Navigate to News section

After Abbas, the End of the Palestinian Authority?

Fatah officials speculate Authority will collapse without him

Jesse Oxfeld
November 10, 2009
Fatah supporters at a rally in Ramallah yesterday.(
Fatah supporters at a rally in Ramallah yesterday.(

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who announced last week that he won’t be a candidate for another term in the election he has called for January, is likely to resign his office in the next month or so, Ethan Bronner reports in today’s New York Times. In last week’s reports, Bronner’s sources suggested that while Abbas wasn’t bluffing with his announcement, it was also unlikely that the election would happen as scheduled, keeping the president in office longer. Worse, Bronner’s sources are now speculating that Abbas’s resignation could mean the end of the Palestinian Authority. “I think he is realizing that he came all this way with the peace process in order to create a Palestinian state, but he sees no state coming,” longtime Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told the Times. “So he really doesn’t think there is a need to be president or to have an Authority. This is not about who is going to replace him. This is about our leaving our posts. You think anybody will stay after he leaves?”

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.