Mahmoud Abbas continued his long tradition of lying when India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited him in Ramallah on Saturday.
Abbas said, “We never have and never will reject negotiations,” which is an clear and obvious lie.
Abbas then explained that his definition of “negotiations” is very narrow:
“We have been ready for [negotiations,] and the formation of a multilateral mechanism emanating from multiple states is the best way to sponsor these negotiations. It is in this context that we count on India’s role as an international force of great stature and weight to contribute to a just and desirable peace in our region, which has an impact on global peace and security,” Abbas continued.
Abbas is saying that, as long as the outcome of negotiations can be determined ahead of time by including lots of players who he perceives as anti-Israel and not including the US, then “negotiations” are fine.
Modi, diplomatically, wanted nothing to do with Abbas’ doubletalk.
“We hope for peace and stability in Palestine, we believe a permanent solution is possible with dialogue. Only diplomacy and far-sightedness can set free from violence and baggage of the past. We know it is not easy but we need to keep trying as a lot is at stake,” Modi said.
Abbas is saying that he is against dialogue with Israel and wants to use the international community to force Israel to give up everything while the Palestinians give up nothing. Modi pointedly used the word “dialogue,” by definition direct negotiations with Israel, that Abbas rejects.
The media does not seem to have picked up on this nuance, but the difference between Abbas’ insistence on his idea of “negotiations” and Modi’s insistence on “dialogue” shows that Modi is not buying what Abbas is trying to sell.
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