After several previous US pushes for a peace initiative in Palestine failed, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is said to have spurned Vice President Joe Biden’s most recent proposal, believing that it wouldn’t lead to any worthwhile progress.
The proposal would’ve seen Israel halting settlement construction, and accepting East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. The Palestinians would both recognize Israel as a “Jewish state,” and give up on the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
All four of these points would be tough ones to achieve, with the Israeli government repeatedly ruling out both of their concessions. Abbas would likely face a major backlash from accepting either of their terms too, with the “Jewish state” matter meaning to many an effective endorsement of Israel’s treatment of its Arab minority as second-class citizens.
The likely concern, with Obama so close to leaving office, is that if the Palestinians concede either of their points now,, it will be used against them in future rounds of talks by Israeli officials, while Israel almost certainly would not publicly accept either of their points.
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