In rejecting Kerry’s framework, Abbas has not only made a genuine peace agreement impossible, he has also turned his back on twenty-six Palestinian prisoners, a clear breach of the most basic position underpinning his agenda for the peace talks.
Abandonment is a difficult wound to heal. It instills feelings of hurt, neglect, and toxic shame. Even for a person with boundless courage and moral fiber — like Russian Refusnik, Natan Sharansky, who endured unspeakable horrors at the hands of the Soviet Union — it can be difficult to fully forget the deep disappointment of longing failure.
Terrorists have rejected all ethical standards. Palestinian terrorists have kidnapped, lynched, and murdered Israeli soldiers. They have ambushed, maimed, and slaughtered unarmed Israeli and Arab civilians. They have also jailed, tortured, and executed suspected collaborators.
The Arabs have long memories. One wonders whether some of the prisoners Abbas consigned to further imprisonment will have a particularly tough time restraining their resentment toward him for abandoning them.