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President Obama Reported to Demand Palestinians Resume Direct Negotiations

donsutherland1

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The Associated Press reported:

President Barack Obama warned Mahmoud Abbas in a letter that U.S.-Palestinian relations might suffer if the Palestinian leader refuses to resume direct peace talks with Israel, a senior PLO official said Saturday.

The White House had no comment Saturday. However, the Obama administration has been pushing Abbas hard in recent days to move quickly to face-to-face negotiations.


If, in fact, this story is accurate, it is a welcome development. A negotiated peace agreement can only be achieved through direct bilateral negotiations. Israel has repeatedly expressed its willingness and desire to launch immediate and unconditional direct talks. The Palestinian leadership has hesitated or worse, often demanding preconditions as an entrance price for even indirect talks.

With the Arab League having given its approval to direct negotiations, the Palestinian leadership has no remaining excuses for avoiding such talks. If the story is accurate, the U.S. may finally have reached the point where it won't accept additional Palestinian excuses for avoiding crucial direct negotiations.

Needless to say, given past Palestinian intransigence, it is entirely possible that Ramallah could counter with preconditions to test Washington's resolve. If so, the U.S. should respond firmly by imposing a penalty e.g., a reduction in non-humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Authority. Afterward, following the passage of a reasonable amount of time for the Palestinians to change course, should the Palestinian leadership continue to avoid the negotiating table, a downgrade in political relations should follow. Without following through should the Palestinians continue to avoid direct talks, the U.S. position expressed in the letter would lack credibility.
 

Apocalypse

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Finally Obama takes an actual action against the Palestinian's boycott on the peace talks.

That's a step in the right direction.
 

Demon of Light

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Of course Israel would want unconditional talks. They would have more to lose if they allowed conditions from the other side.
 

digsbe

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Of course Israel would want unconditional talks. They would have more to lose if they allowed conditions from the other side.
The Palestinians have been trying to hold peace talks hostage in order for Israel to bow down to their unreasonable demands. They can discuss their ideas and desires in direct negotiations with Israel. For the first time I think I can say I am proud of Obama and very pleased that he has said this.
 

justabubba

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like anything abbas agrees to is going to be found acceptable to the Palestinian people
please notice that the USA and israel have selected the party they want to represent the Palestinian interests
this insistence by Obama is just to give abbas cover to sell them out
 

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like anything abbas agrees to is going to be found acceptable to the Palestinian people
please notice that the USA and israel have selected the party they want to represent the Palestinian interests
this insistence by Obama is just to give abbas cover to sell them out
Yeah, "sell them out" by entering peace talks.

I've seen it all now.
 

justabubba

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Yeah, "sell them out" by entering peace talks.

I've seen it all now.
if that is so reasonable, let's turn the tables and have the Palestinians identify who must sit at the table representing israeli interests
 

American

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The Associated Press reported:

President Barack Obama warned Mahmoud Abbas in a letter that U.S.-Palestinian relations might suffer if the Palestinian leader refuses to resume direct peace talks with Israel, a senior PLO official said Saturday.

The White House had no comment Saturday. However, the Obama administration has been pushing Abbas hard in recent days to move quickly to face-to-face negotiations.


If, in fact, this story is accurate, it is a welcome development. A negotiated peace agreement can only be achieved through direct bilateral negotiations. Israel has repeatedly expressed its willingness and desire to launch immediate and unconditional direct talks. The Palestinian leadership has hesitated or worse, often demanding preconditions as an entrance price for even indirect talks.

With the Arab League having given its approval to direct negotiations, the Palestinian leadership has no remaining excuses for avoiding such talks. If the story is accurate, the U.S. may finally have reached the point where it won't accept additional Palestinian excuses for avoiding crucial direct negotiations.

Needless to say, given past Palestinian intransigence, it is entirely possible that Ramallah could counter with preconditions to test Washington's resolve. If so, the U.S. should respond firmly by imposing a penalty e.g., a reduction in non-humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Authority. Afterward, following the passage of a reasonable amount of time for the Palestinians to change course, should the Palestinian leadership continue to avoid the negotiating table, a downgrade in political relations should follow. Without following through should the Palestinians continue to avoid direct talks, the U.S. position expressed in the letter would lack credibility.
Yes it's the right thing to do, but I'm not confident given the worthlessness of the Camp David Accords. Everyone gets a Nobel Prize and smiles for the pretty pictures, before fighting resumes.
 
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