Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

A Palestinian Democracy advocate writes what it will take for a new system to work for the Palestinians.

Unlike Jimmy Carter even Omar Karsou understands that just because El Jefe has an 'election', where his initiatinve gets 99% of the vote, is nota sign of democracy.

Suddenly, there is a good deal of talk about reform and elections in Palestine. That is all very well. But democracy is not just a simple practice of electing a leader. After all, the Soviet Union held elections regularly, and Cubans go to the polls every five years. Before elections are held in Palestine, we must ensure that all other elements of a free society are in place: freedom of the press; freedom to hold political rallies; equal time on state-run media.

He has some harshwords of rIsrael, understandably, but still has hope that there are enough people on both sides to bring peace. As long as the PA is out.

It may sound as if I am absolving Israel of years of wrongdoing. I am not. Israel continues to cause the Palestinians a great deal of suffering and humiliation. There is a lack of sincerity in its political dealings with Palestinians. Building more settlements is not what an honest peace partner would do. Many Israeli leaders are trying to avoid a peace agreement at any price. There cannot be a just and final end to the conflict without Palestinian rights and grievances being addressed.

But Palestinians cannot achieve their aspirations until they reclaim the moral high ground. Only then will Israeli extremists be marginalised and our own moderate and peace-loving silent majority be empowered to speak out. In order for us Palestinians to attain our dreams of freedom and statehood, we have to put our house in order first. Only then will we be strong enough to counter our adversary's designs.

We need a leadership that is worthy of our struggle, one that can address years of suffering and injustice, not one that has narrow, self-centred concerns.

< email | 7/02/2002 11:31:00 PM | link

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