By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, is cementing his legacy.
Most observes would respond by asking how? He has stumbled and failed at every juncture to secure peace or, for that matter, any agreement and has misread Israel's objectives at almost every turn.
That is true. But the Abbas dream is not about peace or coexistence. Mahmoud Abbas wants to be remembered for freeing Palestinian prisoners. Abbas is achieving that which Yasser Arafat could never achieve.
This recent group of 26 prisoners, part of the larger group of 104 prisoners to be released from Israeli prisons, is a small group that numbers well over a thousand Palestinian prisoners who have been freed under Abbas' watch.
Mahmoud Abbas will be remembered in the Palestinian history books as the president who forced Israel to free Palestinians who had been in jail for decades. It is Abbas who gave them their freedom, not Israel.
In the end, for his own legacy, Abbas is not concerned about a Palestinian Israeli peace deal. All he really cares about is the release of prisoners.
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