Friday, November 06, 2009


Mahmoud Abbas has declared he won't run for re-election as president of the Palestinian Authority in January. This could be a very good thing, or a very bad thing. Abbas is a horrible leader for Palestinians, and prospects for peace under his leadership are very dim. He just wants to sit on his ass and wait for the world to impose his preferred solution on Israel.

If whoever replaces Abu-Mazen is someone who is truly willing to negotiate and reach a deal, things will be better. Yes, Netanyahu doesn't seem like he'd actually sign any treaties with the Palestinians, but if he is pushed to the corner and forced to prove that his support for the two state solution is not just lip service, he might budge. Alternatively, if Israelis see someone on the Palestinian side who is a real partner for peace, and they see Netanyahu is the stubborn one, they just might vote for someone more willing to sign peace deals when the next election comes around.

If whoever replaces Abu-Mazen is more of a hard-liner, like any Hamasnik or Marwan Barghouti, the Middle East will be in trouble. Both Israelis and Palestinians will be screwed.

I'd be happy to see someone like Sari Nusseibeh or Mustafa Barghouti get elected, but I have no idea what their chances are.

1 comment:

  1. You rather skip over the third and most important factor in all this: the US. It's fallacious to believe the 'two Peoples' will be able to achieve agreement satisfactory to both sides. The power imbalance almost dictates that such a 'peace process' would lead to a Palestinian state perhaps acceptable to the PA but not to the majority of Palestinians, including Hamas. That's a recipe for a failed state.

    In the absence of real progress, Israel will keep sleepwalking into a de facto one state situation.