Abbas and moderates on both sides are suffering from the Hamas-Bennett war

Two painfully poignant articles came across my email box indicating the resentment Palestinians have towards President Abbas for participating in a peace conference in Israel amidst the war with Hamas in Gaza, and Hamas’s fury that Abbas has not done more to support them.

It is true that Abbas is stuck in between, and weakened by, violent extremism on both sides – from the kidnapping and murder of there Israeli teenagers, to the live burning of the Palestinian teenager in Shuafat – and that he can exert little influence on, or neutralize, either the extremists from Hamas or the extremist Israelis from Habait Hayehudi who fan the flames of hatred and seek to annex the West Bank.

But that is only part of the analysis. The true losers from all of this are ALL OF US. Every Israeli, Palestinian and international citizen is worse off, whether they realize it (as moderates do) or they don’t (as some extremists may think).

This is a wake up call to all of us.

These articles provide further proof – as if any was actually needed- to the Jews and Israelis and Westerners who have been brainwashed to think that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is an extremist (!) or a ‘terrorist’ (!) by hateful edicts from Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to Economic Minister Naftali Bennett, to even Netanyahu on some occasions – that President Abbas is the strongest partner for peace and non-violent means to achieve it, equal in those values and temperament to President Shimon Peres, as the departing statesman has said himself.

And unless moderates on all sides stand up to seize back the agenda for conflict resolution and buttress the heroic moderate leaders who show strength in their courage and principled determination to pursue a two state solution through non violent means and through acknowledgment of the other, as Abbas has, and as Olmert had, and as Tzipi Livni and Isaac Herzog have courageously and selflessly and steadfastly done also, all of us will share the blame for the Balkanization and Lebanonization of the Holy Land.

Time we wake up and mobilize.

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