Palestinian Authority officials are working up a cold sweat over President Barack Obama’s scheduled visit next month. The White House has made it clear that the President’s luggage will not include any breathtaking suggestions to push Israel into accepting Mahmoud Abbas’ territorial and political demands.
PA negotiator Mohammed Ishtayeh was quoted by the Associated Press on Thursday as saying of President Obama, “We believe he has good intentions, but in order for him to succeed, he should realize the reasons for the failure of the previous round of talks and avoid them. Mainly he needs to get involved personally and put real pressure on Israel.”
“None of us are expecting a change to the status quo,” said one Fatah member, who warned that low expectations and a worsening financial crisis in the PA are encouraging Abbas to opt for unity with the Hams terrorist organization and party.
Abbas put himself out on a long and thin diplomatic limb last year by thumbing his nose at President Barack Obama and successfully winning United Nations General Assembly approval to elevate the PA’s status to that of non-member observer and support his claims on all of Judea and Samaria and more than half of Jerusalem.
Backtracking on his constant vows to free all Arab prisoners, establish a capital in Jerusalem and flood Israel with several million foreign Arabs would be suicidal for Abbas, in every sense of the word.
Israeli and foreign media jumped on the “peace process” bandwagon Thursday and widely quoted the Likud party’s left-wing Dan Meridor’s criticism government building policies in Judea and Samaria, without mentioning that the “senior Likud member” was knocked out of the Knesset in last month’s elections.
Meridor also stated that he is not against building in heavily-populated Jewish areas, such as Maaleh Adumim and Gush Etzion, a remark that most media conveniently omitted.