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Thesis & Antithesis

A critical perspective on energy, international politics & current affairs

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Location: Washington, D.C.

greekdefaultwatch@gmail.com Natural gas consultant by day, blogger on the Greek economy by night. Trained as an economist and political scientist. I believe in common sense and in data, and my aim is to offer insight written in language that is clear and convincing.

19 October 2005

Welcoming Abbas

Dennis Ross and David Makovsky, both fellows at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, have an op-ed in today’s Los Angeles Times, which describes well the prospects for Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader (1):

“Mahmoud Abbas is a different kind of Palestinian president. Unlike his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, who made a long-term strategy out of being a victim, Abbas has made it clear that he seeks to build a political culture of responsibility. He has repeatedly said (in both English and Arabic) that violence is counterproductive to Palestinian aspirations.While Arafat saw the misery of Palestinian refugees as a tool to be exploited for political purposes, Abbas has now given two speeches in the last month, in Arabic, declaring that it is time that Palestinians built housing for the refugees and that the Palestinian cause is not served by keeping refugees in wretched conditions. Such statements provide a way to demystify the refugee issue as a calling card of Palestinian grievance and as an impediment to an eventual peace agreement.”

References:
(1) Dennis Ross & David Makovsky, “The un-Arafat comes calling,” Los Angeles Times, 19 Oct 05 (link)

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