Abbas is correct in setting some conditions for direct talks... - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • 05.08.10 | 17:30 (IDT)

    ... but he has to do it in a more measured way. From being tough with Netanyahu, the US turned around and started a charm offensive towards Israel aimed, I suppose, at Jewish American contributors in the coming Congressional elections. Abbas does not have such a strong influential ally as AIPAC and has to stand up for himself. This is a correct policy in principle. Abbas initially demanded freezing ALL construction in West Bank and Jerusalem as condition for talks with Netanyahu, who does not appear ready for peace. That was a reasonable demand, supported by International law. The US prevailed upon Abbas to start indirect talks instead, which he agreed to. Now that Abbas gained Arab League backing, he can soften his stance without losing face with his own Palestinian public. Netanyahu the Weak wants to pass all political daring and risks to Abbas, but this also means that chances are Netanyahu will never agree to a reasonable peace agreement. The question is, what conditions should be set for direct talks. Abbas tends to exaggerate here; he should come up with something hard, but not impossible for Netanyahu to give. Example: Evacuating illegal settlements built on private Arab land. This is politically hard for a weakling like netanyahu, but Netanyahu will have no excuse for not doing it, other than exposing his real face of the empty talker.

    from the article: Abbas sets conditions for direct talks with Israel
    First published 16:59 05.08.10 | Last updated 16:59 05.08.10
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