Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday to accept a French initiative to revive peace talks between the two parties, Breitbart reported. Speaking to a delegation from Israel’s left-wing Meretz party in Ramallah, Abbas warned that not doing so would bring the Islamic State (ISIS) to Israel.
“If we don’t revive the peace process, the violence and radicalism from Syria will come here,” Abbas said. “The Islamic State and the Al-Nusra Front will reach Israel and the West Bank.”
Abbas acknowledged that Palestinian education is replete with messages inciting hatred of Israel and Jews. “Yes, there is incitement in our textbooks and on television.”
This problem, however, is surmountable. “Let’s solve the problem and revive the incitement commission that was agreed upon [between Israel and the PA] 16 years ago.”
“The commission [which is chaired by the United States] will determine what needs to be corrected,” Abbas said.
Abbas asked Netanyahu to ignore all that and return to the negotiating table anyway. Hypocritically, he urged Netanyahu to forego any preconditions.
“Let’s leave everything in the past and let’s meet,” Abbas continued. “When two sides are invited to a meeting, one cannot present preconditions. It’s the international community that should determine what is right and what isn’t.”
He later added, “Put it all to the side and let’s negotiate. We aren’t far apart [physically] and we cooperate on a daily basis. Don’t push us to the wall. We will all lose.”
While Abbas would not explain why the PA refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, he had harsh words for the expansion of settlements in Judea and Samaria, the Biblical heartland of Israel.
“The Israeli government is building settlements on Palestinian land,” Abbas said. “We will not agree to a situation whereby a new settlement and a new checkpoint are cropping up all the time.
“The entire world is against settlements. This is the position taken by the Americans and the Europeans. There have been 12 Security Council resolutions against settlements. Stop them,” he continued.
While Netanyahu has opposed the proposed peace conference in Paris, telling French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault the only way forward is direct negotiations, Abbas praised the plan.
“The French plan is a good one since we want the international community to take responsibility for this endless conflict,” Abbas said. “We want the whole word by our side. We are one of the last remaining nations that suffer under military occupation. How much longer will this go on? How much longer will the world permit one people to control another?”
Meretz is the only non-Arab party to publicly support the French proposal.