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Abbas' speech warning siren for Israel

The UN General Assembly speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reflects first and foremost the Palestinians' despair of any hope for peace with the current Israeli leadership.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is escorted to the podium for his address to the 69th United Nations General Assembly at United Nations Headquarters in New York, September 26, 2014.  REUTERS/Mike Segar   (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR47UJL
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The Sept. 26 speech delivered by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the UN General Assembly was harsh, annoying and even depressing. Most worrying of all, however, the Palestinian leader, who was present at the birth of the Oslo Accord in 1993, appears to have decided to break all the rules. The assertion that “we will not forget, and we will not forgive,” which he proclaimed in the context of Israel’s activities in Gaza, was the warning siren for an impending earthquake.

Abbas is no political novice. One could assume he knew that accusing Israel of genocide would be gratifying to the ears of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who did indeed describe the speech as “inciteful.” It stands to reason that the Palestinian leader knew his speech would provide fodder for Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who was quick to declare the entire Palestinian leadership “recalcitrant.” The veteran Palestinian statesman was also surely not surprised by the public rebuke of the US State Department, whose spokeswoman said the speech did not contribute to advancing the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. The main problem — and this should be the first and foremost concern of every Israeli and anyone else who cherishes Israel's character as a Jewish and democratic state — is that the Palestinian leader does not really care what the leaders in Jerusalem say and what the US administration thinks of him.

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