Michael Freund served as Deputy Communications Director in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office under Binyamin Netanyahu during his first term of office. He is the Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), a Jerusalem-based organization that searches for and assists the Lost Tribes of Israel and other "hidden Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. In addition, Freund is a correspondent and syndicated columnist for the Jerusalem Post, and authors a popular blog on Middle East affairs, Fundamentally Freund. A native New Yorker, Freund is a graduate of Princeton University and holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia. He has lived in Israel for the past 19 years and remains a loyal New York Mets fan....
It is a rare occasion indeed when patriotic Israelis find themselves in agreement with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas (a.k.a. Abu Mazen).
With his history of empty promises and deceit, including the publication of a book denying the Holocaust, the Palestinian leader can hardly be looked to in order to provide truthful political analysis.
But in interviews published over the weekend with a British and an American newspaper, Abu Mazen – for once – has hit the nail squarely on the head.
Addressing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s plan to carry out unilateral withdrawals in Judea and Samaria, Abu Mazen said, “The Israelis say: 'OK, we'll impose a unilateral solution' -- which means that they will postpone, delay ... and they will not solve the problem. After 10 years our sons will feel it is unfair and they will return back to the struggle... Nobody will accept it. The struggle will continue.”
As the Palestinian leader implicitly points out, one of the key weaknesses of Mr. Olmert’s plan is that Israel will be abandoning further territory in exchange for nothing – no agreement, no peace and no end to terror. If anything, Mr. Olmert’s plan will only serve to strengthen the hand of Palestinian terrorists, giving them additional territory alongside Israel’s borders from which to carry out further attacks.
Abu Mazen’s prediction is that the Olmert plan will lead to war. It is a gloomy assessment – but sadly, it is also likely to prove accurate.