Israel is abuzz this morning with discussion about a scathing interview that Mahmoud Abbas has just given to Newsweek magazine. In that interview, Abbas attacks George Mitchell for not delivering messages to Israeli negotiators, and Clinton for her apparent disregard for Hosni Mubarak. But it is for President Obama that Abbas reserves the greatest condemnation.
Why? For many reason, but mainly because according to Abbas, it was Obama who led the Palestinians down the road of demanding a total ‘settlement’ freeze–something they had never demanded before as a precondition to negotiations: “It was Obama who suggested a full settlement freeze. I said O.K., I accept. We both went up the tree. After that, he came down with a ladder, and he removed the ladder and said to me, ‘jump.’ Three times, he did it.”
1. The fact that Abbas would give such an interview is indicative of how far the Palestinian leadership has moved away from the Obama Administration and is looking for succor elsewhere–mainly in Europe.
2. The picture Abbas paints of Obama Administration foreign policy is one that reeks of rank amateurism.
3. Regardless of what picture Abbas paints of Obama and his minions, it also reveals the Palestinian leadership once again unwilling to take responsibility for their own actions and failures. As always, they relish in portraying themselves as the victims.
4. If Abbas’ version of events is correct, the amount of time wasted by Obama’s insistence on a settlement freeze is staggering. Perhaps Israel and the Palestinians could have already reached an agreement. And think of what Obama’s insistence has cost Israel in terms of worldwide condemnation and isolation. Absolutely ridiculous.