Israeli skepticism of Abbas is justified

Reporter Joshua Mitnick's interesting dispatch ahead of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas meeting with President Donald Trump correctly noted Israeli skepticism towards Mr. Abbas as a "partner for peace." However, Mr. Mitnick fails to detail why this is so ("Abbas upbeat ahead of first meeting with Trump," May 3).

Palestinian leaders have rejected numerous U.S. and Israeli offers for a "two-state solution" in exchange for peace with and recognition of the Jewish state. More recently, the Palestinian Authority has refused such opportunities in 2000 at Camp David, 2001 at Taba and 2008 after the Annapolis Conference. In the latter instance, Israel offered unprecedented concessions, including nearly all of the West Bank and the opportunity for a Palestinian state with its capital in eastern Jerusalem. President Abbas, in his words, rejected it "out of hand" and failed to so much as make a counter offer.

Instead, the Palestinian Authority has — contravening the terms of the Oslo accords under which it was established — continued to incite anti-Jewish violence, pay salaries to terrorists and refuse to resolve outstanding issues in bilateral negotiations. When Mr. Abbas, in a Sept. 16, 2015 speech that preceded 18 months of Palestinian terror attacks, exhorted on official Palestinian media: "We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem," the Palestinian people were listening. So were many horrified Israelis whose skepticism is far more understandable when pertinent details aren't omitted.

Sean Durns, Silver Spring

The writer is a senior research analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America

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