Excellent statement — let’s keep it grounded in the both the realpolitik of its day and what we know of leadership psychology today:
Russia has had a long history of virulent and institutionalized anti-Semitism. Before Arafat’s arrival, it used anti-Semitic sentiment to court its targets in the Arab world. https://conflict-backchannels.com/2015/10/12/ftac-tip-to-the-kgbs-amplification-of-middle-eastern-anti-semitism/ In addition to spreading the forgery and libel that was the _Protocols of the Elders of Zion_, it produce a propaganda campaign accompanied by sending trained agents and workers into the middle east to facilitate its own ends.
In states burdened today by the legacy of “medieval political absolutism”, the narcissistic egomaniac only appears to represent the cultural spirituality of the state, but the same presumptuously does as much at any and every cost to The People — and that may include what has happened to the Palestinian People.
The malign qualities in leadership may stem from damage done to the self-concept of the leader in childhood or youth as humiliation or similar injury finds an antidote in that person’s reinvention of personality and its appearance. In the context of militarized societies or others obsessed with honor, the observation that the people ultimately create the Great Leader — and the Great Leader becomes also their own Great Burden — would seem to have become in this era entirely predictable.
The prompt: a discussion about why Arafat failed to set up conditions for a Palestinian democratic society.
The most basic and honest answer to that is this: Arafat’s handlers in Moscow forbid him any development of liberalism or democracy in territories to which he was assigned. Instead, Moscow asserted its will to impose itself on the Palestinian People and produce a sustained conflict beneath which many would profit from long decades engaged in corruption, crime, and related patronage. The would be no justice within the Palestinian community for the leadership and its cronies.
More recently, as noted in the BackChannels piece, “Palestinian KGB” (cited above), it has been revealed that Mahmoud Abbas has himself had KGB status — a fact of life that never goes away — and appears today to be as hamstrung in his political stance as his predecessor and probably for the same reason. He may be representing modern Palestinian interests far less than the archaic medieval interests of Moscow in sustaining dictatorships and the related looting-by-leadership known to too many Soviet-style intimidated and subjugated populations worldwide.
For the greater base of the Palestinian people, the Middle East Conflict has been a good business for the Palestinian privileged by way of the favor of politically criminal Palestinian leaders.
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