Mr. President, can you explain something to me? You are being asked by the Arab League and Mr. Abbas to put pressure on Israel. Their current demand is for Israel to continue its moratorium on building in the disputed territory. This is in significant part because back in 2009 your first words on the Middle East were to tell us all including the Arab world that the settlements were the great impediment to peace negotiations. So, this is their current requirement to keep the PLO at the table of direct talks to discuss the possibility of seriously discussing peace.
Now here are some of the things that I do not understand.
(1) Israel had a moratorium for nine months before Mr. Abbas would even think about talking face to face … how would an additional small number of months make difference when the first nine months had no effect? Also, why is it only two months being asked for and not ten or twelve but only the number needed to get past the November elections?
(2) All these negotiations with Mr. Abbas. Who exactly does Mr. Abbas represent anyways? His term of office ended almost two years ago, so he is not the President of anything. He does not represent Gaza because that is Hamas Land. He does not even have the support of all of the West Bank. So, why do have to even consider negotiating with him when he can not deliver anything?
(3) You are being asked to put pressure on Israel, but what pressure are you placing on Mr. Abbas or the Arab League? What does Abbas have to do besides just coming to the table? Have you demanded that at least the Palestinian Authority acknowledge Israel’s right to exist? Have you demanded that as sign of good faith Gilad Shalit be freed? What real pressure are you putting on Abbas or the Arab League? What do they have to do to move peace discussions forward?
(4) The Arabs routinely have stated that all they want is to have the Israelis move out of the settlements of Tel Aviv and Haifa. The land the Arabs want for peace is 100% of Israel. So, Mr. President, what is it that Israel needs to compromise?
(5) The Palestinians teach their children that the only good Jew / Israeli is a dead one. It is on their TV and in their schools. Have you demanded that the PA changes the school curriculum to show Israel on the map? So, what are you asking Mr. Abbas to do?
We know what Israel must do to move peace forward, they must continue to put their security in jeopardy but what exactly must Mr. Abbas do to move peace forward in your opinion?