EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Is Mahmoud Abbas, like Yasser Arafat before him, stalling the peace process out of fear that no agreement would be sufficiently maximizing? By now he should have learned that the best deals are those signed with confidence, in mutual trust and good will; and that he stands to gain a great deal through constructive action rather than destructive antics. Those who lead know that decisive journeys start with a risky first step.
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s erratic moods make his purported pursuit of a “just and durable peace” with Israel more suspect than ever. The Israeli-Palestinian imbroglio has been allowed to fester for decades by a PA reluctant to resolve matters either directly with Israel or with the help of the US or the Quartet.
Following the recent murder on the Temple Mount of two Israeli policemen by Israeli Arabs who had smuggled lethal weapons into the al-Aqsa Mosque, Abbas chose to “freeze” relations with Israel rather than swiftly arrange tripartite consultations with Israel and the Waqf. In so doing, he acted in concert with the Arab League’s warnings about “red lines” and in unison with the incendiary declarations of the OIC’s current term chairman, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who ordered the “umma” worldwide not only to pray in Jerusalem, but to “protect” it.
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