Who cares if Abu Mazen doesn't return to Tzfat?moderate' 'Palestinian' President
In an interview with Israeli television last Thursday, Abu Mazen did something that would have been really gutsy but for the fact that he has immediately walked it back. Abu Mazen told an Israeli interviewer that he did not want to return to Tzfat, opening the possibility that other 'refugees' (most of whom never lived in Israel) would not 'return' either from their 'refugee camp' prisons.
Abu Mazen's comments provoked outrage - part of which is his own fault because during the time that he has been the 'Palestinian leader' he has never prepared his 'people' for a settlement that would not include vitiating the Jewish states. And so, whether he meant it or not, he is now telling everyone that he didn't mean it.
He is being accused of “giving up the right of return” for millions of Palestinian refugees and some of his political rivals have gone as far as calling for his execution for “high treason.”
What surprised Abbas was the fact that the strong condemnations were not only from Hamas and radical Palestinian groups, but also from ordinary Palestinians, including some of his political allies in the PLO.If he was surprised, he should not have been. That's always been the 'Palestinians' position, and that's one reason why they never reached an agreement with Barak at Camp David or Taba, or with Olmert at Annapolis. It's always been a zero sum game with them.
I don't believe he was surprised. I believe it was a slip of the tongue.
But what it shows more than anything else is that the 'Palestinians' are not ready for compromise.
Judging from his response, one is left with the impression that Abbas regrets having ever given an interview to an Israeli media outlet.
His spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, tried to explain that the interview with Channel 2 was mainly intended to “affect Israeli public opinion.”
In other words, the spokesman is telling Palestinians and Arabs that Abbas is telling Israelis what they like to hear – namely that Palestinian refugees would not return to their former homes inside Israel.Well, isn't that just so reassuring?
What's curious is that I did a little searching on the web and didn't find a whole lot of reaction from Arab states. Sure, there was a reference in Al-Ahram to 'occupied Galilee,' but I suspect that other than the countries that immediately surround us and house 'Palestinian' refugees, the non-Islamist Arab countries (like Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries) have tired of the issue.