In the Soviet Era, the KGB groomed Arafat and installed the PLO as a block and goad holding the then communist and Russian line against the expansion of western liberalism. Mahmoud Abbas has also his KGB record, and he too has sustained the Palestinian “People’s Liberation” mythology in service to an Orwellian model of political power, and combination of feudal power as guided by “secret” police (to get back to the promotion of Russian anti-Semitic political mechanics, go back to the Okhrana at the end of the Russian Imperial period).
Abbas essentially serves Moscow while trying to sustain a patronage system funded by obligations diplomatic and practice met by the west. Neither Abbas nor the Soviet / post-Soviet political “vision” he represents have any place to go. He’s an old man; the old Soviet bloc has been largely ruined in the middle east. However, Putin has chosen to support the older politics and related alignment to either the point of war, which I feel is near, or some bitter end afterward. I suspect Israel, the United States, and NATO and others would have preferred a diplomatic transition to archaic medieval destruction (as witnessed in Syria), but here we are with another Soviet-type dinosaur in power in the opposition and we’re dealing with primitive but effective fire-bearing kites and balloons from Gaza, which seems a sight both ridiculous and surreal.
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