Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pretzel logic

Reuters correspondents continue to tie themselves into knots to apologize for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as he continues to refuse to enter into direct talks with Israel.  After cherry-picking material from Abbas' interview last week with the Jordanian newspaper al-Ghad, Tom Perry returns today along with Ali Sawafta to explain:
Abbas is wary of more direct talks with the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who he believes is not ready to make peace on terms the Palestinians can accept.
Note again how Reuters conveniently divines for us what Abbas is feeling and thinking, rather than report on what he is actually saying and doing.  From the Jerusalem Post:
Abbas complained that Obama recently sent him an oral message urging him to launch direct negotiations with Israel unconditionally.

According to the PA president, Obama’s message was “unclear and ambiguous.”

Abbas was quoted as saying: “With all due respect to the American president, his message was not clear. We want to clear answers to questions we presented to the Americans, especially regarding security, borders and the status of Jerusalem. We continue to insist that any negotiations with Israel be based on recognition of 1967 as the future borders of the Palestinian state.”
So despite US President Obama's appeal to Abbas to enter into peace talks with Israel on an unconditional basis (as Netanyahu has been requesting), Abbas continues to insist that the Palestinians receive unambiguous guarantees from the US in advance of talks.  And that those guarantees include a commitment to coerce Israel to accept a Palestinian state with the 1967 borders, i.e., the 1949 Armistice Lines.

Note also that this is the same guarantee the Palestinians demanded from the Quartet in November of 2008 following Abbas' rejection of former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert's peace offer.  A demand that was respectfully declined by the Quartet.

Things are so much clearer when reporters report rather than propagandize.

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