From 2006-2021, Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) has clung to power while the lives of the Palestinian people have gone from bad to worse. The Arab world has now started moving on without Palestine. As time passes this becomes a problem of the Palestinians and the Israelis.
It was a dark winter day in 2005 and there was a small gathering of senior former Israeli and Palestinian officials at the Four seasons Foggy Bottom in Washington DC. What united these friends, this evening was a common objective, to convince the White House that the biggest threat to the Middle East peace process was holding the imminent elections in Palestine, which the Hamas would most certainly win. A prospective Hamas victory was a death knell to any peace in the Middle East and would effectively wipe out the meager gains from the Oslo peace accord that survived Rabin’s assassination. This was the main point of discussion, but each one of these veterans had lingering questions which they would vocalize, what would a Hamas victory essentially mean? Would it mean that the Palestinian people essentially do not want their leaders to recognize Israel? In all cases, the group was sure of the fact that if Hamas won, the US and the EU would effectively stop negotiations with the Palestinian Authority as neither could continue negotiating with the Hamas, a terrorist organization. With that the Israel-Palestine question would go back into being a status-quo, a problem for the Israeli’s and Palestinians who had to live through the difficulties of the lack of a clear solution while their leaders battled it out with words and occasional violence. In the days that followed everyone weighed in informally, from Shimon Peres to Abu Ala-the then Palestinian Prime Minister, but Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, was immovable. The answer was direct and simple, President Bush wanted elections as did the EU and democracy must have its way.Continue Reading