Asked why the Arabs had rejected the plan while Jewish leaders accepted it, Abbas replied: “It was our mistake. It was an Arab mistake as a whole. But do they punish us for this mistake for 64 years?” Palestinian leaders have always insisted that Resolution 181, which paved the way for Jewish statehood in parts of then-British-ruled Palestine, must be resisted by Arabs who went to war over it.
Decades of regional fighting have hinged on challenges to Israel’s existence and expansion.
By describing historical fault on the Arab side, Abbas appeared to be offering Israel an olive branch, while promoting his own bid to sidestep stalled peace talks by winning UN recognition for a sovereign Palestine.
When the interviewer suggested the reason was Jewish leaders’ acceptance of the plan and its rejection by the Arabs, Abbas said: “I know, I know. It was our mistake. It was our mistake. It was an Arab mistake as a whole.”
The rest is at The Jerusalem Post
EXTRA: Condoleeza Rice's memoirs discuss how Abbas made his own mistake in rejecting the Olmert deal which would have given Palestinians 100% of the amount of pre-1967 land that Israel conquered from Jordan.