Time running out for Mahmoud Abbas

FILE; SAMEH SHERIF/AFP/Getty Images The one-year anniversary of the Annapolis Conference is fast approaching and the forecast for peace between Israel and Palestine is looking cloudy at best. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s quick retreat from the scene (he announced he would resign this month to deal with corruption charges) has stalled movement. And Palestinian ...

592619_080912_abbas5.jpg
592619_080912_abbas5.jpg

FILE; SAMEH SHERIF/AFP/Getty Images

The one-year anniversary of the Annapolis Conference is fast approaching and the forecast for peace between Israel and Palestine is looking cloudy at best.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's quick retreat from the scene (he announced he would resign this month to deal with corruption charges) has stalled movement. And Palestinian President Authority Mahmoud Abbas told Ha'aretz that he is not happy with the lack of progress.

FILE; SAMEH SHERIF/AFP/Getty Images

The one-year anniversary of the Annapolis Conference is fast approaching and the forecast for peace between Israel and Palestine is looking cloudy at best.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s quick retreat from the scene (he announced he would resign this month to deal with corruption charges) has stalled movement. And Palestinian President Authority Mahmoud Abbas told Ha’aretz that he is not happy with the lack of progress.

Further complicating matters, Abbas’s presidential term is up on Jan. 9, leaving the two-state solution table without its key players. The Palestinian media reported that Abbas plans to dissolve the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), set up temporary government, and extend his term by a year.

But Hamas has already said that it will not accept his leadership after Jan. 9. Without elections, under Palestinian law Abbas would be succeeded by either the speaker or the deputy speaker of the PLC. Both men, conveniently enough, are members of Hamas.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice may be waxing optimistic that Annapolis’s goals will be met in the coming months, but hearing that the IDF is already training units in the West Bank to prepare for the fallout in Abbas’s absence, I’m thinking things are going to get worse before they get better. Memo to the next U.S. president: Don’t wait until your seventh year in office to get things moving.

More from Foreign Policy

A worker cuts the nose off the last Ukraine's Tupolev-22M3, the Soviet-made strategic aircraft able to carry nuclear weapons at a military base in Poltava, Ukraine on Jan. 27, 2006. A total of 60 aircraft were destroyed  according to the USA-Ukrainian disarmament agreement.
A worker cuts the nose off the last Ukraine's Tupolev-22M3, the Soviet-made strategic aircraft able to carry nuclear weapons at a military base in Poltava, Ukraine on Jan. 27, 2006. A total of 60 aircraft were destroyed according to the USA-Ukrainian disarmament agreement.

Why Do People Hate Realism So Much?

The school of thought doesn’t explain everything—but its proponents foresaw the potential for conflict over Ukraine long before it erupted.

Employees watch a cargo ship at a port in China, which is experiencing an economic downturn.
Employees watch a cargo ship at a port in China, which is experiencing an economic downturn.

China’s Crisis of Confidence

What if, instead of being a competitor, China can no longer afford to compete at all?

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testifies in the U.S. Senate in Washington on Sept. 24, 2020.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testifies in the U.S. Senate in Washington on Sept. 24, 2020.

Why This Global Economic Crisis Is Different

This is the first time since World War II that there may be no cooperative way out.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Premier Li Keqiang applaud at the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 11.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Premier Li Keqiang applaud at the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 11.

China Is Hardening Itself for Economic War

Beijing is trying to close economic vulnerabilities out of fear of U.S. containment.