Rejecting partition a mistake, Abbas says

RAMALLAH — Mahmoud Abbas said the failure to seize the opportunity of statehood in 1947 was an Arab and Palestinian mistake.

“It was our mistake. It was an Arab mistake as a whole,” the Palestinian Authority president told Israel’s Channel 2 TV last Friday in an interview translated by the Associated Press. “But do they punish us for this mistake for 64 years?”

The Zionist leadership accepted the 1947 UN-designated partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, but the Palestinians and their Arab backers rejected it, launching a war.

Abbas’ view is a sharp departure from what has become Palestinian dogma that Israel’s independence was a catastrophe inflicted on the Palestinians by the Zionist movement.