Mahmoud Abbas

Hamas and Fatah: A Temporary Marriage of Convenience

The Hamas-Fatah agreement creates a Janus-faced government in the West Bank and Gaza, which is more smoke and mirrors than reality. When the time comes to divide up the spoils, the deep-seated divisions between Hamas and Fatah will again come to the fore.

When the West Bankers Arrive in Washington…

| September 1, 2010

Mahmoud Abbas cannot yet afford to lose the Israeli army presence in the West Bank as the threat of a Hamas takeover there still looms. Thus the peace talks are a pretense.

Despite Pundits, Netanyahu Wants Peace

| March 11, 2010

Netanyahu’s readiness to compromise has been met by continued resistance from the Palestinians, who have displayed a lack of political pragmatism that is a prerequisite for reaching a compromise.

Is Mahmoud Abbas Becoming Chairman Arafat?

| November 8, 2009

Recent signs of Abbas’ radicalization include indications of support for
violence against Israel. This suggests that Abbas may not have been, after all, the address for negotiation of a stable two-state solution.

Obama and the Middle East

| September 24, 2009

Obama’s ambitious Mideast agenda has so far produced meager results. Many regional players are primarily concerned about Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons, and are not easily amenable to American overtures.

The Fatah Conference: Finally an Abbas Victory

| August 25, 2009

Abbas finally appears to have gained some power in his party, Fatah. But due to persisting Palestinian internal divisions, he will still need the help of Israel and the US for controlling the West Bank.

Shelve the Shelf Agreement

| March 26, 2008

The Olmert-Livni “shelf agreement” concept for Israel-Palestinian peace is strategically illogical and tactically ill-considered. It has no foundation in negotiation theory; and incautiously assumes best case scenarios. It would not end the conflict because the Palestinians would proceed to bargain with Israel for additional concessions, and Israel inevitably would be forced to forgive the Palestinians on needed reforms.

Bush Cannot Succeed in the Holy Land

| July 23, 2007

Bush’s new plan for Middle East peace is inadequate and rests on several faulty assumptions, including the beliefs that outside influences can change Palestinian society, Abu Mazen is the leader to bring about change, and the Palestinians will be “good” neighbors towards Israel. However, the realities of Palestinian society reflect a different picture. Israel’s best bet is to wait for a better opportunity to attain stability.

The Palestinians and the Second Lebanese War

| January 4, 2007

Many have suggested that Israel’s questionable military performance in the Second Lebanon War have impacted negatively on Israel’s ability to deal with the Palestinians. However, in reality the recent war revealed that the tendency to see the conflict in broader terms, such as a clash of civilizations, is very much exaggerated.

The IDF’’s Record in the Current Intifada: An Interim Scorecard

| February 27, 2005

At their recent meeting in Sharm-el-Sheik, Ariel Sharon and Abu Mazen announced the cessation of the hostilities that erupted in September 2000. Whether or not the ceasefire will hold remains, of course, to be seen. But its announcement certainly offers an opportunity for a retrospective, interim assessment of the IDF’s operational performance during the past four-and-a-half years of violence. Its record, however, is no better than mixed.