As expected, the John Kerry-sponsored talks between Israel and the Palestinians have fallen apart. There are many things to point at to explain why the talks didn’t work. But they all stem from the same issue unrecognized by the naive’ American Secretary of State, the Palestinians do not want to make peace. Oh they say all the right things in English but when they speak in Arabic they beat the drums of war.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) issued a report outlining the contrasting positions President Abbas depending on whether he is speaking to the Arab or Western world. For example take a look at the Jerusalem issue:
Speaking to an Israeli audience, ‘Abbas stressed that Jerusalem would not be divided but would have two municipalities with an appropriate coordinating body. To Palestinian audiences he spoke of [martyrdom] for Jerusalem and repeated a portion of Yasser Arafat’s militant slogan: “Millions of martyrs march towards Jerusalem.”
Speaking to the Palestinian audience, he said: “Occupied Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine, since without it there will be no solution. No one is authorized to sign [such an agreement].” He added: “Without East Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital there will be no peace between us and Israel. I heard that they object to mentioning Jerusalem in any negotiations or talks. They can say what they like… Jerusalem is not Abu Dis; Abu Dis is part of Jerusalem… We do not desire death but we will gladly welcome martyrdom if it comes. We march towards Jerusalem as millions of free heroes.”
In a March 6, 2013 meeting with Palestinian students in Ramallah, ‘Abbas said: “When we discuss the capital of Palestine we do not mean Abu Dis, Beit Hanina, or any other village around Jerusalem. We mean East Jerusalem – the capital of Palestine… Our capital is East Jerusalem that was occupied in 1967… Our principles [state that] East Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. There is nothing to prevent Jerusalem from remaining open, with coordination between both parts, but each side will know what is his.”
To the Israeli audience ‘Abbas said: “East Jerusalem was occupied in 1967 and we want it to be the capital of Palestine. We do not want Jerusalem divided again. [We want] an open Jerusalem. We will establish [a Palestinian] municipality here and an Israeli municipality there, with one coordinating body above them… This is the start of true coexistence between the two peoples.”
This is only one of the issues where Abbas speaks out of both sides of his mouth. I strongly urge you read the entire report by clicking here.