Current peace talks with the Palestinian Authority are a fraud. They do not promote peace. They empower Mahmoud Abbas’ war against Israel.
There is a reason Abbas is intransigent. It’s the same reason he doesn’t prepare his followers for peace: he’s not interested in peace. He is obsessed with war—against Israel.
On July 25, 2013, just days before the talks began--and with ‘peace-is-possible’ in the air--Abbas’ Fatah Facebook page didn’t promote peace. It glorified five suicide bombings which had killed 61 "Zionists" (“Fatah Honors Terrorist for Murdering 61 Israelis,” Arutz Sheva).
During peace talks, his Facebook page would not showcase images of peace. It glorified murder.
Abbas is cunning with his war. He will not fight Israel alone.
That same July, the European Union (EU) announced it would boycott Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Height and parts of Jerusalem (“Column One: How to respond to EU sanctions”, Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, July 25, 2013). We didn’t know it at the time, but that boycott was connected to Abbas’ war.
The United States helped Abbas—then helped again by conveniently ignoring his hate. Marine Corps General James Mattis, the recently retired head of U.S. Central Command, issued a harsh rebuke against Israel’s communities in Judea-Samaria. He declared that Israel’s Jewish populations in Judea-Samaria were turning Israel into an apartheid state (“U.S. General: Settlements Will Make PA State Impossible,” Arutz Sheva, July 26, 2013).
Four days later, Abbas announced his own apartheid intentions(“Abbas: There Will be No Israelis in 'Palestine'”, Arutz Sheva, July 30, 2013). He declared that there will be not a single Israeli--soldier or civilian--in ‘Palestine’.
Funny thing about Abbas: while the EU was threatening Israel with a boycott, no one in the US declared that Abbas’ anti-Israel declaration would turn Palestine into an apartheid state. No one in the EU declared that such hostility towards Israelis would isolate Abbas on the international stage.
Nobody said a negative word about Abbas.
But Abbas’ TV programming became viciously negative. Four days after Abbas’ ‘no Israeli’ announcement—as ‘peace’ talks began—we learned of a PA TV contest: “Deny Israel's Existence - Win $100!” (Arutz Sheva, August 4, 2013).
If the PA was not interested in peace, we learned very quickly what it was interested in: concessions to the PA and pressure against Israel.
First, the concessions: Abbas got 104 Arab prisoners (mostly killers of Jews) released from Israeli prisons. He got this from Israel as a ‘goodwill gesture’. The US demanded it. This gesture was an incentive to get him to show up at the talks (“Shin Bet Head Warned Ministers: Don't Release Terrorists”, July 28, 2013, Arutz Sheva).
Then there was pressure against Israel. Writing in Commentary Magazine, Jonathan Tobin revealed that chief Arab peace negotiator Saeb Erekat told an Arab radio interviewer that the announcement of the European Union’s new directives outlawing all EU cooperation with Jewish ‘settlements’--just before peace talks began--had not been coincidence. It had been deliberate. It was, he said, part of a deal.
Erekat claimed that the EU had issued the boycott order as an incentive for Abbas to return to negotiations (Jonathan Tobin, “What the Palestinians Already Won”, Commentary Magazine, August 20, 2013).
Abbas won big: he got prisoners freed and an anti-Israel boycott before he even sat down to talk. He didn’t have to promise a thing.
As Tobin suggested (above), such offers as these made the Palestinians winners even before negotiations began. With an anti-Israel boycott in place to pressure Israel (and 104 prisoners ready to return to Abbas—and kill again), the U.S. and the EU had given the Arabs little incentive to make concessions of their own.
That was more than four months ago. Tobin was spot-on. Abbas hasn’t budged an inch. He has not been talking about peace. But he has been showing off his war-successes against Israel.
He shows off 440 million US dollars the US has pledged (“PLO: US to Transfer $440 Million to PA in 2014”, Arutz Sheva, 01/01/14). He showcases the released killers. Next, he will show how he has the power to trigger the EU’s boycott by torpedoing the talks—and then blaming Israel (“‘Israel likely to be blamed for failed peace talks’ (12/29/13, Times of Israel).
For Abbas, that will be the crowning achievement of the peace talks. He will have used this fraudulent charade to fuel his war against Israel in ways he could hardly have hoped to do on his own. He could get a major international boycott, more than a hundred killers released, more than 400 million dollars added to his war-chest--and a world ready to ‘isolate Israel on steroids’ (words Kerry used when warning Israel not to let the talks fail).
In our Talmud (B’rachot 54a), we see the commentary Rashi talk of corrupt rulers who seek to libel others. That’s Abbas. He’s corrupt. He seeks to libel Israel. He uses these peace talks to spread that libel and to wage his war.
He has much to smile about.