So... it seems to me he is winking at the terrorists, saying in effect: "terror would be fine if it worked." This may make Abbas a realist and a pragmatist - but not man of peace. He seems, in a way, to be saying that they should use non-violent means to destroy Israel.
I have taken a clear stand toward the continuation of the intifadah .. as it shouldn't have continued following the rebellion in Al-Aqsa that was for the defense of our scared shrines," he said, alluding to the September, 2000, park of the uprising, when unarmed Palestinians engaged in bloody clashes with heavily-armed Israeli troops after Ariel Sharon, before he was named prime minister, paid a provocative visit to the mosque. Abbas affirmed his abidance by the "political settlement and the option of peace," adding, "I say it clearly that believe that the military solution is not possible." He also said that using arms during the uprising against the occupation has actually harmed the cause of the Palestinian people. "The militarization of the intifadah and the usage of arms for liberation is not possible because the balance of powers is not in our favor," said the grey-haired veteran politician.
ON ANOTHER LEVEL: This proves - once again - that the only way to end terror is to defeat it, appeasing it only encourages it; the Israelis defeated the Second Intifada and have driven FATAH to the negotiating tables and to the voting booths. Now Abbas is at best sincerely trying to TALK the Jihadoterrorists into accepting the military defeat and into making the best deal they can at the negotiating table.
If and when the Palestinian Arabs get autonomy again (and then perhaps a state), I think the Jihadists will merely use it as a base for terror - much like the Taliban used Afghanistan and Zarqawi the Sunni Triangle - UNLESS the PA makes as determined a fight against them as the Iraqis are making right now.
That's what makes me a pessimist: It's just that Abbas doesn't strike me as man with 1/10th the courage of Allawi. And I think it will take more than TALK to get HAMAS and Hizb'allah to lay down their arms. And since I think it's unlikely that Abbas will really crackdown on the Jihadoterrorists - the first condition for any deal - I think unilateral separation is still the most likely outcome. But we shall see. I pray Abbas proves me wrong.
MORE HERE (from the IHT). Their title: "Path is peace, but goal is the same, Abbas says" By Steven Erlanger The New York Times. [I guess what I'm saying is that it seems to me that what Abbas is REALLY saying is: "Goal is destruction of Israel, but path is non-violent - for now."]