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Palestine after Abbas: The Future of a People at Stake – Ramzy Baroud/Politics for the People

by Newsstand

Although intended to inspire his Fatah Party followers, a televised speech by Mahmoud Abbas on the 51st Anniversary of the group’s launch highlighted, instead, the unprecedented crisis that continues to wreak havoc on the Palestinian people. Not only did Abbas sound defensive and lacking in any serious or new initiatives, but his ultimate intention appeared as if it was about his political survival, and nothing else.

In his speech on December 31, he tossed in many of the old clichés, chastising Israel at times, although in carefully-worded language, and insisted that any vital decisions concerned with “the future of the land, people and national rights” would be “subject to general elections and (voted on by the Palestine) National Council (PNC), because our people made heavy sacrifices and they are the source of all authorities.”

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The Empty Space Between Hammer and Nail

by Taxi

The desire to impress others and gain approval is a natural human inclination.  But when a nation seeks to do the same, when a nation endeavors to impress and widen its sphere of influence, it becomes a very complex project fraught with dangers great and small; pregnant with the possibilities of war.

To create influence, nations have a choice between the use of soft power or the imposition of hard power.  Obviously, the use of soft power barely contains complications and does not normally lead to war or to the material destruction of another nation and its population.

Yet in the Middle East, the nations of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have all relentlessly chosen direct use of hard power to assert and further spread their influence; further highlighting their fundamental opposition to the very principles of the UN Charter and civilization; further spotlighting their deeply pernicious intentions towards their neighbors and beyond.

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