January 8, 2005 |
WITH TOMORROW'S election for new prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, the question of a societal division in the Palestinian population becomes more crucially relevant: The animosity between Gazans and West-Bankers has drastically increased since Yasser Arafat's death. The so-called "right of return" of Palestinian refugees of the 1948 war and their descendants has again becoming the sticking point, with various camps attempting to garner support among Palestinians in the Gaza and West Bank.
October 16, 1994 |
I have a bone to pick with the members of the Nobel Peace Prize committee. I don't fault this year's decision. Despite the painful obstacles still blocking a final peace, Israeli leaders Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Palestinian chief Yasir Arafat reshaped Mideast history by signing a declaration of peace principles a year ago on the White House lawn. This week's kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian fundamentalists opposed to Arafat's signature, and the subsequent deaths of hostage and captors in an Israeli rescue attempt on the day of the award, cannot obscure the daring of these three men. And the Nobel Committee, which some say was planning to name only Arafat and Rabin, was wise to also include Peres, whose role in secret peace talks in Norway was crucial.
April 24, 2003 |
From a barbershop, to a candy vendor, to a nurse at this refugee camp inside Jordan yesterday, the support was wide and fulsome: Palestinian prime minister Mahmoud Abbas, known as Abu Mazen, is becoming a force to be reckoned with. "I didn't always believe in Abu Mazen," said Abdel Fatah Nasser, 70, a Palestinian refugee from the 1967 Six Day War with Israel, who would leave Jordan in a heartbeat for an eventual Palestinian state. "Now I say his government is good for the Palestinian people.
December 9, 2001 |
Spurred by suicide bombings and military reprisals, the cycle of Palestinian-Israeli violence galloped ahead dangerously last week. Under perhaps more pressure than ever before is Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat - battle-worn, 72, and shaking with muscle tremors. Does he have the strength to control the situation? If he were to die, be assassinated or exiled, who might be his successor? Would this successor be more acceptable to angry, dissident Palestinians, or to the United States, or to Israel?
December 29, 2004 |
As Palestinians prepare to vote in their first presidential election since 1996, one challenge facing front-runner Mahmoud Abbas is the threat that a significant number of registered voters might not go to the polls because the outcome seems preordained. Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, is the clear favorite in a field of seven. Some polls predict he will get at least 75 percent of the vote. While 80 percent of registered Palestinian voters cast ballots in recent local council elections, participation in the Jan. 9 presidential contest could be lower, some political observers say. "Abu Mazen and his aides are afraid that the voters won't even come," Arab affairs columnist Danny Rubinstein wrote recently in the Israeli daily Haaretz.
January 26, 2005 |
On one front at least, newly elected Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas passed the first test of his leadership with flying colors. Knowing that his window of opportunity to make real progress toward achieving a Palestinian state would not stay open for long, Abbas last week drove to the Gaza Strip to take a risky first step - getting armed groups to suspend their attacks on Israel. Those weeklong talks yielded what Palestinians have described as "an understanding" on the way to a formal agreement that attacks will be halted for at least 30 days to give Abbas a chance to demonstrate what he can achieve.
February 8, 2013 |
The White House has just announced that President Obama will visit Jerusalem in March - his first presidential trip to Israel and the first overseas visit of his second term. This trip, which will also include the West Bank and Jordan, will be crucial for Obama, whose Mideast policy is in tatters. He'll be trying to warm up his cool relations with Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, and to focus on Iran and Syria. But Obama will also need to put forward new ideas for resurrecting the Israel-Palestinian peace process, a task on the order of raising Lazarus from the dead.
June 10, 2003 |
Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas said again yesterday that he saw "no alternative to dialogue" in pursuing a cease-fire with Palestinian militants who have stepped up attacks on Israelis since last week's Aqaba, Jordan, summit on the road map to peace. "Dialogue" implies rejoinder, and so far, the only response by Palestinian militants has been a flat rejection of talks with Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen. Representatives of Hamas, the leading "rejectionist" group, responded by again shunning discussion.
January 19, 2006 |
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, stuck in a job he reluctantly sought and facing a rising tide of criticism, is losing power, credibility and legitimacy after only a year in office. Trying to succeed the iconic Yasir Arafat as Palestinian leader was an almost insurmountable challenge, and Israeli and American officials as well as millions of frustrated Palestinians are losing faith in a man they had hoped would rejuvenate the economy, curb official corruption, crack down on renegade street gangs, and revive negotiations with Israel on the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
May 20, 2006 |
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert heads to Washington this weekend looking for a delicate diplomatic balance on his first official visit to his country's most important ally. He will try to reassure President Bush and members of Congress that Israel is still willing to sit down with Palestinian leaders for peace talks. But he will also work to lay the foundation for U.S. support for his plan to set Israel's borders unilaterally if talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, lead nowhere.