Nation in Waiting

An Interview with Robert Danin

The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has proven to be one of the world’s most intractable. The eyes of global observers are focused, usually, on Israel’s side of the question. The Palestinians, of course, have their own political life and institutions. These remain too often ignored in international discussion. Robert Danin, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, knows Palestinian politics from the ground up as few other Western analysts do. Here, he explains the incredibly fragile status of the main contestants within the Palestinian body politic and the fog that surrounds the next big inevitability there: the exit of Mahmoud Abbas.

Octavian Report: What happens in Palestinian politics after Mahmoud Abbas exits the political scene?

Robert Danin: It’s an excellent question. Mahmoud Abbas wears three political hats simultaneously. He is the head of Fatah, which is the largest political body within Palestinian politics. He …

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