Middle East. A third of our holy Koran talks about the Jews in the Middle East, in this area. Nobody from our side at least denies that the Jews were in Palestine.” Nobody, of course, except for Helen Thomas, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, and countless activists who speak of the entire state of Israel, not just the post-1967 territories, as an “occupation.”
Two: he recognizes “West Jerusalem” as the “capital of Israel.” This is rather bold, considering that even the U.S. State Department doesn’t recognize Western Jerusalem as a part of Israel at all, much less its capital.
Three: Abbas stated that the goal of negotiations would be an absolute end to the conflict so that there would be “no more demands” — something that sounds obvious but has forever eluded the public Palestinian discourse, keeping Israeli suspicions high that the Palestinians are not remotely interested in ending the conflict.
Four: he conceded that there is anti-Israel incitement on the Palestinian side and that such could be resolved through an agreed-upon monitoring committee.
Five: he allowed for the possibility of an international force, even NATO, occupying the Palestinian territories at least for a few years as part of an agreed solution — opening the door, perhaps, for meeting Israel’s demand that the Palestinian state be demilitarized.
Points one and two will clearly shock many but perhaps coming from the Palestinian Authority President himself will force people to stop with the rhetoric and look at the facts for themselves to see he is speaking the truth... perhaps when that is acknowledged as he just bravely acknowledged it, then a true discussion can take place and a more peaceful Middle East will emerge.