Mofaz to Abbas: Let's Talk Peace Now

Vice PM Shaul Mofaz calls on PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to take advantage of the large coalition and begin peace negotiations.

Elad Benari,

Shaul Mofaz
Shaul Mofaz
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) on Thursday called on Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to take advantage of the large coalition and begin peace negotiations.

Speaking at a meeting of the Kadima council, Mofaz addressed Abbas, saying, “Forget the letters, forget the preconditions - Let's talk peace now. The coalition today is the widest ever, and this allows for a political breakthrough.”

Abbas has continued to demand that Israel accept the indefensible pre-1967 lines as final borders, release all Arab terrorists from its jails, and halt construction in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem for a second time before talks begin.

Last week he warned that he may seek non-member status for a Palestinian state at the United Nations if peace talks with Israel do not resume.

Jordan hosted a series of “exploratory meetings” between PA and Israeli representatives several months ago. The PA refused to continue to talk after those meetings and threatened to cancel all agreements signed after 2000 if Israel does not agree to all its preconditions before peace talks.

Abbas recently claimed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is “a partner for peace”, but repeated his demand that Netanyahu choose “between peace and settlements.”

Mofaz indicated last week that he means to meet with Abbas in order to get the peace process going, which is one of the four major issues to be addressed as part of the recent coalition agreement between Likud and Kadima.

In his remarks Mofaz also spoke about the Iranian threat and the situation in Syria, saying, “I look with great concern at what is happening beyond the hills of the Golan Heights. The Alawite massacre of the Syrian people is no less than a war crime and a crime against humanity. One axis connects Assad with Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah.”

He added, “The world powers - led by the United States, EU and other Western states - still do not realize that it is time for action. The Axis of Evil led by Iran is not a Jewish or an Israeli problem. The Massacre in Syria does not only threaten the Syrian citizens. The sensitivity along the northern border and the strengthening of Hizbullah endanger world peace.”

Mofaz stressed that “We are closer than ever to a moment of decision. The NATO intervention in Libya cannot remain an isolated case. There is justification for global involvement in Syria - a far greater justification than any involvement in Libya had. Global intervention in Iran will also be inevitable if the talks between the West and Iran fail and Iran chooses to accelerate its preparations for a nuclear bomb.”