Would Abu Bluff name a successor?moderate' 'Palestinian' President
Alarmingly, there is nobody in that role now. Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, is 78 years old. He is a heavy smoker and a cancer survivor. In 2010, he reportedly was admitted six times to a Jordanian hospital for unspecified health reasons. It's unclear how much longer he'll be fit for office.
Should the unthinkable happen, according to Palestinian Basic Law, Article 37, "the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council shall temporarily assume the powers and duties of the Presidency of the National Authority for a period not to exceed sixty (60) days, during which free and direct elections to elect a new President shall take place."
But here's the rub: The current speaker is Aziz Dweik, who ran on the Hamas-affiliated Change and Reform ticket. His history does not recommend him. In 1992, Dweik was expelled from Israel for his involvement with Hamas. He was among those the Israelis rounded up and arrested in 2006 after an Israeli soldier was captured in Gaza. He was arrested again in 2012 for alleged "involvement in terrorist activities."
Should Dweik succeed Abbas, it would be the end of any possible peace process.Schanzer even has a candidate to take Abu Mazen's place:
Of course, Abbas has a prime minister. Salam Fayyad has done an admirable job and is worthy of succeeding Abbas. But Abbas has not identified him as the next in line for reasons that only he knows.The reasons that Abu Mazen has not identified a successor, and why he has not identified Fayyad in particular, are known to all in the region. First, Abu Mazen has one and only one goal: Staying alive. If he named a successor who was popular, that successor could decide to throw Abu Mazen out. After all, having been named, why should he wait? (Abu Mazen waited for Arafat's departure because Arafat was an icon who was far more popular than Abu Mazen). When a Prime Minister or President is thrown out of office in the Middle East in any country other than Israel, it doesn't happen because he lost an election. It happens because he lost his life.
And why not Fayyad? Because Fayyad, although a competent technocrat, has absolutely zero support among the 'Palestinian people.' None. He hasn't spent significant time in jail and hasn't got lots of Jewish blood on his hands - the two main qualifications for holding office in the 'Palestinian Authority.' He couldn't be elected dog catcher in the 'Palestinian Authority.' Yes, it's sad, because he's probably the only person who's qualified, and he's certainly the only one who's trusted by the West. But why let reality intrude on the 'Palestinian' dream of extirpating the Jewish state?
Besides, for Abu Mazen to do what Schanzer is suggesting would require statesmanship and a vision. If Abu Mazen has shown nothing else over the past ten years, he has shown that he has neither of those.