Questions About a Palestinian State

LETTERS
Questions About a Palestinian State
Published: August 12, 2011

To the Editor:

Re "Palestinians and the U.N." (editorial, Aug. 8):

One person stands in the way of Palestinian statehood, and that’s Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president. He decided last September to abandon all peace negotiations with Israel.

With that move, Mr. Abbas walked away from the United States, after President Obama had played host to the restarting of direct talks, resumed after Mr. Abbas had previously suspended them in January 2009. He walked away from Israel, even though a permanent, sustainable peace accord cannot be attained without Israel and the Palestinians agreeing. And in May he joined in a union with Hamas, the terrorist organization that rejects any peace.

Four successive Israeli governments, and two American presidents, have been committed to working with the Palestinians to achieve a negotiated two-state solution. Mr. Abbas has consistently spurned them. Perhaps he does not want to be the Palestinian leader to tell his people that the conflict is over and that there will be no "right of return.”

Now, pursuing United Nations recognition of a state that doesn’t yet exist, Mr. Abbas has made himself the chief obstacle.

ROBERT ELMAN
President
American Jewish Committee
New York Aug. 8, 2011
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