Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he is willing to renounce all future claims on Israel after a Palestinian state is established, though he stopped short of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.Although he didn't spell those claims out, he almost certainly meant the "right to return" as well as claims on land within the 1949 armistice lines.
“We are ready to put an end to historic demands” once a Palestinian state is established on land outside Israel’s 1967 borders, Abbas said in an interview with Israel’s Channel 1 television late yesterday.
He is almost certainly lying. His promises are like his mentor Arafat's promises - things that are meant for Western consumption that have no basis in reality. His actions have not been consistent with these words.
But even if we take his words at face value, they are still meaningless. If a model Palestinian Arab state is established and some sort of peace treaty signed, we still have the problem that the majority of the Arab world will not accept it in their hearts. The decades of incitement, of demands for all of Israel - that won't evaporate.
For a small example, look how Islamic Jihad reacted to Abbas' statement:
[His words] affect the national principles, strength and strategic vision for our people, and do not represent the Palestinian people.
Another leading Islamic Jihad figure was even more explicit, saying that the conflict will not be over until the last Zionist departs from the soil of Palestine.
Hamas has stated similar opinions as well in the past. More importantly, they are consistent with English-language op-eds that Palestinian Arab intellectuals and academics at major Western universities write all the time.
Abbas represents only a tiny percentage of Palestinian Arabs worldwide, and probably not even a majority in the borders of 1947 Palestine either. His assurances are worthless.
The descendants of refugees whom he has not lifted a finger to help or even represent will vigorously disagree with any tampering of their sacred Right to Return - the only bone that their Arab hosts have ever thrown them.
As soon as a state is established, Arab countries will begin the process of expelling their guests to a state that does not want them and cannot absorb them, and these stateless Arabs will insist that they don't want to go to Ramallah anyway - but to Jaffa.
The number of terror groups will multiply out of frustration, and as we have seen, the West will cave to pressure by Palestinian Arab terror groups and start demanding more concessions from Israel - no matter what assurances they gave Israel in the past. It might take a decade or two, but it will happen, and no agreement drafted today can stop that from happening*. They'll hang those demands on some excuse - perhaps saying that lands outside the 1947 partition lines are also illegally occupied, or that some future fake massacre by Israel justifies how Palestinian Arabs must be returned to their historic nation, or that Israel does not allow free enough travel between Gaza and the West Bank.
Whatever the excuse, the maximal demands that we see today will not evaporate in the wake of a new Arab state on the West Bank. Like the "peace process" itself, it is a diplomatic fantasy that is far removed from reality.
And no one on the Palestinian Arab side is working to change that reality. No one - not Abbas, not Fayyad, nobody - is fighting against the daily incitement, no one is making statements to reassure people in refugee camps that they are fighting for their rights, no one is laying the groundwork for Day One of independence. On the contrary, they are (by their actions or inactions) doing everything they can to ensure a Palestinian Arab state is merely the first of two (or three) such states that will eventually encompass all of Palestine.
* If the agreement includes Arab countries agreeing to naturalize their Palestinian Arab guests, then there might be a slight chance. Of course, no one is even discussing that today.