Monday, 22 July 2013

Making Peace: Damned If You Do ... and ... Damned If You Don't!

Abbas threatens ‘all options open’ if US-led diplomatic bid fails

Amid ongoing confusion about terms for new talks, PA president hails UN’s November upgrade of ‘Palestine’ as greatest achievement in years

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned in comments published Monday that “all options are open” if there is no substantive progress in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

The comments, Abbas’s first since US Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Friday that peace talks would resume after a hiatus of almost three years, may be an attempt to exert pressure on the US and Israel to meet Palestinian demands on the terms of formal negotiations.

Kerry said Israeli and Palestinian representatives would meet in Washington within days to resume the negotiations. “We have reached an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming negotiations,” he said. But Abbas’s two spokespeople contradicted the secretary on Sunday, saying in separate interviews that the path to resumed negotiations had not yet been cleared, and that the imminent meetings in Washington were aimed only at seeking to finalize the terms for the new negotiations.

Israel’s leaders, by contrast, have indicated that they hold to Kerry’s declaration, and are anticipating resumed negotiations without preconditions.

Published on Jul 22, 2013

PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash delivers his Friday sermon in the presence of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas:
"We hate war. We don't want war. We don't want bloodshed, not for ourselves, nor for others. We want peace. We say this because our culture is founded on this, and because our religion is based on this. Yes, we want peace, but not any peace. We want a peace based on justice, therefore the Palestinian leadership and the PLO have not missed any opportunity for peace...
The Palestinian leadership's sense of responsibility towards its nation made it take political steps about 20 years ago (i.e., signing the Oslo Accords). Despite the controversy, despite much criticism and much opposition by some, it brought us to where we are today: We have a [Palestinian] Authority and the world recognizes the [Palestinian] state.
All this never would have happened through Hamas' impulsive adventure, but only through the wisdom of the leadership, conscious action, consideration, and walking the right path, which leads to achievement, exactly like the Prophet [Muhammad] did in the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, even though some opposed it...
The hearts of the Prophet's companions burned with anger and fury. The Prophet said: 'I'm the Messenger of Allah and I will not disobey Him.' This is not disobedience, it is politics. This is crisis management, situation management, conflict management...
Allah called this treaty a clear victory...
Omar ibn Al-Khattab said: 'Messenger of Allah, is this a victory? Is this logical? Is this victory? We are giving up and going back, and not entering Mecca. Is that a victory?' The Prophet said: 'Yes, it is a victory.'
In less than two years, the Prophet returned and based on this treaty, he conquered Mecca. This is the example, this is the model."

[Official Palestinian Authority TV, July 19, 2013]

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