WIN Analysis: Abbas’s self-defeating rejectionism

The Palestinian political leadership is in a major crisis, largely due to its own intransigence. 

By: Mati Wagner, World Israel News

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s open hostility to the Trump administration — ostensibly a response to the US decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — has translated into a Palestinian boycott of all diplomatic ties with the White House.

As a result, when Trump’s envoys, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, were in the region to advance the US peace initiative, Abbas refused to meet them – a move that has set Abbas at odds with the leaders of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

According to a report this week in Israel Hayom, representatives from Cairo, Amman and Riyadh have been pressuring Abbas to at least listen to the US proposals. They reportedly tried to reason with the Palestinian leader, arguing that he cannot reject a plan without first seeing it. So far, Abbas has refused, risking his relations with these key Sunni nations.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority (PA), which Abbas heads, is facing a major financial crisis after the US Congress passed a law designed to stop the abhorrent Palestinian policy of incentivizing terrorism.

The Taylor Force Act, named after an American murdered by a Palestinian terrorist while visiting Israel, stops most US aid to the Palestinians as long as the PA continues to provide stipends to terrorists and their families.

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Once again, Palestinian rejectionism and intransigence are preventing an easy resolution. Instead of pledging to stop incentivizing terrorism, Abbas and the other leaders of the PA insist on maintaining their reprehensible policy.

Apparently, the octogenarian Abbas, whose health is failing, believes he will gain more sympathy from the Palestinian people by taking the route of rejectionism.

Perhaps. But then again, perhaps not.

Abbas lacks a democratic mandate. He was elected president for the first and only time in 2005 to a four-year term. Recent polls show a majority of Palestinians believe he should resign. It is not at all clear whom he represents.

His rejectionist tactics could easily backfire and cost him and his cronies the Palestinian leadership. Jared Kushner alluded to this possibility in an interview published Sunday with the Palestinian newspaper Al Quds.

“I don’t think the Palestinian people feel like their lives are getting better, and there is only so long you can blame that on everyone other than Palestinian leadership,” Kushner noted.

Will the Palestinian people living under the rule of the PA reach that conclusion?