One player missing from the current Middle East crisis is Arafat. Israel and the US couldn’t wait to be rid of him. Israel kept him prisoner in his office for the last few years of his life, which may have shortened his life. But he could control the Palestinians better than anyone else when he wanted to. Abbas is not his successor. Although he holds the same position, he doesn’t have the same power. If he were around there would be someone meaningful to negotiate with, although Bush and Olmert wouldn’t talk to him.