Politics and the Palestinian Authority

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At the very moment when there are hints of political progress among Palestinians, another bomb, and then another. Television screens revert to too-familiar shaky images of blackened buses and ambulance attendants at a run.

Islamic Jihad claims responsibility and steals attention, again, from the Palestinian voices calling for change. Those voices reached a new plateau of power last week, when elected Palestinian deputies told Yasser Arafat they’ve had enough of him and his men, and their corruption, nepotism, and inaction.

As a criticism of Arafat, the Palestinian Authority discord heralds what may be the start of an actual election campaign to replace the man. But as long as there are suicide attacks, who’s watching? Bombs, ballots, and figuring out a response to the muddled message of the West Bank.

There is an error in the opening moments of this program. Dick Gordon says “Today, in Tel Aviv, in the center of Israel’s capital in front of a synagogue in the middle of the day – five dead, fifteen injured.” The capital of Israel is Jerusalem. We regret the error.


Mahdi Abdul Hadi, head of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs

Serge Schmemann, New York Times Middle East correspondent

Marc Gopin, Visiting Associate Professor of International Diplomacy, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

Amotz Asa-El, executive editor of the Jerusalem Post, Israel.