Saturday, January 1, 2011

Are Palestinians committed to peace?

This letter was published on New Year's Day 2011 in the Waterbury Republican-American.

The Dec. 20 article "Abbas meets with Israeli lawmakers," quotes Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas saying he "opposes violence and is committed to reaching a peace deal."

A peace agreement will require negotiations between the Palestinian Arabs and Israel and compromises by both sides. Yet Abbas has energetically avoided negotiations for the last two years, repeatedly insisted he will never compromise on any important issue, and even admitted his inflexibility prevented a peace agreement from being signed long ago.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority he leads continues to demonize and incite against Israel, so much so that the Palestinian Media Watch YouTube channel showing items that had been broadcast on Palestinian Authority television was temporarily shut down because YouTube mistakenly thought PMW was promoting the hate speech coming out of the PA rather than exposing it.

Israel desperately wants to make peace with its neighbors, but it needs partners equally "committed to reaching a peace deal." Abbas may have just said he qualifies, but he certainly hasn't acted like that.

Sheila Morisette

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