What Abbas Wants from US ; Palestinian Leader - and Bush - Face New Challenges to a Fledgling Middle East Democracy

By Howard LaFranchi writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, May 24, 2005 | Go to article overview

What Abbas Wants from US ; Palestinian Leader - and Bush - Face New Challenges to a Fledgling Middle East Democracy


Howard LaFranchi writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


When Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visits the White House this week, the first Palestinian leader to meet with President Bush will be feted as an example of democracy's possibilities in the Middle East.

But Mr. Abbas, elected only in January yet already facing a new round of national elections scheduled for this summer, will also stand as an example of democracy's uncertainties.

The rising attraction to many Palestinians of Islamic radicalism as a political force is evident in the strength of the extremist Hamas organization in recent municipal elections. Hamas looks as if it could challenge the traditional dominance of Abbas's secular Fatah organization in the upcoming Legislative Council elections. Thus an international press is on - including in the US - to bolster Abbas and moderate, reformist forces.

What remains unclear is how the Bush-Abbas meeting on Thursday will play among Palestinians. Officials close to Abbas have said he will seek to convince Bush to pressure Israel to stick to the "road map" for peace and to ease conditions for Palestinians in occupied lands.

Yet its far from certain that Bush will choose the delicate weeks preceding Israel's planned withdrawal from Gaza to push the government of Ariel Sharon.

At the same time, a certain disappointment has started to tarnish Palestinian expectations of the US. One reason: The US has been slow to deliver on the substantial economic aid that an enthusiastic Bush pledged to the post-Arafat Palestinians in his State of the Union address.

"There is a growing sentiment among Palestinians that the Bush administration has not delivered on its lofty rhetoric about the benefits of democracy and progressive reforms, and that disappointment is starting to have political impact," says Fawaz Gerges, a Middle East specialist at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y. "Mahmoud Abbas is trying hard to put the Palestinian house in order and to show the Palestinian people that there is light at the end of the tunnel. But he is not getting much help in doing that."

In his State of the Union address, Bush pledged $350 million to help Abbas's reform efforts. But so far the president has requested $200 million in assistance that is now making its way through Congress.

And critics of the allocation are emphasizing that Congress is so far earmarking about $140 million of the package to Abbas's Palestinian Authority, while the rest of the package is going to accountability measures and to Israel for border checkpoint construction and to private hospitals.

"Clearly Abbas is coming with a request for the president to make good on his call to support Palestinian democracy, and that request will be in the form of lots of aid to improve social and economic conditions," says Bernard Reich, an expert on the Israeli- Palestinian conflict at George Washington University in Washington. "But Congress has shown no particular interest in providing large amounts of unrestricted aid."

Abbas will also be looking for Bush to commit to the process leading to a Palestinian state after Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, Mr.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

What Abbas Wants from US ; Palestinian Leader - and Bush - Face New Challenges to a Fledgling Middle East Democracy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.