It has been five years since the death of Yasser Arafat.
Memorials in the West Bank took place yesterday – but people are not so much looking back, but forward – and it doesn't look good. The Palestinian-American relations are one step away from falling into the abys. For the better part of the last year things were looking up – but now with the apparent aligning of the US administration with Israel. Palestinians feel abandoned by the US concession to Israel over a complete settlement construction freeze, particularly in East Jerusalem where they hope to have their future capital of the Palestinian State.
There's also another issue bugging many in the Palestinian leadership of Mr. Obama's silence on the issue of the 1967 lines having to be redrawn somewhat. But there is no question that the big problem for the Palestinian people right now – is that there is no heir apparent for the position of leadership. But even if there was, the very things that forced Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas out would be there waiting for the new leader… the lack of relations with Washington, Netanyahu's views on settlements, and Hamas gaining popularity in the peoples eyes.
One of the projected worse case scenarios Israel has to plan for is the Palestinian Authority ceasing to exist. This is why some Palestinian pundits are saying that with the exit of Abbas comes the death of the Two State solution – and certain Palestinian strife. Some may argue that that is in Israel's interest – but as long as the Palestinians can't live with each other – they won't be able to live beside Israel.
That was one thing that Yasser Arafat did espouse to deliver on in his role as the leader of the Palestinian people… and the idea may fast be fading as the memory of him is.
Middle East Correspondent