The Last Chance for Peace Fantasy

This week, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is at it again. He’s threatening to break his agreements with Israel. Following a stunt at Davos where he pretended to want to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu (even though he has dodged actually possibilities for meetings with him), Abbas is playing the negotiations card again while saying that if Israel doesn’t release “prisoners” — i.e. convicted terrorists with blood on their hands — he will dissolve the PA and send the West Bank into an abyss of even greater chaos than currently exists. But unlike in the past, when such stunts mobilized Israeli leftists to protest the government and would motivate the Obama administration to issue statements pressuring Jerusalem to start making concessions, his latest antics aren’t generating much interest in either country. But nonetheless, there are still a few stray voices being raised on the left decrying what is seen as another missed opportunity. In what is a familiar argument that has been repeated endlessly since Abbas succeeded Yasir Arafat, we are told that the aging Palestinian represents the “last chance for peace.” But while Abbas’s eventual successor may be worse for both the Palestinians and Israelis than he is, the notion that he ever represented a chance for peace is a myth.

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The Last Chance for Peace Fantasy

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