Comment to the Manama summit: Naysayer Abbas

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Comment to the Manama summit

The plan of US Special Envoy Jared Kushner may be half-baked. By denying him rigorously, Abbas lets his people suffer.

A man with a Palestinian flag holds up a photo of Arafat and Abbas

Abbas could do something for his people – if he wanted to Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman

One would think that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' $ 50 billion offer is not that bad for new roads, hospitals, schools, electricity, water and job creation. Especially not when the budget has a growing deficit, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is facing bankruptcy, and more and more parts of the people are in dire straits. But Abbas is the price for it too high.

What does he have to do? Renounce Palestine? Agree to the continued existence of Israeli settlements or abandon the dream of Jerusalem as the capital and the return of the refugees? Nothing like that. For the time being, there is nothing to be desired but to give peace a chance, even if the hated US President Donald Trump wants to be the leader in the negotiations.

Abbas has good reason to distrust Trump. That the US President recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was anything but diplomatic. But anyone who listens closely knows that Trump has never spoken of the whole city. The option that East Jerusalem will one day become the capital of the future Palestinian state remained untouched by its decision. However, the Palestinian president did not seem to want to know that exactly. The main thing is that he defends Palestine and the dignity of the Palestinians. He is a man of principles. But he makes his people suffer because he has no scruples.

The plan of US Special Envoy Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt may be half-baked. Those who pay the trillions do not answer the two as well as the question of exactly where the Palestinians should build industrial plants or develop tourism. But that is not the problem of Abbas. Trump and his experts have to worry about that. What Abbas could do for Palestine is to settle the quarrel with Hamas. Starving the Gaza Strip does not seem to work.

From his power, the naysayers in Ramallah and the Islamists of Hamas, who once voted the people the strongest political faction, would have to compromise. That's all.

(tagToTranslate) Mahmoud Abbas (t) Hamas (t) Gaza (t) Fatah (t) Jared Kushner (t) President Trump (t) Middle East Conflict (t) Middle East (t) Politics (t) Focus (t) taz (t) daily

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