Monday, August 30, 2010

Is Obama More Like Netanyahu--Or Abbas?

The real problem undermining the Mideast peace talks, Abbas's lack of a mandate, results in a situation where Abbas is a man in exile, even among his own:
All Palestinian political factions, bar one, have denounced the direct talks, some in harsher language than others.

Only Fatah, Mr Abbas’s own group, supports direct talks. Even among its members, though, there are plenty of disapproving voices.

Ordinary Palestinians, as well as the political factions, feel they have little influence on the Palestinian leadership’s decisions. The Palestinian polity is broken. There is no functioning parliament. The Gaza Strip and the West Bank are divided under the leaderships of rival factions. The PA government under Salam Fayyad was appointed by presidential decree and elections – presidential, parliamentary and municipal – have all been postponed indefinitely.

Even the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which is chaired by Mr Abbas and represents Palestinian interests in international forums, including negotiations with Israel, was not properly consulted about the decision to go to direct talks. The US invitation to the talks was accepted, without a quorum as normally required by the PLO’s rules, at an emergency meeting of its executive committee.
Speaking of mandates, when you compare Obama, Abbas and Netanyahu, you come up with the following comparison:
  • Obama was elected, but no longer has a mandate for his policies.
  • Abbas has failed to call for elections, so he has neither been re-elected nor has a mandate
  • Netanyahu is still serving his term in office and has Israel behind him.
And in some ways, Obama is more like Abbas than like Netanyahu.

Crossposed on Soccer Dad

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