While the Quartet is thrilled over Tuesday’s peace talks, popular PA terrorist Marwan Barghouti says one "cannot breathe life into a dead body." He is serving five life sentences in a Negev prison for helping to plan and execute the murder of dozens of Israelis.
Barghouti also is one of the most popular leaders in the Palestinian Authority and has frequently been mentioned as a potential replacement of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. If he were to run and win, Israel would be placed under intense pressure to free him rather than allow him to head the PA from jail.
In a letter marking the 47thth anniversary of the founding of the Fatah party, Barghouti wrote of Tuesday’s mediated talks with PA and Israeli negotiators, “There is no point to make desperate attempts to breathe life into a dead body."
He said the Palestinian Authority should concentrate on continuing to build the basics for an independent country as well carrying out “peaceful resistance.”
The Quartet attended the talks in Jordan as it continues to press both the Palestinian Authority and Israel to present their positions on borders and security by a January 26 deadline it imposed four months ago.
Israel has rejected the idea because it completely erases any chance of direct talks, which the Obama administration has said is a practical and necessary condition for the establishment of the PA as an independent state within Israel’s borders.
Although President Shimon Peres said earlier this week that the Quartet concept is doomed to failure, U.S. State Department spokesman Olivia Nuland told reporters Tuesday, “We are very grateful to Jordan and particularly to Foreign Minister Judeh for bringing these – bringing the parties together not only to meet with the Quartet envoys as they have been doing, but also to meet with each other in a face-to-face meeting.”
Although the meeting reportedly was held in a “positive” atmosphere, the only practical result was that more talks were scheduled for next week.
Barghouti is assuming the discussions will fail and instead urged Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza to boycott Israeli goods and promote “popular resistance.”
He also favors unity between the rival Fatah and Hamas parties, although Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar said Tuesday that a violent “resistance” is necessary at achieve desired results.