Would Barghouti’s release save Fatah?
The brainstorming in Israel on how to strengthen Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has again raised the possibility of releasing Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti from prison. Several members of Ehud Olmert’s government regard clemency as a wonder drug that would instantly bolster the popularity of Abbas (Abu Mazen) and save Fatah from collapse. But it is doubtful that Barghouti can be his movement’s savior. To save Fatah, more is needed than the reemergence of this or that charismatic leader. In certain circumstances, freeing Barghouti could definitely help Abu Mazen in the internal Palestinian arena, but in other conditions it is even likely to hurt him. [complete article]