Abbas Is Not Relevant

(Ha'aretz) Yossi Alpher - Some people of good will want to make Abbas "relevant" in the hope that this will render an Israeli-Palestinian peace process possible. They point out that Hamas did not get a majority of Palestinian votes, merely a majority of Legislative Council mandates, hence Abbas still represents the Palestinian majority. They note that most Palestinians, including many Hamas voters, continue to support immediate negotiations toward a two-state solution. But Abbas is not relevant to the current situation, and for now a peace process is not possible. Abbas is a good person with noble sentiments. But he is incapable of acting decisively, and unable to deliver on his commitments. He promised to disarm the militias - those of Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad - and could not. Even if he had a mandate to negotiate and the capacity to do so, peace talks with him would likely fail. In the unlikely event that they succeeded, Abbas would not be able to deliver, because he does not have a mandate. Hamas does. The writer is a former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies.

2006-03-08 00:00:00

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