Mazen, Ala or Amar: Whose Your Daddy?

I’ve been following the developments in the love triangle between Abu’s Mazen, Ala and Amar (Mahmud Abbas, Ahmed Queri and Yassir Arafat, respectively–and Abu means father in Arabic) with a bit of interest lately, and I must admit that I have no clue what will develop.
The rivalry between Abu Mazen and Ala has a long history, each vying for Arafat’s love and second place within the PLO’s power structure, so it was no surprise that Arafat chose to replace Abu Mazen with Abu Ala–but what gets me is why Abu Ala agreed to take the position. Arafat came out stronger than ever from his joust with Mazen, and, unless there is a tacit agreement between Ala and Arafat that the former will be no more than a puppet for the later, it would not make sense for a career politician such as Ala to accept the nomination for the following reasons:
1. As Abu Mazen before him, Ala will have no real power whatsoever.
2. In dealing with the Americans and the Israelis, Abu Ala stands to loose what ever credibility he has left among the Palestinian street.
3. In being powerless to affect change, Abu Ala will loose face with the Americans and Israelis, who will see him as ineffectual–thereby loosing a large part of the elementary international support he would need if Arafat does eventually exit the political arena. That is, if Arafat dies.
The only satisfactory explanation I have found is that Abu Ala has realized that he has no other option, lest he be excommunicated by Arafat and thrown into Abu Mazen’s camp. In this case, Abu Ala does not plan on doing anything, has realized that he does not have a future as the successor to Arafat on the international stage, and has resigned himself to tying his political career to that of Arafats. In this case, Abu Ala’s premiership will be even worse than Abu Mazen’s, giving Israel even more reason to take security measures into its own hands.
Well, one thing is for certain–we sure live in interesting times.


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