Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

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The Third Man

by Elliott Abrams
May 30, 2011

In late May President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu delivered two speeches each in Washington, debating how to understand events in the Middle East. But the third man was missing: Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the PLO, the Palestinian Authority, and the Fatah party.

Abbas’s decision to embrace a unity government with the terrorist group Hamas was, nevertheless, what lay behind the events in Washington. In an article in this week’s edition of The Weekly Standard, I examine what happened in Washington and the choices that lie ahead for Abbas, Netanyahu, and Obama. In brief, I call Abbas’s tenure as Palestinian leader disastrous, and argue that there can be no hope for peace negotiations right now. What’s more, the very real progress that has been made under the leadership of PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is now in danger of being reversed.

Post a Comment 3 Comments

  • Posted by Dan Friedman

    The “peace process is dead. Long live the “peace process!”

  • Posted by Dean Smallwood

    Abbas knows full well that bucking the radical Islamists among the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab World is a good way to get killed . It’s doubtful that the P.A. or P.L.O. will ever produce an individual with the courage to negotiate honestly and fairly with Israel .

  • Posted by Maine's Michael

    . . . No palestinain leader can negotiate with Israel on the basis of a workable solution because that would not reflect the will of the ‘palestinian’ people, whose identity is based entirely upon the destruction of Israel, itself a product of the intolerance of the arab islamic world, whcih created the ‘palestinians’ in the first place.

    The roots of the conflict lie in the intolerance of arab islam, and there is no solution outside of a reformation of ISlam to greater tolerance.

    Israel’s job is to wait Islam out. It does not have what it takes to succeed in the long term, as its inadequacies become ever more obviousl to the arabs over time.

    I don’t know how long it will take. 50 years? 200?

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