Daily Israel Report

Abbas: ‘All Options on Table’ If Israel Does not Concede

Abbas delivers a cryptic message on the eve of PA-Israeli talks in Jordan. “All options are on the table,” but no renewal of the Intifada.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 1/2/2012, 1:56 PM

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Official PLO Photo

Abbas delivered a cryptic and contradictory message on the eve of Palestinian Authority-Israeli talks in Jordan. He said that “all options are on the table” but said that he opposes a renewal of the "Intifada."

Jordan is to host the talks on Tuesday, three weeks before the January 26 deadline that the Quartet has set for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to resume direct negotiations on security measures and the establishment of a new Arab state within Israel’s borders.

The official PA website WAFA stated that Abbas warned, “From now until January 26, if the Quartet is unable to bring the two parties to the negotiating table on clear bases, then it has failed… If nothing happens by the 26th, we have options. There are people who say a third intifada and I say this is not going to happen. I do not accept that.”

However, PA security forces have not acted against daily attacks on Jewish motorists on the highways in Judea and Samaria, where rock-throwing terrorists, often armed with Molotov cocktails, try to cause fatal accidents to kill drivers and passengers. One father and his infant son were murdered several weeks ago in a rock-throwing attack on the main highway between Kiryat Arab-Hevron and Jerusalem.

The PA has pointed out that Tuesday’s talks are not negotiations, but they satisfy the Quartet's demands for a “peace process," which has been declared dead and buried by virtually all observers and even leading politicians in Israel and the PA. The Quartet is made up of the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia.

The planned discussions in Jordan give Abbas one important strategic advantage: The PA publicly has said it expects no results from the discussions, and their failure will give him a platform for a renewed diplomatic war against Israel. 

Abbas continues to hold out the threat of going back to the United Nations for recognition based on its own unilateral demands, backed by most countries in the pro-Arab general Assembly.

An attempt three months ago for recognition was thwarted when Abbas was unable to gain the necessary two-thirds majority of United Nations Security Council members to approve the motion and bring it to the General Assembly. President Barack Obama has vowed he will veto any such motion if Abbas does win the necessary backing.

Abbas has his eye on this year’s presidential elections in the United States. “We call on the US not to waste 2012 on elections,” he said. “I wonder how a superpower could stop functioning for an entire year because of elections. There are serious international issues such as the Middle East conflict. The US should not say it will not open the Palestinian-Israeli conflict until the elections are over.”

He added, “If there is no peace, the entire world will bear the consequences of the failure of the peace process,” which he has based on Israel’s giving up all of the land in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria that was restored in the Six-Day War in 1967.

Abbas also has balked at Israeli demands for security arrangements, including the deployment of the IDF in the Jordan Valley, to prevent return to what Israel calls indefensible borders. Abba Eban, former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, referred to them as “Auschwitz borders.”