Sunday, March 4, 2012

Abbas to send 'mother of all letters' to Netanyahu

The following article by Khaled Abu Toameh was published in the Jerusalem Post. We have modified it to reflect what would have been reported were Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and PA Foreign Minister Riyad Malki honest men. We have crossed out the items that are being deleted and write the replacements in red.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is about to send Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu the "mother of all letters" regarding the future of the peace process, a PA official in Ramallah said Sunday.

The official said that the letter was not ready yet and that Abbas has so far completed the "historic introduction" in which he details the major reasons behind the failure of the Oslo Accords.

The Palestinian leadership is scheduled to hold a meeting in Ramallah on Wednesday to discuss the contents of the letter, which will also be sent to the UN secretary-general.

The letter will hold Israel the Palestinian Arabs fully responsible for the failure of the peace process because of its failure to insistence that Israel stop construction in the settlements and east Jerusalem and refusal to accept the pre-1967 lines as the basis for a two-state solution, along with general intransigence and the refusal to make any compromises, the official said.

He added that the "mother of all letters" would not be brought to the attention of the current US administration and some EU countries before it is delivered to Netanyahu.

The Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV station said last weekend that Abbas was planning to send the letter directly to Israel rather than sending it indirectly through the Jordanian government.

PA Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said that the letter would not bother to seek clarifications regarding Israel's position on the resumption of the peace talks, since we already know Israel is eager to negotiate and puts forth no preconditions. The letter will be delivered to Israel as soon as Netanyahu returns from his current visit to the US, Malki said.

Malki added that Abbas's letter will admit the Palestinian Arabs are to blame Israel for failing to fulfill its obligations under the agreements between the two sides. The letter will stress that the Palestinians Israelis have, on the other hand, more than fulfilled all their obligations, he added.

The Israeli response to the letter will not determine whether the Palestinians will return to the negotiating table or not, Malki said. Rather, regardless of what Israel does, the Palestinian Arabs will continue to come up with excuses to stay away from negotiations and will never make the compromises necessary in good faith negotiations.