Abbas is in a tough bind. Obama does not care about the report and the Hague: the potential benefit, that the ICC’s investigation would make Israelis more amenable to his peace demands, is balanced by the possibility that Afghanis might drag US soldiers to the ICC for similar actions.
But Abbas faces a problem with the Israelis, who promised to make public the tapes on which he can be heard pushing Olmert and Barak to continue the war in Gaza to topple Hamas.
Palestinian public opinion is pushing Abbas in the opposite direction, to support the Goldstone report. Not that common West Bankers really care about Israeli “atrocities” in Gaza, but their leaders, who dislike Abbas, are fueling the outcry.
Hamas benefits by heating the public outrage against Abbas. If Israel releases the tapes, Hamas will be able to brand Abbas as a collaborator—which is no big news, since everyone knows that he is. Hamas is using the Abbas-Goldstone issue to extract more concessions from Fatah at unity talks in Cairo.