Dim Prospects for Palestinian Moderates

(Turkish Daily News) Barry Rubin - * The Palestinian movement has no able leader today. The glorification of violence, disdain for compromise, and deep factionalism whose seeds Arafat planted have now come close to destroying it. As a result, the Palestinian leadership will be unable to develop a viable strategy for peace or getting a state. No order will be established in the Gaza Strip. The moderates will not be able to change any of this. * Yet the world hardly seems to notice what is going on. Rhetoric continues to be about "helping the moderates," brokering peace through road maps, or just blaming Israel for the lack of progress. * The latest sign of disaster is the resignation of PA Finance Minister Salam Fayad, a former International Monetary Fund official. He has been portrayed accurately as the most honest man in the PA, trying to curb corruption and create a system of accountability. Fayad's presence made donors believe they could give money to the PA without expecting it to be stolen or wasted. * The final round of Palestinian local elections will be held in December. Not only are these likely to see further advances by Hamas, but the number of Palestinians who will now be under Hamas local rule will probably exceed 40%. In the general Palestinian parliamentary election scheduled for January, Hamas is likely to do very well, changing the historic course of the Palestinian movement, even though it will not attain a majority. Hamas is clearly running on a platform of destroying Israel and escalating terrorism. The writer is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of Turkish Studies journal.

2005-11-29 00:00:00

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