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Washington Post: Abbas Not Serious for PA State

The influential Washington Post accuses Abbas of not being serious about wanting to establish the Palestinian Authority as a country.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 9/20/2011, 10:00 AM

Proposed two-state solution map
Proposed two-state solution map
Israel news photo

The influential Washington Post has accused Mahmoud Abbas of not being serious about wanting to establish the Palestinian Authority as a country.

In a lead editorial Tuesday morning, the liberal newspaper joined a growing number of mainstream media outlets – with the notable exception of The New York Times – throwing up their hands at Abbas’ constant rebuffs to the “peace process.”

The editorial noted that Abbas on Monday admitted that Palestinian Authority Arabs face hard times because of his tactic of asking the United Nations for unilateral recognition instead of returning to negotiations with Israel.

Congress may terminate U.S. aid, causing an instant economic crisis,” the newspaper’s editors wrote. "Israel is hinting at retaliation, ranging from the withholding of tax funds to the annexation of its West Bank settlements. At worst, demonstrations being orchestrated by Mr. Abbas to support the statehood initiative will get out of hand, producing a violent confrontation with Israel.”

The Washington Post stated that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has accepted President Barack Obama’s policy, which basically mirrors that of Abbas, to reach an agreement based on the temporary 1949 Armistice Lines, commonly known as the “1967 borders” but also called the ”Auschwitz borders” by critics.

“Were he serious about achieving statehood, Mr. Abbas would seize on that point — which he defined as critical just months ago — and proceed with negotiations about drawing a border,” the editorial concluded. “Instead, he appears likely to stick with his grand gesture — and to let Palestinians pay the price.”

Other newspapers also have strongly editorialized against Abbas for burying the American-sponsored diplomatic process, which began in Madrid in 1991.

“The U.S. should honor its promise to veto any effort in the U.N. to unilaterally recognize an independent Palestinian state and thereby short-circuit a negotiated peace, which is the only path to long-term stability in the region,” an editorial in the Baltimore Sun stated Tuesday morning.

The Tuscaloosa Alabama News called the Abbas’ move to the United Nations “a foolhardy gambit” that “may be a short-lived diplomatic coup, but the result will be more hardship for Palestinians and more retrenchment along the hard lines of negotiation.”

Another negative editorial on Abbas was printed in the Boston Phoenix, which wrote, "The Palestinian Authority is in the midst of staging a hollow piece of political theater that will boomerang. By unrealistically raising the hopes of the people it purports to represent, the Authority will not fail only to change any facts on the ground, but sadly move the possibility of a workable peace beyond any visible horizon.”

The New York Times has taken an increasingly anti-Israel stand, blaming Israel and President Barack Obama for not accepting Abbas’ conditions for establishing the Palestinian Authority as a country within Israel’s borders.