Matthew Kalman has an important look today in Tablet Magazine at who could succeed, or at least run to succeed, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas should the aging leader decide not to run for re-election in September, when he has next called for elections. The potential presidents come with their own caveats (Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is not a member of Fatah; security head Muhammad Dahlan was defeated by Hamas in Gaza in 2007; the popular Marwan Barghouti is serving five consecutive life terms in an Israeli prison), but if they present alternatives to Abbas, the real alternative, especially now that the P.A. has lost the crucial patronage of Hosni Mubarak, is Hamas.

After Abbas