However, for this to happen a leadership change in the PLO/Fatah is absolutely essential. The octogenarian Mahmoud Abbas is out of tune with the current thinking among younger Palestinians. Despite his fiery rhetoric at the recent meeting of the Palestine Central Council in which he declared the Oslo process dead and spurned American aid, Abbas is unable to break out of his old way of thinking, which is still confined within the two-state mold.
In a generational and ideological shift someone like Mustafa Barghouti, a physician who is a member of the Palestinian Central Council, is an eloquent spokesman for the Palestinian cause, and is committed to nonviolence, should be persuaded to take over from the likes of Mahmoud Abbas and his corrupt cronies. Such a change of guard is likely to bring about a major transformation in the Palestinian approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict and could even pave the way for an eventual solution to that conflict.
Mohammed Ayoob is senior fellow at the Center for Global Policy in Washington, DC, and University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Relations at Michigan State University.