Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced today that he won’t seek a new term in the president election he has called for January. “This is not a bargain or maneuver,” he said, although it’s unlikely the election will actually be held in January—they won’t happen until there’s a political reconciliation between Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah party, allowing them to go forward—which means he won’t be leaving the presidency anytime soon. “A top aide to Mr. Abbas said a large part of the ‘despondency and frustration’ felt by Mr. Abbas and the entire Palestinian leadership was due to President Obama’s unrealized promises to the region,” reports Ethan Bronner in the New York Times. “He said he feared that without a stop to settlements, Islamist rivals in Hamas could triumph and violence could break out.”
Jesse Oxfeld, a former executive editor and publisher of Tablet Magazine, is a freelance theater critic. He was The New York Observer’s theater critic from 2009 to 2014.