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Mahmous Abbas

  • Goodbye boycott: The cost of Kerry's 'breakthrough,' part 2

    The tactic of punishing Israel for the occupation was finally beginning to take a psychological toll - then the U.S. secretary of state rode to the rescue. The Palestinian Authority was planning to go to the UN in September, in line with the 20th anniversary of the failed Oslo Accords, and begin the process of taking Israel to The Hague over the occupation. Israel was scared, with good reason. But now that fear has lifted. Assuming that the preliminary Israeli-Palestinian talks in Washington lead to full-blown peace negotiations, which is a safe assumption – the Palestinians aren’t going to walk…

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  • Give the Palestinians a break, Kerry, and stay home

    The U.S. secretary of state is pressuring the Palestinians to give up the one lever of power they have against the occupation.   My fear is that Kerry will make good on his promise this week to return soon to Jerusalem and Ramallah, and that he will cajole Abbas into agreeing to talk “peace” with Netanyahu, on pain of being blamed for wasting the American secretary of state’s time and making him look foolish and impotent. Such an agreement would be a terrible setback for the Palestinians because not only wouldn’t they get anywhere with Netanyahu, but they would be…

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  • On a cold night in J'lem, Bibi and Abbas finally break the ice

    It’s a chilly night on Gaza St. in Jerusalem, and Binyamin Netanyahu is covered by a thick TV blanket in his Lay-Z-Boy, feet up, watching reruns of M-A-S-H. He loves Klinger. Holding a cup of Swiss Miss (with marshmallows), he feels lonely. Sara is in the States for some stupid psychologist convention on controlling child tantrums. He wished her a good trip before she left, but deep inside he hopes she doesn’t talk too much. Fiddling with his mug, he glances at the phone on the table next to him. Should he call? It could be a good opportunity... especially…

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  • Boycotting oneself: Washington, Jerusalem on dead end road

    America's war on the world continues: After threatening to cut funds from the United Nations if the organization promotes the Palestinian delegation's status, the State Department decided to freeze its support for the Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization of the United Nation (UNESCO) because the latter defied Washington's order and accepted Palestine as a member state. Israel has added a threat of its own – to completely withdraw from UNESCO. In recent years Israel took pride in the fact that UNESCO recognized World Heritage Sites within its borders – Tel Aviv's white city being one of the latest additions –…

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  • Associated Press bungles fact-check of Abbas' speech

    AP tries to fact-check Abbas' speech at the UN, and ends up accusing him of insufficient adherence to Israeli talking points, while making a series of embarrassing factual errors itself Generally, I sympathize with those who ask: "Shouldn’t all stories be ‘fact-check’ stories?" Still, as a frequent reader of Israeli journalism, I should be thankful for small favors, and appreciate the genre's existence in English-language media. But the only thing worse than not checking the facts, is presuming to do so, while being in error oneself. That is what happened to the Associated Press when it tried to fact-check Mahmoud…

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  • Palestinian activist: Why I'm not celebrating statehood

    For the last two months the press has staunchly defended the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders. Yet, for many Palestinians refugees - who make up 70% of Palestinians worldwide - and activists on the ground, this state does not represent us. by Diana Alzeer He looks at me, shaking his dirty-blonde hair, and with a mocking tone says: “Come on, Diana, why aren’t you celebrating? I hate to see you sad." He is an American journalist,  a friend of mine who is here in Ramallah shooting photos of the festive crowd celebrating the Palestinian Authority United Nations bid to…

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  • Erekat on unity: respect our democracy

    Abu Mazen: Like it or not, Hamas is part of Palestinian people. Ramallah - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared today that the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas shouldn't stand in the way of future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. In a meeting with representatives of "Israel Initiatives," a group of businessmen and veteran security officials who advocate a solution based on the Arab League Peace Initiative, Abbas said, "I am ready to talk. If Prime Minister Netanyahu calls me tomorrow, I will talk to him." The reason for the breakdown of negotiations, Abbas said, is Israel's refusal to…

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