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May 1, 2014 1:26 am

Mahmoud Abbas Gives the World a Moment of Clarity

avatar by Ronald S. Lauder

Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: World Economic Forum.

Like many people around the world, I was dismayed when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas embraced Hamas last week. This was one of those moments when people realize what’s really happening, and there is no question about it: Abbas has thrown in his lot with an organization whose main purpose is to destroy Israel.

Many people have been critical of Israel and the peace process, but Abbas’ decision to forge a unity agreement with the terrorist regime in Gaza produced a moment of clarity.

I met with Mahmoud Abbas two years ago, and he seemed sincere about making peace with Israel. But now, he has sent an entirely different signal and put the peace talks, which are so crucial for his people, into jeopardy.

Abbas complains that he does not have a peace partner in Israel, but even he knows that is not true. He did what he did in order to stop the process without appearing to want to stop the process.

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Even though the onus is on Abbas’ rejectionism, it is important how Israel moves forward from the situation. Israel must handle this issue delicately. It should impress upon the world what Hamas stands for and express its disappointment.

Abbas’ move seems to send the message to the world that the Palestinians don’t want a negotiated peace, because Hamas does not want negotiations with Israel; it wants to destroy the Jewish State.

Abbas now bets on winning statehood through the UN. He wants it handed on a platter.

This desperate strategy is doomed to end in failure.

Ronald S. Lauder is president of the World Jewish Congress. This article first appeared on his blog at

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