Obama Warns Abbas to Make Something Happen


abbasPresident Barack Obama has warned Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas that failure to resume direct peace talks with Israel could undermine US-Palestinian ties, Palestinian officials said today. Obama made the warning in a letter to Abbas but also pledged to rally Arab, European and Russian support for the Palestinians if direct negotiations resume, a Palestinian official told AFP speaking on condition of anonymity.

“In the letter, President Barack Obama warned president Mahmoud Abbas that his refusal to enter into direct negotiations with Israel next month will have consequences for American-Palestinian relations,” the official said.

The 16-point letter had a “carrot-and-stick approach,” he added.

Obama stressed “it is high time to resume direct negotiations with Israel” and told Abbas that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “is ready to resume direct negotiations.”

The letter warned that “Obama will absolutely not accept the rejection of his recommendation to move to direct negotiations and that there will be consequences for such a rejection in the form of a lack of trust in President Abbas and the Palestinian side,” the official said.

Obama pledged that his administration would work to extend an Israeli moratorium on Jewish settlements due to expire in September if Abbas resumes direct negotiations, he added.

“But in case of a refusal its assistance on that issue will be very limited,” he said, quoting from the letter in Arabic.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat confirmed to AFP that Abbas received a letter from the US president on July 16.

The revelation comes after the Arab League agreed in principle on Thursday to the resumption of direct Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, stressing however that Abbas had the final word on whey they should start.

Obama expects direct Palestinian-Israeli peace talks to resume at the onset of August and to address thorny issues such as borders and Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, said the Palestinian official who declined to be named.

Meanwhile, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi quoted Palestinian Legislative Council Member Hanan Ashrawi as saying that the Americans have threatened to isolate the Palestinians.

“The (US) pressure has reached extortion levels. No Arab regime could say no (to the Americans),” she said.



  1. I’m a little confused. Why exactly does it matter what Abbas says or does when it’s Hamas that’s the much bigger threat to Israel and doesn’t want to negotiate (at least for the most part)? Furthermore, Abbas simply does not represent all Palestinians or even the majority. Israel can negotiate with him with relative ease but has already found the Hamas problem in Gaza to be virtually intractable. Any hopes for a ‘two-state solution’ pretty much disappeared in 2006 when Gaza elected Hamas and Fatah was kicked out in the subsequent years. Say hello to the ‘three-state solution’.

  2. “but that Abbas would be blamed by the world if negotiations don’t get off the ground.” – That’s because in the game of politics Netanyahu took a gamble and came out on top.
    While every one was screaming how Obama was anti Israel in reality Obama gave the Israelis an offer they couldn’t refuse, you know the saying “a win win”

    Two things were going to happen by Obama asking Netanyahu for the settlement freeze and the some other things 1) It would bring Abbas to the table, making Netanyahu the good guy showing Obama and the world that he is willing to move the process along. or the norm 2) Netanyahu gives in to Obama’s demands and the PA still doesn’t show up because like all Arabs they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity – that is why Abbas is going to take the blame

  3. A two-state “solution” is not a solution, it’s a death sentence for the state (not bad in and of itself, but unacceptable because of the loss of Jewish lives).

    Get out a map and familiarize yourself with the state’s borders and see if you really think giving away Yehudah and Shomron (the core of the country) will accomplish anything but utter annihiliation of Jews and Israelis living in the Holy Land.

  4. but, wait a minute, I thought Obama was anti-Israel, anti-semitic?????

    I’m really crying tears for hanan ashwari the mechasaihfa for all the pressure they’re under

  5. Lets get something straight here, anybody who has been following the Israeli Palestinian conflict for years, will tell you that the palestinians never loose out they could do as they wish when they wish and how they wish, so this is in essence just a ploy by president Obama to try to pretend to Netanyahu that he’s two sided when in reality his only concern is to move this process forward which is not possible due to the hamas majority all over, and so in reality abass, ashrai, erekat are all just american puppets and the settlement freeze enacted upon by Netanyahu was just in vain and Netanyahu even knew this but was promised that this will pave the way for international sanctions against iran and so this was really the idea, not pushing a process thats a non starter to begin with.