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MK Svetlova: Abbas not ideal partner, but best we have now

In an Al-Monitor interview, Zionist Camp Knesset member Ksenia Svetlova described Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as a "missed opportunity'' and laid most of the blame for the current diplomatic impasse on Israel.
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In late August, Knesset member Ksenia Svetlova of the Zionist Camp visited Ramallah, where she met with senior figures in the Palestinian Authority (PA). She has known them since her time as Arab Affairs correspondent for Channel 9, an Israeli Russian-language TV station.

Born in Moscow and fluent in Arabic, the 37-year-old parliamentarian thought it important to hear top-ranking Palestinian officials in an unmediated format. This, she thought, would provide her with an up-to-date picture of what is happening in the PA. It is hardly surprising that she came away from her visit with some disconcerting realizations: Hamas is resurgent and getting stronger; President Mahmoud Abbas has lost most of his legitimacy among the Palestinian public, which is disappointed with his performance; and the person who keeps popping up as a future leader is Marwan Barghouti, currently serving a life sentence in an Israeli prison.

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