The briefest of messages here, to be followed by more in days ahead:
Abbas is not OK. Fatah does not represent the good guys. Anyone who reads my messages with regularity has heard this many times.
The fact that Hamas might (might!) be taken out of the picture does not render Abbas and company "kosher." Yet the current response — American and Israeli — to the occurrences within the the Palestinian Authority would lead one to believe so: "Rid of Hamas? Now we have someone to deal with, focusing on Judea and Samaria."
The problems with this approach are multiple. There is, first of all, the good possibility that while the world would like Abbas to write off Gaza — disassociating himself from the people there — he will not choose to do so. Then there is the presence of multiple radical Islamist groups inside of Judea and Samaria — Hamas itself, al-Qaida, Hezbollah, etc. We have no evidence that Abbas would take them on. Last is the simple fact that for all of Abbas’s apparent "moderation," Fatah’s goal is still the elimination of Israel. It is simply a question of difference in style.
Remember: Abbas, with superior forces, greater in number, better trained and well armed, did not take out Hamas because he didn’t really want to. Until the very end, when the fate of Gaza was sealed, he did not give the order for his people to do battle seriously.
Expecting much of this man, or the party he represents, would be a vast mistake.
But what we witness, mostly, are mistakes, it seems.