Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just just peace

In a story today on a rare public appearance and speech by PA President Mahmoud Abbas before his constituency, Reuters' Douglas Hamilton is apparently disheartened that Abbas has not done more for the Palestinian Arabs:

"But Abbas may have left it very late. During his tenure there has been no progress toward a just peace with Israel and the creation of a Palestinian state."

Well, no progress aside from the extraordinary offer made to Abbas by former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert. From the linked WaPo article:

In our meeting Wednesday, Abbas acknowledged that Olmert had shown him a map proposing a Palestinian state on 97 percent of the West Bank -- though he complained that the Israeli leader refused to give him a copy of the plan. He confirmed that Olmert "accepted the principle" of the "right of return" of Palestinian refugees -- something no previous Israeli prime minister had done -- and offered to resettle thousands in Israel. In all, Olmert's peace offer was more generous to the Palestinians than either that of Bush or Bill Clinton; it's almost impossible to imagine Obama, or any Israeli government, going further. Abbas turned it down. "The gaps were wide," he said.

We agree that Abbas may have left it very late; we're just curious how Douglas Hamilton would define a "just peace" and what place his characterization has in a "take no side" news story.

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