Abbas to Obama: No ‘Peace’ Without 26 Freed Terrorists

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel. 


2121664613One wonders if, during his meeting with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas at the White House on Monday (reports here and here), President Obama ever felt he was being subjected to a shakedown. In front of the press, Abbas expressed his concern about Israel’s freeing of a fourth and last batch of 26 convicted Palestinian terrorists on the scheduled date, March 29, saying this would “give a very solid impression about the seriousness of the Israelis on the peace process.”

This latest “process,” which began for a nine-month period last July, is due to end—unless extended—in April. To put it mildly, it would not go over well in Israel, and certainly not in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition, if the prisoners were freed carte blanche, without even the talks’ continuation as a supposed recompense.

Abbas, of course, is under pressure from home to get the 26 sprung from jail. He is not under pressure to “make peace” with Israel, a Western concept foreign to the Palestinian population, which has been fed—under Abbas’s tutelage—a diet of pure hatred and delegitimization of Israel. 

Abbas further pursued the shakedown effort by claiming the Palestinians had already recognized Israel in 1988 and 1993. It was an attempt to evade Israel’s demand for recognition as a Jewish state. It was also untrue.

As noted by Alan Baker, a former legal adviser to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the supposed 1988 recognition of Israel as a Jewish state by Yasser Arafat, Abbas’s predecessor, was rejected as totally inadequate by the U.S. at the time. As for 1993, at that time Arafat purportedly recognized Israel’s “right to exist”—but with no mention of its Jewish character.

That ongoing evasion has a simple basis: acknowledging Israel as a Jewish state would—albeit only semantically—entail an end to demands to flood it with “refugees.” It is something Abbas is adamantly unwilling to do—not even to promote that other supreme value of getting the convicted terrorists released.

It sounds, in other words, like a deadlock—as just about everyone knowledgeable in these matters predicted back when this latest “process” was getting underway.

Obama, for his part, praised Abbas as “someone who has renounced violence” and did not subject him to any of the belligerent criticism to which he subjected Netanyahu as he made his way to the White House two weeks ago.

Again, some things are predictable; no one expected the “violence-renouncing” Abbas, who earlier this month sent a wreath to honor a suicide bomber who in 2002 killed eight people by blowing himself up on an Israeli bus, to catch any of the special antagonism Obama reserves for the Israeli leader.

A note of realism did seem to creep in when Obama called peace an “elusive goal” and said, “It’s very hard. It’s very challenging. We’re going to have to take some tough political decisions and risks if we’re able to move it forward.”

A few days earlier Israel’s straight-talking defense minister, Moshe Yaalon, put it bluntly and—to his credit—undiplomatically when he said:

Unfortunately, an agreement will not happen in my generation…. Abbas is a partner who takes, not a partner who gives. He is not a partner for a permanent peace agreement that includes recognition of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people. He just takes back prisoners….

In other words, what is known as a shakedown. The next couple of weeks should tell which of two unpalatable possibilities faces Israel: the shakedown continues; or it ends, with the Palestinian Authority turning to the UN to wage diplomatic war against Israel, and Israel hardly assured of U.S. support.

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  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    Israel should tell abbas to FOAD.

  • truebearing

    Abbas shuns violence, but apparently likes those who don’t to be free to kill again. This is a monumental waste of time. Israel needs to put these murdering terrorists to death after convicted so that they can’t be used as bargaining chips.

  • JVictor

    The Palestinian leader is a classic example of an antagonist. Antagonists make promises, that they never intend to keep, based upon the demands they make on others. When they move their goal lines and others call them on it, they claim that it isn’t their fault and they cry about the other party being in constant conflict with them. Conflict can be good as it helps individuals, groups, companies, nations, move forward when it is resolved on both sides. Antagonists never seek resolution. (Remember when Arafat was given everything he asked for and he turned it down?) They seek the encounter. They thrive on discord. The more that reasonable parties negotiate with antagonists, the greater the frustration level for the reasonable parties and the greater the joy for the antagonists. The only way to deal with antagonists is to isolate them. The time is long past due for sanctions and restrictions for anyone (John Kerry, Barack Obama, et. al.), any group (Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, BDS supporting morons), and any nation (including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and all the rest who have language in their charters calling for the destruction of Israel and the annihilation of all the Jews). But, then, that would take real leadership and a large dose of chutzpah. Where have all the leaders gone?

  • Sheik Yerbouti

    Yes, because letting cutthroats loose is surely the secret to peace. In their view I guess peace means total capitulation. Personally I think all this “we owned the land first” talk is useless in the 21st century. If you can’t defend your plot of land, you will lose it. Why is that fact supposed to be different for some but not others?

  • The March Hare

    Is Israel in need of US money so bad they have to submit to this charade? What would be required for Israel to just say to the US and the world that the Palestinians have no intention of peace and it is a big waste of time and money. Talk about Kabuki theater. I know, I am politically naive about the situation, but it is beyond disgusting people should have to be put through hoops for the sake of supposed “peace brokers” who really know better, but pretend for some leftist viewpoint.

    • dartson

      No, it’s not about US money. Israel needs the US support on the international stage, the US veto in the Security Council in the case Palestinians decide to declare a Palestinian state in 1967 borders. Unfortunately, the Israeli leaders lack the political will and courage to take any drastic steps to resolve the situation (e.g. transfer or Caroline Glick’s one state solution), so they just play along with Obama/Kerry, knowing that Palestinians will eventually reject any compromise and negotiations will fail, but not before all terrorists are released from jail as a “gesture of goodwill”.

  • nopeacenow

    Whether or not Israel frees the last 26 terrorists there will not be peace. Even now Abbas is talking about only extending the negotiations with a building freeze on settlements. The Palestinians do not negotiate. They make demands. Israel is negotiating with the Americans who have taken the place of the Palestinians. Those Americans (Obama and Kerry) drive a hard bargain. They keep moving the goalposts. First they call for recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people and then they say it is not necessary. Palestinian demands are the same as they were 20 years ago. They have made no concessions for peace and don’t intend to do so as they have stated many times. No more Israeli concessions just to bring the Palestinians to the negotiating table. If they want their state they are going to have to prove it.

  • Harry_the_Horrible

    Israel has not gotten “peace” by releasing any other Arab terrorists. Say “Hell, No,” and “If one more rocket, is launched from the West Bank we’ll cut you off from power and water, wall up the gates between the West Bank and Israel.”

    • kikorikid

      Hey Harry,
      Recently the IDF Minister of Defense said that the
      next time they have to go into Gaza it will be “Total War”.
      This sounds promising.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        Some times total war is the only path to total peace.

  • Habbgun

    Maybe Egypt and Saudi Arabia can take in the Hamas prisoners. They seem to have a plan for them.

    • kikorikid

      and I’ve got a Guard Fox to rent to help you
      keep your henhouse secure.
      Hamas is the “Armed” arm of the Muslim Brotherhood
      as you well know. Of course the MB would take them.
      But, only so long as it takes to re-arm them to continue
      Jihad. Luv to buy you lunch, meet me at Bubbas BBQ.
      But, also, The Muslim Brotherhood is having big problems
      in Egypt. Is this what you meant? Give Hamas to
      the Egyptian military? OK, that’s good!

      • Habbgun

        Yes. I mean give them to the Egyptian military and maybe the Saudi secret service. Sad as it is the MB has more to fear from other Moslems than the Israelis and even less from their ally the Obama admin.

        • Madame_deFarge

          It’s always a good day when they’re killing each other rather than Jews, Christians or even Pagans.

        • kikorikid

          I’m with you, disregard my verbage.

    • Drakken

      The only good jihadist, is a dead jihadist, preferably hanging in plain sight as a example to the rest of the inbred savages and don’t let the muslims bury them, let the buzzards eat well.

  • tagalog

    Abbas says “no peace” unless the U.S. helps pressure Israel to release Palestinian prisoners? Isn’t that Israel’s business?

    You know, Obama’s pretty much of a dud in most arenas, but when push comes to shove, he can wage war (at least the limited kind). He doesn’t seem to mind killing much if he can make hay out of it. America’s been kind of a paper tiger, but we still have a world-class war machine holding over from the Bush years.

    Maybe Abbas should mind his tongue. Hopefully our next President will make that need clear to Abbas and a few other world thugs.

  • Headed4TheHills

    Said he wants the prisons freed. Didn’t say in what condition.
    In a body bag but out of prison is free, sort of…

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Shoot them all, deliver them to Abbas, then shoot Abbas in the head while feeding the video live.

      Then you’ll be taking an affirmative step towards peace.

  • Rick Zee

    Mr. Mahmoud Abbas is a retired employee of the Palestinian Authority; having been elected President for a term 15 Jan 2005 until 9 Jan 2009.

    Abbas realized that in any subsequent election he’d be tossed out on his posterior, and Hamas would win. Hamas threw Abbas’ hommies (the PLO) out of Gaza, and would do the same on the West Bank, if given the opportunity.

    So, the West Bank is ruled/governed by Abbas, someone whose term expired more than 5 years ago. What authority, other than rule of force, does he have to negotiate? What will stop any subsequent administration (he’ll be 79 next week) from turning their back on talks held by a guy who had no mandate to represent the Palestinians ?

    Abbas maintains his grip by digging in his heels, giving NOTHING, and petulantly demanding MORE ! Peace is the furthest thing from his mind.

  • Gee

    Peace with terrorists? The only way there will ever be peace is after they are forced to change at the end of a bayonet

    • kikorikid

      incomplete sentence
      “at the end of a bayonet as it is withdrawn”
      Is that better?
      MOLON LABE

    • Drakken

      I will do you one better, you want to negotiate with the PLO ? Wipe them out to the last man. As for those 26 jihadist? Hang them in plain site to the savages as to your response to demands to release them.

  • logdon

    ‘We’re going to have to take some tough political decisions and risks’

    We? As in who exactly?

  • danshanteal

    Isn’t it time for Bibi to push the bombing button.

  • Bonnie Johnson

    what is really strange is that people still freak out about Hitler & the Germans and the holocaust yet no one seems to be concerned about the Muslim threat to world peace?

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Political correctness. You have to use only the published list of demonized movements. Guess who compiles that list? Our enemies.

  • Bonnie Johnson

    I wonder what the world would say if there were some murdering KKK members that were gonna be released? WOW obammy really loves to help the murders even more, how many times has he had these terrorist released? then he brings in as many of them to the states in his war on our suburbs

  • herb benty

    The PLO( the Palestinians real name) are a little short of front line terrorists right now. And the next generation are still children.

  • nopeacenow

    Whether or not Israel releases 26 prisoners there will be no peace and no peace agreement. The release of the prisoners was just a bribe to get Abbas to the negotiations. It didn’t mean he had to listen to the Israelis or make peace with them. Since there is no progress in the talks and doesn’t look like there will be Israel is within its rights to deny the release of the last group of prisoners/terrorists. Seventy-eight prisons were released by Israel for the Palestinians to go through the motions of negotiating. They never negotiate. They make demands.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Mahmoud Abbas is an old non-violent stealth and deceptive jihadists that has been duping American Presidents for decades now. Nevertheless, there is no way that Israel can ever make peace with the so-called Palestinians or with the much larger Islamic totalitarian world alone, as besides the jihad the Islamic totalitarian world is waging through their proxies the so-called Palestinians against the Israeli infidels to ultimately make Islam supreme in Israel and to render the Israeli infidels into harsh and degrading dhimmitude, the Islamic totalitarian world is also waging jihad against all religions and all infidels throughout the world to ultimately make Islam supreme. Thus, for there to ever be peace in Israel or anywhere else, for that matter, would require a comprehensive solution that would involve the entire collective infidel world banning together to destroy Islam as a force. Otherwise there will forever always be jihad waged by the Islamic totalitarian world against Israeli infidels and, indeed, all infidels throughout the world perpetually.

    • Popeye55

      As we did when we brought down the Ottoman empire maybe.

      • ObamaYoMoma

        We brought down an empire, but we didn’t destroy Islam.

  • canninrm

    married into a mid-eastern family for 45+ years now has taught me one thing that never falters. They lie before you and behind your back.

  • sc

    well i think that Israel should free those terrorist just after they paint them with a bit of pigs blood and the shoot the rats in the forehead with a 9mm, it would pervert them from every killing any one again and maybe cause a few of the live ones to have second thoughts about going to see allah.