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Abbas Threatens Something or Other

Author: Elliott Abrams, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies
April 16, 2012
Weekly Standard


The chairman of the PLO, Mahmoud Abbas (who is also president of the Palestinian Authority), has drafted a letter to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for delivery this week. What is apparently the current state of the draft is published by Times of Israel, a terrific new web site about the Middle East.

This missive is unlikely to advance the cause of peace. What Abbas calls his "historic Peace Proposal" includes, for example, these sentences:

"Security will be guaranteed by a third party accepted by both, to be deployed on the Palestinian side. Jerusalem will serve as a capital of two States. East Jerusalem capital of Palestine. West Jerusalem capital of Israel. Jerusalem as an open city can be the symbol of peace."

Ah, well. Here it seems Abbas is abandoning hope of being able to maintain security in his new state. But surely he knows that Israel has always opposed the presence of third forces that will, as they have in southern Lebanon, never fight terror and will get in the way of Israeli forces trying to do so. And as for Jerusalem, is he seriously proposing that the 1967 line be reestablished, so that Israel is in "West Jerusalem" and "Palestine" controls the Old City? And how can there possibly be an "open city" until Palestinians have achieved the security goal set out for them in the Roadmap (on which Abbas relies in his letter)?

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