Wednesday, 18 October 2006

A glimmer of hope in Palestine

Mahmoud AbbasMahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian National Authority, has come up with an idea that might actually have some potential for positive change in Palestine: a transitional Cabinet of technocrats.
The idea was endorsed earlier Tuesday by a group of academics, politicians and professionals representing all walks of life in Palestinian society, who called for the establishment of a transitional government consisting of independent figures to resolve the crisis between Fatah and Hamas.

The call, which was made at a press conference that was held in Ramallah under the title "Appeal for the Sake of Palestine," comes amid growing fears that the Fatah-Hamas dispute could spill over into civil war.

Hamas, not surprisingly, is cool to the idea.

As regular readers of this blog know, I have said more than once that the only hope of the Palestinians is to turn away from both Hamas and Fatah, and look to a third option. Although there are real obstacles to this particular proposal's success, it nonetheless shows that rationality not only exists in Palestine, but is starting to find a voice. We'll take our comfort where we can find it.

Palestinians would also have to reject their deeply ingrained culture of hatred. This is not easily done, but is not without historic precedent. Entire populations have been known to experience a mass movement of revulsion against their former excesses. Think of post-Nazi Germany, revolutionary France, and 18th century Salem. I'm not sure Palestinians are quite ripe for a thorough-going renunciation of their ideologies. Hopefully a full-fledged civil war will not be necessary to bring them to that point. But it might be.

Hat tip to the Captain's Quarters.

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