Indyk: Abbas Is Uninterested in Negotiations


martin-indykFormer U.S. envoy Martin Indyk – special envoy during the 10 months of Israeli-Palestinian talks led by Secretary of State John Kerry in 2013-2014 – said this past week that PA leader Mahmoud Abbas is uninterested in negotiations. He told a Council on Foreign Relations panel discussion in New York, “What we discovered during the 10 months of the negotiations is that the parties really didn’t want to be there, and were further away at the end of the negotiations than at the beginning.”

Indyk said that Abbas – having not held an election since 2005 – very strongly feels a lack of legitimacy, and that he does not have a mandate from the Palestinian people for the compromises that would be involved in any negotiated deal. “So he is paralyzed by that.”

This being the case, the internationalization of the conflict suits Abbas just fine. Rather than talks, which would at some point necessitate compromise, he prefers to isolate Israel, go to the international organizations and let them do the work.