Some said that lower-than-expected turnout figures — the Central Election Commission said only that "at least" 66 per cent of eligible voters had cast ballots — would damage the president-elect's credibility and give him weakened bargaining power with militants.
Do the math. Israel National News has reported on exchanged broadcasted on Israel Radio’s newsmagazine:
Appearing before cheering crowds last night, Abu Mazen did little to allay Israeli fears that he is no different than Arafat. He said he dedicates his victory to "brother shahid [martyr] Yasser Arafat," to the "shahids and prisoners," and to the "Palestinian people from Rafiach to Jenin." The crowd responded, "A Million Shahids Marching to Jerusalem!"
Abu Mazen also said that the period of the "little Jihad [holy war] had ended, and now the big Jihad is beginning." This quote led to a quaint exchange on Israel Radio's morning newsmagazine. Arabic-speaking correspondent Avi Yisacharov played the tapes of Abu Mazen's quotes, and then quickly said, "Regarding the future..." He was immediately interrupted by anchorman Aryeh Golan, who said, "Whoa, wait a second. What's this 'big Jihad' stuff?" Yisacharov gave a nervous chuckle and said, "I don't think he means a real Jihad, he just means the challenges ahead of reforms in the PA and the release of Palestinian prisoners by Israel..." Yisacharov similarly played a recording of a leading Abu Mazen supporter singing in joy at the results of the election, and explained that it was simply "an old PLO war song."
So the little jihad is over and the big jihad will begin. It all leaves me very unimpressed.