My piece in The Nation on Hamas

… is in the May 25 edition of the magazine. It’s here— but sadly most of it is behind a subscribers-only paywall.
So I guess you’ll need to go buy the mag…
The piece draws heavily on the material I gathered when I was in East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank earlier this year. I chart the resilience of Hamas and the continuing decay of Fateh and its non-Islamist allies– noting, among other things, that the aid the US has poured into supporting Fateh has had the effect of hastening the movement’s internal collapse.
I also wrote this:

    Given the current weakness of both Gaza and Ramallah, the center of gravity of the Palestinians’ national leadership has started to move out of the occupied territories: flowing to key centers among the more than 5 million Palestinians living in exile– and also to the 1.2 million Palestinian citizens of Israel. This shift has big implications, since these are the two Palestinian constituencies whose needs were most notably ignored when Arafat signed the Oslo Accord. Oslo and the negotiations that flowed from it gave very short shrift to the longstanding Palestinian demand that refugees be allowed to return to the homes and properties their forebears fled from in the territory that became Israel in 1948. In addition, Oslo and the entire two-state solution concept are both based on an ethno-nationalist view of statehood that felt threatening to many Palestinian Israelis. In both groups, there is understandable enthusiasm for a unitary, binational state.
    People in Israel’s newly ascendant right have also been touting some alternatives to a two-state outcome. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has revived his former, never feasible idea of a purely “economic” peace with the Palestinians. He and other Israeli rightists also speak of trying to offload the problems of Gaza and the West Bank onto Egypt and Jordan, under what they dub the “regional” approach.
    Since the beginning of his term, President Obama has called for speedy progress toward a two-state solution. But thus far, his administration has done nothing to challenge any of the actions by which Israeli policies make this outcome increasingly impossible. The people of Israel and Palestine are thus perilously poised between very different versions of the future. In the luxurious cafes and shopping malls of Tel Aviv, it is easy to imagine that the present situation can be effortlessly sustained. But for the deeply hurting Palestinians, maintaining the status quo is not an option. Unless Obama moves rapidly to throw US power behind the so- far empty cadence of his rhetoric, Palestinians could soon face another destabilizing crisis.

I’m still on the road in London, which means I haven’t even seen this issue of the mag yet. Any hints from anyone where I might find a copy in London on Monday?

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