But, once in the leadership role, if they say, "Now it's time to talk with the other side and make peace," all support disappears. The PLO was the only game in town until they started talking with the Israelis. After that, Hamas was suddenly more popular and actually won the elections. Now that Hamas controls Gaza and has to work with Israel on security (least the IDF respond with attacks against Hamas position), it's Hamas that reigns in other militant factions. So, Hamas popularity is draining away. Abbas has decided to take on Israel (at least diplomatically) and stop talking with them, and now he is the most popular politician in the territories. However, just as soon as he says, "Let's talk peace with the Israelis," he will suddenly become a traitor to the Palestinian nation once again. In effect, the problem isn't totally with the leadership, but the people who seem to only want to support leaders who won't make peace. Or to put it the other way around, it is a political kiss of death for any Palestinian politician to win the approval or admiration of Israel (or even the US). Maybe that's the reason Israel could make peace with Egypt and Jordan; because the leaders in those countries didn't really care what the people had to say. Of course, the Arab Spring is showing what the value of a peace treaty on paper only really is.
Neurologist and author Oliver Sacks dies at 82 (Haaretz)
from the article: Palestinian official: Mideast Quartet envoy Tony Blair 'useless'