Abbas Won’t Budge on Israel Issue

Despite Monday’s meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority seemed no closer to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. As the April 29 deadline for Palestinian-Israeli negotiations approaches, Abbas was stalwart in his refusal to utter the words "Israel is a Jewish state," even though it is a critical step in the peace process for many Israelis. Abbas said before the meeting that it was sufficient that “since 1988, we have recognized international legitimacy resolutions. And in 1993, we recognized the state of Israel,” meaning that it existed, but not as a Jewish state. President Obama warned: “We’re going to have to take some tough political decisions and risks if we’re able to move it forward.”