Mahmoud Abbas seems to have adopted a more reasonable line in an interview with Israeli television.
Note the following:
- His statement “We don’t want to use terror.” This has not been picked up by the media, but is, to my mind, an implicit admission that what the palestinians have been doing until now is terrorism. Haaretz et al take note!
- His admission that it is his “right” to see Safed, but not to live there, which has been interpreted by many as a renunciation of the so-called palestinian “right of return.” Elder of Ziyon notes:
Paragraph 11 of UNGA 194, the source of the imaginary “right of return,” says
Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return…
The General Assembly resolution, which has no legal weight, says that only those refugees wishing to return should be allowed to do so (the word “right” was deliberately left out, by the way.)
Abbas is defining himself as a refugee who chooses not to return under UNGA 194. But that in no way limits how the Arab world (mis)interprets UNGA 194, and therefore it does not impact the PLO’s negotiating position in the least.
This way Abbas can continue the long Arab game of telling gullible Westerners what they want to hear without actually saying what they want so desperately to believe he said.
While an interesting reading, I do not agree, since Abbas clearly states it is “not his right to live there”, rather than not his wish. Where I do agree is Abbas seems to be telling the West what we want to hear. I just happen to believe he would outright lie about it, instead of Elder’s position that he is not telling the full truth.
After all, Abbas recently made statements in Arabic to the contrary (and then tried to cover it up). His apparent lack of honesty is further suggested by his refusal or inability to answer the constant questions of the interviewer regarding incitement by PA television.
But even if he was expressing his point of view, this in no way represents official PA policy, and clearly not that of Hamas. In other words, this interview does not represent anything that significant.
About the AuthorAn Australian immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave has been blogging since early 2003.
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