Following a speech Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas made on Saturday, Israeli government officials said that he had killed the peace process once and for all, Channel 10 reported.
"Abu Mazen is repeating demands for the same conditions that he already knows Israel cannot accept," the unnamed officials were quoted as saying in response to Abbas's renewed demand for the release of Palestinian prisoners and a total settlement freeze.
Abbas was speaking to a meeting of top leaders in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) gathered for a two-day conference to asses the Palestinian strategy to achieve statehood after US-backed talks began to unravel this month.
Abbas also reiterated his position that the Palestinians would never recognize the Jewish identity of Israel, AFP reported.
The diplomatic process veered toward collapse after Israel canceled the final group of Palestinian prisoners it had pledged to free in March, and after Abbas signed several international treaties - a move that Israel said was a unilateral move towards statehood.
Palestinians accused Israel of not focusing enough during the last nine months of negotiations on drawing future borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state, and they denounced the expansion of settlements.
Israel accuses Abbas of being more interested in healing the national rift with Hamas than achieving a peace deal.
With that in mind, we can see Caroline Glick's take on current events:
It’s hard not to admire Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s brazenness.
Two weeks ago, Abbas signed on to 15 international agreements that among other things require the PA to respect human rights and punish war criminals
And this week, he signed a unity deal with two genocidal terror groups all of whose leaders are war criminals. Every leader of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the two parties that signed the deal with the PLO, are war criminals. Under the Geneva Conventions, which Abbas signed onto just a couple of weeks ago, he is required to put them on trial, for their war crimes.
Here it is worth noting that under the Geneva Conventions, every single rocket launch from Gaza into Israeli territory is a separate war crime.
Abbas was only able to sign the Geneva Conventions on the one hand, and the unity deal with terrorist war criminals on the other, because he is utterly convinced that neither the US nor the European Union will hold him accountable for his actions. He is completely certain that neither the Americans nor the Europeans are serious about their professed commitments to upholding international law.
Abbas is sure that for both the Obama administration and the EU, maintaining support for the PLO far outweighs any concern they have for abiding by the law of nations. He believes this because he has watched them make excuses for the PLO and its leaders for the past two decades.
When it comes to the Palestinians, the Western powers are always perfectly willing to throw out their allegiance to law – international law and their domestic statutes – to continue supporting the PLO in the name of a peace process, which by now, everyone understands is entirely fictional.
Why do they do this? They do it because the peace process gives them a way to ignore and wish away the pathologies of the Islamic and Arab world. The peace process is predicated on the notion that all those pathologies are Israel’s fault. If Israel would just surrender Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians, then the Arabs writ large, and the Muslim world as a whole will cast aside their support for jihad and terrorism and everything will be fine.
At least that is how Abbas analyzes the situation.
And so far, the US has not disappointed him.
The Obama administration’s immediate response to Abbas’s unity with terrorist war criminals deal involved pretending it didn’t understand what had just happened.
Two days before the unity deal, a reporter from Al-Monitor asked Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar if Hamas has given up terrorism.
Zahar responded, “Anyone who claims so must be drunk. How has Hamas abandoned the resistance [that is, terrorist] effort? What are the manifestations of it doing so? Where have we prevented the launching of rockets?” No ambiguity whatsoever there.
And Abbas just signed a deal Hamas, and with Islamic Jihad, the official representative of the Iranian mullahs in the Palestinian war criminal lineup.
No ambiguity there, either.
Reacting to this week’s unity deal, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said, “The agreement between Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad brings the Middle East to a new diplomatic era. The Palestinian Authority turned into the largest terrorist organization in the world, 20 minutes from Tel Aviv.”
And under international law, including the agreements that Abbas acceded to just two weeks ago, Bennett is absolutely right.
The time has come to call things by their names. Abbas is a terrorist and the PA is a terrorist organization.
In light of this incontrovertible fact, the time has come to treat the PA in accordance with international law.
The Israeli government and the US Congress should take the steps necessary to bring their national policies toward the Palestinians into accordance with the law of nations.
On Thursday, the security cabinet rightly decided to end negotiations with the PA. But this cannot be the end of the line. Israel must also stop all financial transfers to the PA.
Just as critically, Israel must stop cooperating with PA security forces in Judea and Samaria.Israel must begin arresting and prosecuting Palestinian officials who incite for the murder of Jews, and charge them with solicitation of murder.
The Office of the US Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian territories that trains Palestinian military forces should be closed straightaway. Its personnel should be redeployed out of the area forthwith.
So, too, given that the Palestinian Authority now inarguably meets the US definition of a foreign terrorist organization, the US must end all financial assistance to its operating budget. Also, in accordance with US law, the US banking system must be closed to PA entities. Foreign banks that do business with these entities should be barred from doing business with US banks.Abbas is not interested in peace. The two-state model isn’t about achieving peace. It is about blaming the victim of the absence of peace for the absence of peace.
Abbas knows his apologists, both in Israel, and most important in the US and Europe. He knows they will go to any length to defend him.
The Israeli Left does so because without the phony peace process, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, the Labor Party and Meretz become political irrelevancies.
So now Abbas is telling them that the deal is good for peace since it brings Hamas-controlled Gaza into the PLO and so reunifies the PA, which has been operating as two separate entities for seven years. And they may go along with it.
They’ve been perfectly willing to embrace utter nonsense countless times over the years.Only the Israeli government and Congress can stop them. And they must stop them.