Shimon Peres & Ehud Barak: Reaching Peace With Abbas’ PA Impossible
July 7, 2008


Israeli President Shimon Peres, architect of the Oslo process and the concessionary policy of successive Israeli governments since 1993, and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, both of whom embraced and applauded Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas as moderates, have conceded that there is no chance of peace with Palestinian Authority (PA) regime presided over by Mahmoud Abbas, prime minister Salaam Fayyad and the PA. President Peres’ remarks were not delivered openly to the media but were made at a dinner party with the Jordanian and French ambassadors held at the home of Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Tel Aviv on Saturday.


Reports state that that at the end of the meal, an argument erupted between the Jordanian envoy, Ali Ayed, and a well-known but unidentified attorney, described as “dovish,” who said Israel had no chance of reaching an agreement with Abbas’ PA. Barak supported this assessment and Mr. Peres then intervened, “surprising the participants by joining the attorney’s prediction. ‘It would be very hard to reach an agreement,’ Peres said, due to the Hamas-Fatah split. He said Abbas had no support among his people, no power to carry out security agreements and that any agreement Israel and the PA made crumbled a day later due to the PA’s weakness. Therefore there is no chance of agreement” (Yossi Verter, ‘Peres: No chance of peace with Palestinians,’ Haaretz, July 4, 2008).


Mr. Peres reportedly made a subsequent call to Abbas to deny that he had made these statements and that he had not changed his position of support for the peace process. (‘President Receives Phone Call from Israeli President,’ WAFA Palestine news Agency, July 6, 2008).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Shimon Peres’ remarks at the dinner party in Tel Aviv confirm what many have long suspected: that even some of the pioneers of the Oslo process understand today that it was a mistake that has not and cannot lead to peace. It is perplexing as to why they continue to go through the motions of supporting a hopeless diplomatic process with Mahmoud Abbas and the PA.


“We strongly urge Prime Minister Olmert to finally acknowledge the truth as Peres and Barak have, stating that peace with Abbas is impossible, not only because he lacks the ability to do it, but because he is unwilling to do it – as evidenced by the facts that he hasn’t changed the Fatah Constitution, calling for Israel’s destruction and terrorism, hasn’t arrested terrorists and hasn’t ended incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds terror. We strongly urge AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, and other Jewish organizations to publicly and finally acknowledge and make decisions based upon the fact that Abbas, Fayyad and the PA have no interest in peace with the Jewish state, only an interest to end the existence of the Jewish state.


“Mr. Peres subsequently denied that he had said any of this but it is noteworthy that he did not say that he believed that continuing negotiations with Abbas would actually lead to peace.


“Just as many Israeli officials have acknowledged that the 2005 Sharon-Olmert Gaza withdrawal was a disastrous and tragic mistake, it is high time to acknowledge that Oslo, the Roadmap and negotiations with Abbas have also been tragic mistakes that must come to an end immediately. Israel must insist that there be no negotiations and concessions until and unless the PA fulfill all terms of the 15 year old Oslo agreements.”

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