“A BIG problem in a small place.” That’s how an exasperated British statesman once characterized the Palestine question during the Mandatory period.Since then the place has not grown any bigger nor the problem any smaller. The American failure to put together an agreement on the parameters of a permanent settlement underlines just how big the problem still is.The current deadlock poses a challenge to all the key players. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas finds himself without an agenda after putting all his eggs in the American basket. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the PA does not have a realistic Plan B. It has not been laying the groundwork for organized non-violent protest. Moreover, because of the inevitable American veto, it does not have the option of gaining recognition for a Palestinian state through the UN Security Council.