The Ongoing Drama of Palestinian Lies

by Bassam Tawil
June 22, 2017

US envoys Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner, who met this week in Jerusalem and Ramallah with Israeli and Palestinian Authority (PA) officials to discuss reviving the peace process, have discovered what previous US Middle East envoys learned in the past two decades — that the PA has not, cannot, and will not change.

During their meeting in Ramallah with PA President Mahmoud Abbas, the two US emissaries were told that the Palestinians will not accept anything less than an independent state along on the pre-1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Jared Kushner (left), Senior Advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump, meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on June 21, 2017 in Ramallah. (Photo by Thaer Ghanaim/PPO via Getty Images)

Abbas also made it clear that he has no intention to make concessions on the “right of return” for Palestinian “refugees.” This means he wants a Palestinian state next to Israel while flooding Israel with millions of Palestinian “refugees” and turning it, too, into another Palestinian state.

At the meeting, Abbas also reiterated his demand that Israel release all Palestinian prisoners, including convicted murderers with Jewish blood on their hands, as part of any peace agreement. The release of terrorists in the past has only resulted in increased terrorism against Israel.

According to Abbas’s spokesperson, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, the PA president told Kushner and Greenblatt that a “just and comprehensive peace should be based on all United Nations resolutions (pertaining to the Israeli-Arab conflict) and the (2002) Arab Peace Initiative.” Translation: Israel must withdraw to the indefensible pre-1967 lines and allow armed Palestinian factions to sit on the hilltops overlooking Ben Gurion Airport and Tel Aviv.

Abbas’s position reflects accurately the policy of the PA leadership over the past two decades — a policy that has been regularly relayed to all previous US administrations, successive Israeli governments and the international community.

To his credit, Abbas has been nothing short of consistent. He has never, ever, displayed a willingness to offer any concessions to Israel. He misses no opportunity to reaffirm his demands to all world leaders and government officials, with whom he meets on a regular basis.

Nonetheless, some in the international community still believe that Abbas or any other Palestinian leader will be able to make concessions in return for peace with Israel.

Incredibly, Kushner and Greenblatt seem to believe that they can succeed where all others have failed.

The two inexperienced US envoys are laboring under the illusion that they will persuade Abbas and the PA leadership to drop demands such as the “right of return,” the release of imprisoned terrorists and a cessation of construction in settlements.

Why President Trump’s envoys are creating the dangerously misleading impression that peace is possible under the current PA leadership is nothing short of a mystery.

Creating such an impression is likely to boomerang with a vengeance; the higher the expectations, the greater the disappointment. Giving the Palestinians the feeling that the Trump administration holds a magic wand for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will eventually increase Palestinian bitterness and hostility towards both the Americans and Israel. When the Palestinians wake up to the fact that the Trump administration will not strong-arm Israel to its knees, they will resume their rhetorical attacks against Washington, accusing it once again of being “biased” in favor of Israel.

This was precisely the fate of previous US administrations and presidents who disappointed the Palestinians by failing to impose dictates on Israel. The Palestinians are still dreaming of the day that the US or any other superpower would force Israel to comply with all their demands.

When Israel does not comply with their list of demands, the Palestinians will accuse it of “destroying” the peace process.

Read more here: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10573/palestinian-lies