March 22, 2014
IT'S IN ISRAEL'S INTEREST AS WELL....:
Why Abbas wants Marwan Barghouti to go free (AVI ISSACHAROFF, March 22, 2014, Times of Israel)
Is this a case of naiveté on Abbas's part, or is it a clever ploy to prove that Israel is not ready to take a step that would foster more talks? It actually looks like neither, and more like a sort of gamble that could pay off for Abbas (if less probably for Israel).Abbas knows that Barghouti's release would allow him the breathing room to negotiate for many more months without fearing public criticism. Barghouti, the most popular leader in the territories today, could even sit by his side in the talks. That would be a major coup for Abbas in the eyes of the Palestinian public. Barghouti's release would also strengthen Abbas's support in Fatah.And perhaps most importantly for Abbas, he could finally appoint a successor -- Barghouti. This would enable Abbas to keep his primary rival, Mohammad Dahlan, from taking the presidency. Abbas knows that Dahlan, sitting in the UAE, has no electoral chance against Barghouti, who enjoys endless praise for his role in the Second Intifada and his conviction on five murder charges.
...because he can uniiquely appeal to both Hamas and Fatah voters, so he's going to be the first elected president of the nation of Palestine.
Posted by Orrin Judd at March 22, 2014 2:04 AM