The crisis of leadership throughout Palestinian history did not start with Mahmoud Abbas and will, regrettably, be unlikely to end with his departure. Although Abbas has, perhaps, done more damage to the credibility of the Palestinian leadership than any other leader in the past, he is also a byproduct of a process of political fraud that started much earlier than his expired presidency.

Abbas' unforeseen announcement Aug. 27 that he, along with a few others, will resign from the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee and his call for an emergency session of the Palestine National Council (PNC) is a testament to his poor management. Moreover, it shows his utter disregard for the minimally required threshold of responsible leadership.

Abbas, like his predecessor Yasser Arafat, has used and discarded the PLO and its various, now near-defunct, institutions as his personal political playground: summoning PNC members to vote on pre-determined and decided agendas and to cast and re-cast roles within the PLO's Executive Committee as a way to punish and reward.