• Mahmoud Abbas has just begun the 10th year of his four-year term as president of the PA. Khaled Abu Toameh points out that in the absence of long-overdue elections, Abbas has no mandate to proceed with John Kerry’s peace initiative.
The only way to find out what Palestinians really want is by allowing them to head to the ballot boxes. Palestinians representing all groups, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, should be allowed to run in such an election.
A victory for the radicals would mean that a majority of Palestinians do not want peace and continue to dream about the destruction of Israel. If Abbas and his political allies win, that would be great news for the peace process and Kerry’s efforts to achieve a two-state solution . . .
How can Kerry expect Abbas to sign any document declaring the end of the conflict with Israel when many Palestinians are already pointing out that their president does not even have a mandate to act or speak on their behalf?
• Expecting peace talks to fail, the PLO’s already laying the groundwork to take the statehood fight to international organizations. More at Maan News.
• Professor Vijay Parshad (a member of both the American Studies Association and the advisory board for USACBI (US Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel) got an op-ed soapbox in the Washington Post plugging the academic boycott.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• After Hassan Rouhani told CNN‘s Fareed Zakaria that Iran won’t destroy any of its centrifuges, Zakaria called the agreement a “train wreck.”
• AP: Israel estimates there are now 30,000 al-Qaida-linked jihadis in Syria.
• Narciso Contreras — the war photographer canned by AP for altering a photo from Syria — discussed with Lens why he did it, and why he turned himself in to AP rather than wait for for someone else to spot the Photoshopping.
(Image of Abbas via YouTube/President Abbas)
For more, see Thursday’s Israel Daily News Stream.