Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas. (Hadas Parush/Flash90) (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas

A member of the European Parliament had a clear message for Mahmoud Abbas: It is no longer acceptable to simply shout ‘no’ at every peace plan that is proposed.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

Several members of the European Parliament endorsed President Donald Trump’s Deal of the Century peace plan and criticized the Palestinian Authority (PA) for its rejectionist attitude toward any diplomatic resolution.

The “Vision for Peace, Prosperity, and a Brighter Future” plan, which was unveiled by Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday at a special ceremony at the White House, calls for the Israeli annexation of some 30% of the territory in Judea and Samaria already under its control, with the remaining 70% becoming a Palestinian state.

Likewise, some outlying neighborhoods in Jerusalem will be turned over to the Arabs and become the capital of Palestine.

While many Israeli officials expressed willingness to give the process a chance and move forward with it, the PA rejected it completely, even before its publication.

MEP Charlie Weimers of Sweden, a member of the European Parliament’s (EP) Foreign Affairs Committee, told TPS in a statement that he welcomes the U.S.’ “peace proposal for a comprehensive peace between Israel and the Palestinians as a positive step towards a resolution of the conflict.”

He noted that “lasting peace can only be achieved through direct bilateral negotiations” and that “it is no longer an option for the Palestinian Authority to simply shout “1,000 times no” [and] boycott any peace initiative, [with] the international community [expected] to accept such behavior”

Weimers was referring to PA head Mahmoud Abbas’ response to the publication of the Deal of the Century.

“We say a thousand times: no, no and no to the deal of the century,” Abbas told the PA leadership in Ramallah on Tuesday night.

Trump’s plan “will not come to pass” and “our people will send it to the dustbins of history,” he added.

Weimers further said that “the Palestinian leadership should recognize that we live in the 21st Century and not back in 1967 or 1948.”

“Moreover it is essential for the various Palestinian factions to unreservedly denounce terrorism, violence and incitement to murder,” he underscored.

MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen of the Netherlands, the vice-chair of the EP delegation for relations with Israel, told TPS that the “U.S. vision for peace in the Middle East deserves serious consideration, being the most realistic and concrete proposal in many years.

“If the PA bluntly rejects any proposal, it makes itself unbelievable,” he cautioned, implying that the Palestinians are losing credibility on the  international stage.

MEP Antonio López-Istúriz White of Spain, Chair of the EP’s Delegation for Relations with Israel and Secretary-General of the European People’s Party (EPP), stated that he is “in favor of any initiative that may lead to the re-launch of negotiations for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

As for the Deal of the Century, it “must be studied and assessed by all parts.”

The European Union has “an established position backing a negotiated and viable two-state solution that takes into account the legitimate aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians.”

“I would very much welcome both sides’ goodwill for the reopening of meaningful negotiations to achieve a just and lasting peace,” he added.

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