Abandoned by the US, humiliated by Netanyahu, crippled by his own behavior during the destruction of Gaza, Mahmoud Abbas announced that he had "no desire to run in the forthcoming election".
The parallel with Yasser Arafat is clear, and Tel Aviv hawks used the same strategy. The main disapointment for "Abu Mazen" came from Obama, unable to deliver the goods and to prevent Israel from pushing its radical agenda (see "Israel accepted as true the choice between its security and its ideals").
Yet, it's not as if Abbas said he wouldn't run in 2010. There's still a chance, a thurst for "desire". But the message his clear : my "authority" is a farce, only Israel and the US can decide the future of Palestine. They were the ones who put the Hamas where it is, and the Fatah in this terrible shape. My failure is their failure, and I'm afraid the US will keep washing their hands on my martyrdom until I die.
Before this speech, Abbas didn't stand one chance to win in 2010. Now, he is provoking change : status quo or any further delaying from Washington would be be as lethal as if Hillary and Barack themselves hammered down the nails.
He's not as much saying "I quit" as asking "hey Barack, do you want our blood on your hands ?"
If Israeli moderates want to speak up, now is the time. J Street is gaining ground in Washington, the UN is pressuring for a follow up to Goldstone's report, and there is still room for peace. Palestinians need real, tangible hope. If Hamas wins, Netanyahu wins, Israel loses.
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