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As Abbas returns from US, critics say talks doomed to fail
Published Saturday 22/03/2014 (updated) 24/03/2014 10:01
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RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Upon returning to the West Bank Thursday after his latest visit to Washington, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas assured crowds he was holding fast to Palestinian ideals.

"It is impossible for the Palestinian leadership to abandon inalienable rights," Abbas told thousands gathered near his office in Ramallah.

"We traveled and came back still holding fast to our promise. Be assured that we will triumph. We will never breach the trust."

Analysts remain skeptical of the hopes for a lasting solution, however, nine months into the latest round of US-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

In a statement issued by the Institute for Middle East Understanding Monday, critics expressed pessimism over the chances for peace.

"Chances of success are as slim as predicted," said Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the Jerusalem Fund and the Palestine Center in Washington.

"The best Washington seems to be hoping for now is an extension of talks. This serves nothing more than the Israeli interest of continuing to occupy and colonize Palestinian territory," Munayyer said.

"The predictable failure is a product of an American policy that fails to hold Israel accountable and makes perpetual occupation a viable policy option in Israel. Until this changes, little else will."

Director of Palestinian think tank Al-Shabaka Nadia Hijab questioned Abbas' choice to participate in US-brokered peace talks while vowing not to make moves at the international level.

"As Mahmoud Abbas left his meeting with US president Barack Obama today, did he reflect on the lessons of seeking peace without power?" Hijab asked while Abbas was in Washington.

"Did he regret securing Palestine's upgraded status as a non-member observer state of the United Nations but then freezing its moves to join other UN organizations or the International Criminal Court in favor of yet more US-mediated negotiations that only result in increased pressure for Palestinian concessions?"


Sam Bahour, a Palestinian-American business consultant in Ramallah, warned observers against misunderstanding the US role in the peace talks.

"President Obama's meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House, which comes on the heels of a visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, may give the impression that the US is an even-handed mediator in this never-ending Middle East peace process," Bahour said.

"Such a reading would be a strategic misunderstanding. There is not an iota of symmetry between a military occupying power and a supposedly protected occupied people. When the US stops putting Israel's interests before its own and starts holding it accountable in proportion to the severity of its violations of international law, then maybe peace will have a chance."

Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians were relaunched in July under the auspices of the US after nearly three years of impasse.

Israel's government has announced the construction of thousands of settler housing units since the talks began, and its army has killed 60 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza since talks began.
1 ) Mel / USA
22/03/2014 20:52
LOL!The fact that Abbas still states that the doom/failure of the "peace talks" is PENDING,is hilarious!The"peace talks"in essense never existed,or failed,LONG AGO by Israel/Zionist design,contempt &sabotage.Any talks NEVER incld.MUTUAL,EQUITABLE peace anyway. Just a unilateral demand by Israel,that indigenous PALS cede MORE territory,rights,dignity,freedoms,defense & don the forearm/forehead serial # tattoo of subservience indefinately,&surrender the whole PIECE of Palestine,to be erased!

2 ) Two Reasons / Two Palestines
22/03/2014 21:04
The USA will never force Israel to surrender to PLO demands, and thus the Reasons that "Talks are doomed to fail" is Two-Fold: -1- Palestinians "holding fast to their ideals" of Destroying Israel, and -2- Israel Holding fast to Jewish ideals - Security & Survival. And, as a result of both, "Palestine Is Doomed" To Never Exist, as more than an Two Impoverish, Terrorist, Authorities !!

3 ) Dr. Osama Y. Husien / Palestine
23/03/2014 07:54
I tell u what? How about having a referendum on either: 1) joining Israel; 2) joining Jordan ; 3) or continue with these useless meetings and costly trips. I say let us start concentrating on jobs; schools and hospitals

4 ) @ Dr. Husien #3 / USA
23/03/2014 14:53
1/2- There is No Possibility at all, that either Israel, or Jordan, will ever support such "a joining referendum", due to their demographic concerns, so those two fantasies are clearly dead-ends before they start. 3- Useless "meetings and costly trips" are a waste of time, and 4- Israel has been saying the exact same thing for years, that the PLO/PA should "concentrate on jobs, schools, hospitals," infrastructure, and it may be possible to negotiate a peace and statehood agreement later !!!!

5 ) Mel / USA
23/03/2014 17:10
#2:"Security &Survival"?LOL!What robotic indoctrination!"Security"?From what? Home-made rockets from enclaved Gaza&slings&stones in W/B? All surrounded by IAF,IDF,INF hi-tech hot,bio/chem WEPS&ROGUE NUKES?Not to mention Israel's bomb-shelters,sirens,"Iron Dome" & creeping aprtheid "Iron Wall"? LOL! And "survival"? Against what?Ooo,the 4th Reich?Rommels Army in Ramallah?The civilian guerilla resistance in besieged Gaza,surviving on ghetto "diet"? Ooo,poor'victim'Israel! Boo-hoo! SUMUD Palestine!

6 ) Outliers / USA
23/03/2014 17:45
They are critics - what do people expect them to say?

7 ) @ Mel-5 / USA too
24/03/2014 03:53
- If the balance of power was different, the Arab armies would retry the invasions of 1948, 1967 & 1973, and - If the balance of power was different, the PLO, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc. militants would stop hiding behind women and children, and join the Arab invasions as they did before. - But the balance of power has remained unchanged for 50 years now, so - "Boo-hoo, Ooo, Poor, Victim", Palestinian Authority & Gaza, and - "SUMUD" The Jewish State Israel for the next 65 & 650 years !!!
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