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September 26, 2016 2:48 pm

Saudi Paper: Palestinian Authority President Should Weigh Accepting Israeli Prime Minister’s Invitation to Address Knesset

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: Twitter.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: Twitter.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas should seriously weigh accepting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s invitation to address the Knesset, a Saudi newspaper said on Sunday.

The process that led to the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty proved that “negotiations with Israel were possible and that progress could be made through sustained efforts at communication and cooperation,” the editorial board of the English-language Saudi Gazette wrote.

Netanyahu issued the invitation to Abbas during his UN General Assembly speech on Thursday. The invitation was hastily rebuffed by the PA, which called it a “new gimmick.”

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The Israeli prime minister also said he was willing to travel to Ramallah to speak to the Palestinian parliament.

“Wouldn’t it be better if instead of speaking past each other, we were speaking to one another?” Netanyahu asked.

It has been widely reported that Israel has been strengthening its ties in recent years with the Sunni-Arab axis in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia. In his UN speech, Netanyahu said many countries in the region “recognize that Israel is not their enemy. They recognize that Israel is their ally. Our common enemies are Iran and ISIS. Our common goals are security, prosperity and peace. I believe that in the years ahead, we will work together to achieve these goals.”

As a possible confirmation of Israel’s burgeoning relations with former regional foes, the Kuwaiti United Nations delegation — for the first time in history — did not walk out of the hall during Netanyahu’s General Assembly speech this year.

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  • henrytobias

    If Abbas had any sense, he’d take up the offer and then the ball is in Israel’s court. At his age he has nothing to lose. But that would mean he recognizes Israel as the Jewish State and his people, or most of them, don’t want him to do that. They want to go back to before the Balfour Declaration – to abject poverty, whereas working with Israel they would become one of the most advanced Arab countries.

  • watsa46

    Abbas will switch to Iran to become the lackey of Iran!

  • It’s more likely Mr. Abbas would meet PM Netanyahu at the Kremlin than Ramallah. Using a late 1970’s template would not work in 2016 because the geopolitical situation changed. Russia currently has more influence in the Middle East, where the U.S. is no longer a major player. Look for more initiatives coming from Moscow, not Washington.

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