What Should Abbas Do?

[tweetmeme] While a little outdated, the following video is an Al Jazeera round-table discussion about the options that Palestinian President Abbas has following the refusal of Israel to extend the settlement freeze.  Already the Palestinian President has threatened to quit negotiations as well as resign from his post in the government.  So far, Abbas has not followed through on either threat while the peace talks hang in limbo.  Therefore, the question of ‘what happens next’ s still as legitimate and interesting as it was last month.

Jazeera outlines three possibilities for Abbas: continue with talks; quit talks and encourage a third Intifada; and lobby world leaders for international recognition of Palestine along 1967 borders.  The panelists also discuss the possibility – however unlikely – of Abbas resigning from the Presidency.  With the US midterm elections quickly approaching, it is highly unlikely that US President Obama will allow a complete collapse of talks as failure would hurt democrats in November.  Personally, I think the most likely outcome, at least for the next 2 months, is that peace talks remain stalled.

Netanyahu is intent on allowing settlement construction to continue and Abbas cannot politically afford to continue negotiations while Israel colonizes Palestine.  On the other hand, Obama will be sure to pressure Israel to limit its overtly provocative actions and the Palestinians to not formally end negotiations.

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