Leaked cables indicate that the Israeli government does not have much hope for Mahmoud Abbas keeping power for too long. Salam Fayyad has no power base, and without Israeli incursions against Hamas – which is in reality intelligence sharing with the PA, who makes strikes against Hamas – the PA would crumble “within one month”. In addition, Hamas keeps claiming that they would win elections if they were to be held in the West Bank. Mahmoud Abbas himself says that without peace negotiations, the Palestinian Authority will disband.
What would this reality look like? I’m reminded of the wiles of a child who will do just about anything except do their homework. The international community rushes to patch up the Palestinian Authority, prop them up by any means necessary, but even when the Palestinian Legislative Council remains shuttered and elections suspended, even the old man Abu Mazen comes out of the woodwork and says he’s tired of being an Israeli cat’s-paw.
They pretend not to hear him and keep on with their economic reform and their stalled peace process, stalled now for nearly twenty years. They’d prop him up like a dead pope if they had to. All the while the Palestinian people shift uncomfortably in their seats, sure something is selling them out but not quite sure who or what or how.
More and more people have approached me recently, whispering that something is happening, something is in the works. As usual, time will tell. As usual, the actual outcome depends on powers higher than those threatening to dissolve.