Thursday, December 30, 2010

Playing Make Believe

This was submitted to the Connecticut Post as a request for a correction, but instead was published as a letter to the editor.

Between the lines: Everybody's pretending that Mahmoud Abbas is the elected leader of the Palestinian Authority, with the authority to negotiate an agreement, but everyone also knows he's no longer "president" and, besides obviously having no interest in reaching any reasonable peace agreement - he's effectively pointed that out himself by repeatedly saying he'll never compromise and that an agreement would have been reached long ago had he any flexibility, he has no authority.

Palestinian president's time in office disputed

The news item "Quest for peace," published Monday, contained an obvious factual error that should be corrected.

The item incorrectly stated " Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' term expires next month." Abbas was elected to a four-year term in January, 2005 and his term in office legally ended January 8, 2009.

There are some who believe the Palestinian Authority's legislature had the authority to extend his term by one year, but that's highly disputable.

It's equally disputable that it was ever done since the legislature hasn't effectively met since the Hamas coup in Gaza, and even then his term would have ended January 8, 2010. (There are understandable reasons why various parties are pretending otherwise, but those do not change the fact that Abbas' term ended long ago.)

Alan H. Stein, Connecticut president PRIMER - Promoting Responsibility in Middle East Reporting,

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