'Mahmoud Abbas is One of the Most Honest People in the World'
Dr. Ron Pundak, one of the architects of the 1993 Oslo Accords and chair of the Peace NGOs Forum, spoke at Arutz Sheva's 11th annual Jerusalem Conference, offer his opinions on the ongoing talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).
While Pundak claimed to agree that "Shiloh and Beit El are more important than Tel Aviv and Ramat Aviv," he declared "in the question between a state for the Jews or the land of Israel, we need to know how to make painful compromises to keep the state of the Jewish people," and called for the uprooting of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria for "Israel's interests."
In noting Shiloh and Beit El, Pundak echoed Communications Minister Gilad Erdan's mention of the towns in opposing a division of the land.
Pundak's Oslo Accords allowed the PLO terrorist organization to establish an armed presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza and form the Palestinian Authority (PA). Intifada terror wars following the accords costs thousands of Israeli lives.
"In light of the fact that we live in a practical reality - the occupation of the West Bank will destroy the Israeli state," opined the Oslo planner. "With all the pain over the exit from Gaza it was an Israeli interest, and so too the exit from the West Bank is an Israeli interest only and not an Arab one."
The withdrawal from Gaza may appear a somewhat odd choice of examples in claiming that Israeli "interests" are served by territorial concessions; the 2005 "Disengagement" that expelled all Jews from Gaza allowed the Islamist terrorist organization Hamas to take control of the region and launch numerous terror wars and launch a continuous barrage of rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, whilst gaining a base from which to attempt to make good its threat against Israel's existence.
'Abbas is one of the most honest people in the world'
To those who distrust PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas Pundak declared Abbas was in fact "one of the most honest people in the world."
"Abbas is straight as a ruler." Pundak said, adding that "I know him better than most Israelis."
Just last Wednesday, Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz labeled Abbas as "the world's number one anti-Semite", for teaching that the PA has "to destroy Israel sooner or later, and destroy the Jews sooner or later." Abbas has praised terrorist murderers as "heroes" on numerous occasions, and members of the PA revealed the peace talks are merely the "first stage" in eradicating Israel completely.
In the face of it all, however, Pundak maintains his trust in the PA.
"Abbas understands the Palestinian interest is to make peace with Israel because that's an anchor that will maintain the future of the Middle East, the regional peace, and the Palestinian state," claimed Pundak. "As long as Abbas is there, there's an opportunity."
This is not the first time Pundak has courted controversy with what some might describe as remarkable naivete; in 2004, Pundak called Marwan Barghouti, the terrorist responsible for the murder of over 30 Israelis, a "true partner for peace."
Apparently the audience found fault with Pundak's arguments, as they burst into boos several times during his talk, interrupting his words.