Obama’s Flawed Peace Process
MADRID – Since its inception in Oslo almost two decades ago, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has been stymied by the dysfunctional political systems of both sides. Hostage of an impossible coalition and of a settlement movement of free-lance fanatics, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s leadership is seriously compromised. His Palestinian counterparts are hardly in a better position.
Today, the clique that surrounds Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas embodies the bitter deception which the peace process that began with the Oslo agreement has meant for the Palestinians. Moreover, the Palestinian Authority has come neither to represent the majority of Palestinians nor to rule by democratic means.
Abbas’ presidential term has expired, and elections are constantly being postponed. The PA prime minister, Salam Fayyad, like his Hamas counterparts in Gaza, rules by decree, keeps parliament inactive, and silences the opposition. With no institutionalized democratic legitimacy, the PA is bound to rely on its security forces and on those of the occupier, Israel, to enforce its will.