The Stateless Statesman

Despite criticism from every quarter, Mahmoud Abbas' slow, nonviolent campaign for Palestinian statehood just might be working

Joachim Ladefoged for TIME

A year ago, he came home a hero.

But that was a year ago.

Then, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian National Authority President, stood at the green marble rostrum of the U.N. General Assembly and asked for something he knew he could not get--full membership in the U.N. for a country, Palestine, that did not yet exist--and the room went wild.

A year later, on Sept. 27, Abbas stood in the same place and asked for something he can quite easily get--not full membership but a status packing similar legal power. Yet in downtown Ramallah, the West Bank city where trucks mounted...

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