The planned visit to the Middle East at the end of August by President Trump's Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, Special Envoy for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell – presents a wonderful opportunity for them to test the commitment of the PLO and its leader Mahmoud Abbas to concluding a peace treaty with Israel.
Abbas needs to confirm or reject his following remarks reported on 11 January 2014:
Referring to Israeli demands to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Abbas said, "This is a story that we have heard only in the last two years. We won't recognize and accept the Jewishness of Israel. We have many excuses and reasons that prevent us from doing so."
Abbas was speaking during a meeting in his office with dozens of east Jerusalem residents.
Israel's problem is that the Palestinians know more than the Israelis about history and geography, he said. "We talk about what we know," he said.
"We won't accept the Jewishness of Israel. We are asking for the 1967 borders."
Abbas and the PLO should be asked to amplify these remarks by written responses to the following questions:
1. On the Jewishness of Israel:
What excuses and reasons do you have for refusing to recognize and accept the Jewishness of Israel?
2. On the history of Palestine:
Do you accept the historical accuracy of the following statements in Israel's Declaration of Independence?
The land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and national identity was formed. Here they achieved independence and created a culture of national and universal significance. Here they wrote and gave the Bible to the world.
Exiled from Palestine, the Jewish people remained faithful to it in all the countries of their dispersion, never ceasing to pray and hope for their return and the restoration of their national freedom.
3. On the geography of Palestine:
I. Do you still claim that:
Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit.
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