1 thought on “Israeli Collusion With Palestinian Authority to Cancel Elections? – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Thank goodness you wrote something about this, Richard. I agree completely that Israel is making a decision here that is both unjust and unwise. It’s true that armed groups usually do not participate in elections. But I see no other way to overcome the factionalism of Palestinian politics than by holding free and fair elections that allow the Palestinian people to choose who wil represent them and what policies they support. Without a properly elected leadership, there is no one who can commit the Palestinian people firmly to any course, whether it is peace or war.

    “a Hamas victory would put it to a severe test. Either it would become a governing party willing to make pragmatic decisions to advance national interests; or it would continue, even while governing, to try to be a revolutionary movement of armed struggle.”

    That’s it exactly. If Hamas were to win an overwhelming majority; and if it committed the Palestinian government to a policy of war with Israel; then Israel would be justified in defending itself militarily. As things stand now, though, the Palestinian government is committed to a negotiated settlement, and the war is being made by factions. If the elections take place it will force a debate in Palestinian society – and ultimately, a resolution – of this question. Then Israel and the International Community will be able to respond to one policy, not multiple competing agendas.

    Israel’s approach – forcibly disarm and, in effect, eliminate Hamas – is unrealistic. It’s not a tiny terrorist group, it’s 40% of Palestinians. And the fact that there is a large armed resistance is as much Israel’s fault, for prolonging the occupation and settling the territories – as it is the fault of any extremist/Islamic sentiments indigenous to the Palestinians. Abbas is correct that Hamas must be integrated into the political process of a democratic state.

    I think that Israel’s leaders know that the demand of disarmament is unrealistic. Israel has certainly made effective use in the past of a strategy of imposing impossible prerequisites for negotiation while pursuing its own agenda unilaterally.

    It seems to me Abbas has been quite committed to the democratic process. I hope he’s not looking for excuses to cancel elections – that would be a disastrous move for his own credibility among Palestinians. But of course, he’s sometimes hamstrung by his own party power-brokers, who are the ones that stacked the slate in the first place and precipitated Barghouti’s departure.

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