Who says there are no peace talks going on in the Middle East?
The peace process is underway in the Middle East, but not between Israel and the Palestinians. The only peace talks that are taking place these days are between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Abbas has chosen to talk to the enemies of peace who want to destroy Israel and replace it with an Iranian-backed Islamist state. On the one hand, he says he supports the two-state solution. On the other hand, however, he is seeking to form an alliance with all those who are vehemently opposed to the two-state solution.
Just last week Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, during a high-profile visit to his friends in Tehran, reiterated his wish to “liberate Palestine from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. Those who think that Hamas and Islamic Jihad would ever recognize the right of a Jewish state to exist are engaged in self-deception and are living in a world of fantasy.
Abbas spent the past few days in Egypt negotiating with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other radical Palestinian groups that are strongly opposed to any peace process with Israel. He held lengthy talks with Hamas’s Khaled Mashaal and Islamic Jihad’s Ramadan Shallah about ways of achieving “national reconciliation and unity” among Palestinians.
The peace talks between Abbas and the radicals will not bring about a two-state solution. This is a dangerous process that will facilitate Hamas’s takeover of the Palestinian Authority, whether through violence or free elections.
Abbas is working hard to convince the radical Palestinian groups to agree to the formation of a Palestinian unity government under his leadership. He seems to be naive enough to think that Hamas or Islamic Jihad or the Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine will change their ideologies and strategies and abandon their dream of wiping Israel off the face of the earth.
Some Westerners also appear to be naive enough to support Abbas’s peace process with radicals and terrorists. This is the same Abbas who for the past few years has refused to sit and talk with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about achieving peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas prefers to talk to Muslim fundamentalists instead of negotiating with Israel about achieving peace in the region.
But Abbas’s peace process with the radicals will only embolden Hamas and Islamic Jihad. This is a peace process that will eventually lead to the creation of a Palestinian government or state that would be controlled by Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Muslim Brotherhood.
If the US and EU want peace, they should be urging Abbas to negotiate with Israel, not with those who openly call for the destruction of another state and have aligned themselves with Iran.
If Abbas truly wanted a two-state solution, he would be negotiating with Israel. By preferring to negotiate with the enemies of peace, Abbas is sending a message that he, too, does not want a two-state solution.
Originally published by Stonegate Institute www.stonegateinstitute.org
About the Author: Ayman Masri is a freelance journalist based in the West Bank.
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