Amazingly enough, there seems to be something like the extraordinarily irritating push-pull of the democratic process going on in the Palestinian Authority. Where this is all going to lead I don't know, but the fact that Abu Mazen hasn't been assassinated yet is certainly a good sign. (For those of you already confused, Abu Mazen and Mahmud Abbas are the same man, Arafat's Prime Minister designate). Now is the time for the peace loving states of France and Germany to really help the cause by giving their old friends in the PLO a swift kick in the ass. I'm not holding out hope for such an eventuality, but the Bush people seem to be backing Mazen with all they've got, which leads me to believe he's got a good chance of pulling this off.
Incidentally, it should be noted that if it weren't for that diplomatically illiterate cowboy in the White House, we'd all still be talking to a degenerate terrorist instead of watching the first signs of a possible Palestinian democracy. I think he deserves a little credit from the more "nuanced" Europeans, don't you?
More incidentally, Haaretz generally drives me up a wall--they are absurdly biased--but my God their sources are excellent, you really cant ignore them and know whats going on in this country. I fully recommend anyone who wants to keep abreast of events here to read them every day. But keep a critical mind, they are unabashedly Left wing. Think of them as the NY Times of Israel, with all that entails.