As expected, the election for PA president went off yesterday without too much trouble, and Abbas appears to have won an unquestionable victory, as everyone knew he would.
Expected, that is, by everyone except the Israelis, most of whom seem to have been only dimly aware that anything of the sort was going on. After all, the Israeli media is obsessed with the Disengagement, phony hand-wringing over the prospect of the settlers precipitating a civil war, Sharon's contortions to keep his government together and avoid new elections, etc., etc. Anything but the election next door, it would seem.
The observation has come from a number of quarters that free elections do not routinely take place in occupied lands. While there remains some debate over just how free and fair these polls really were, you'd think that point alone would merit a bit more coverage. But the very observation that it's hard to hold an election in the Palestinian territories rather emphasizes facts that the Israelis would mostly rather not think about too much. I can't quite buy Price's theory that they're
But as American politics so often demonstrates, indifference is easy.