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Special Report

Krauthammer: Palestinian President Abbas 'Snubbing His Nose at the United States'

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," September 19, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

MAHMOUD ABBAS, PRESIDENT, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: I'm ready to meet any Israeli official at any time he wants. But to meet only for meeting I think is useless. We want to meet on the basis that brings us together to the negotiating table.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We remain where we were on the inadvisability of unilateral actions that will bring the Palestinians no closer to the statehood they seek.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

BRET BAIER, HOST: White House press secretary careful with his words there on the diplomatic issue as the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is defying U.S. and Israeli pressure in going to the U.N. Security Council to seek a recognition for a Palestinian state. From the United Nations, you just heard a little bit of exclusive interview with our own Reena Ninan.

Just earlier this afternoon the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted this, quote, "I call upon the Palestinian president to meet with me in New York to resume immediately direct negotiations for peace."

Interesting. A new world, diplomacy over Twitter.

We're back with the panel. What about this push? Charles, start with you.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Look, by going to the U.N. unilaterally to get statehood without having negotiated a peace with Israel, what the Palestinians are doing is officially tearing up all the peace agreements it signed starting with Oslo.

And to me it's refreshing, because it never had any intent of abiding by these treaties. When it was signed in '93, the idea of having a state in return for recognition of Israel and peace and giving up of terror was always deceit on the part of the Palestinians. They never intended it. But Americans and Israelis believed it and talked themselves into believing.

After they were offered a Palestinian state in 2000 by President Clinton and said no, that was our first clue. Secondly, in 2001, lastly in 2008, when the Israelis offered Abbas, whom we saw in the clip, a state with all of the West Bank and Jerusalem as a capital, independence, and the Palestinians said no. Why? Because they have no intention of establishing a state while recognizing a state of Israel as a Jewish state and living in peace.

The idea as we're going to have now with the U.N. is that a Palestinian state remaining in a state of war with Israel and to continue the war until Israel is destroyed. And that's what all of this is about.

BAIER: Steve, Abbas has asked why embarrass the president to go to the U.N. Security Council, and President Abbas says I don't know why he doesn't want us to go. They have exhausted their efforts on negotiation, it's time to move. Palestinians saying they are frustrated.

STEVE HAYES, WEEKLY STANDARD: It is really cheeky for the Palestinians to be doing what they are doing given the fact that they have in effect been dealing with the most pro-Palestinian administration in recent memory. What I think we're going to likely see unfold over the next week or next several days is whether the Clinton administration can actually use the so-called smart power to keep from having to actually having to veto this thing and keep from being faced by Mahmoud Abbas. There is some question as to whether if this goes to the Security Council will they get the nine votes needed to force a U.S. veto? Unclear.

But it's very clear that the State Department wants to avoid that at all cost and look, at least, again, like they are not being publicly as opposed to the Palestinian as they seem to be at least behind the scenes.

BAIER: How big a problem is this for the administration, Juan?

JUAN WILLIAMS, THEHILL.COM: You said Clinton administration. I think you meant Obama administration. You mean Clinton administration at the State Department.

HAYES: Secretary Clinton.

WILLIAMS: Secretary Clinton. But I hope they have the same policy. And I think it is a problem for the Obama administration in that any hopes they had, any framework that they had in mind that would bring these two sides together is basically dust at this point. And then you have to deal with the promises that are coming from the U.S. Congress, Republicans and Democrats especially in the aftermath of the election last week and Congressional district that's 40 percent Jewish and had strong Jewish turnout for the Republican, to take away the $500 billion, whatever, that's given to the Palestinians by the United States.

That just basically takes us out of the deal. I mean, why would the Palestinians then listen to us? I mean, they would just pursue their antagonistic position towards Israel.

Now, the counter position here is, is this going to force the Israelis to truly, sincerely get involved in negotiations with the Palestinians? Because that's what you are hearing from Abbas. That's what you heard in that interview. He doesn't believe that the United States is putting sufficient pressure on Israel and that given the American position right now, and given American politics, it's impossible.

KRAUTHAMMER: With all due respect, Abbas is the one who was in negotiations with the prime minister of Israel. Ehud Olmert at the end of 2008 was offered everything he is ostensibly asking for and said no. It isn't as if the Israelis have held out. The Israelis have been negotiation for 20 years over this and always get the answer of no.

The premise in the negotiation was land in exchange for peace. The problem is the Palestinians are not and have never been prepared to offer reciprocal peace. That's why they are in the U.N. in negotiations. You get the land, you get the sovereignty, and you get a Palestinian state. But you have to give Israel peace. And that's what the Palestinians have always refused. And that's why Abbas is now at the U.N. so he can have his land in the absence of peace. And it's against everything America expected, everything America had demanded, and that's why is he snubbing his nose at the United States.

BAIER: We will follow this as it continues to develop. Secretary Clinton saying late today the negotiations are continuing intensely.

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