UPDATES

Palestinians postpone elections – again!

Aug 25, 2011 | Sharyn Mittelman

This week the Palestinian Authority (PA) cancelled local government elections for the fourth time. This lack of democracy is a clear sign that the Palestinians are not ready for statehood.

Elections were scheduled for January 2009 but did not occur, then they were supposed to be held in July 2010, but were cancelled by the PA “for the sake of public interest.” In February, elections were scheduled for July 2011 and then were cancelled “until better conditions are available” and rescheduled for October 22. This week PA President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree postponing them again – “indefinitely”.

Last year, the Palestinian ‘High Court’ ruled that the cancellation of these local elections was illegal, but the court was unable to enforce its order.

Meanwhile, parliamentary elections are also overdue.  President Abbas was elected in January 2005 and his term ended in January 2009. The Palestinian parliament was elected in February 2006 and its term should have ended in January 2010. While Hamas and Fatah agreed in their unity deal in May on elections for early next year, that deal has largely fallen apart, and almost no one expects the elections to go ahead.

While a variety of reasons may be given for the stalled elections, including the dangerous possibility that Hamas would win an election in the West Bank, and the inability for free and fair elections in Hamas-controlled Gaza – the fact remains that the current ‘government’ not only lacks a democratic mandate today, it has never made elections of any sort much of a priority. And this naturally casts doubt on the Palestinians claimed readiness for statehood.

Rick Richman comments in Commentary writes:

“When you have an unelected “president” who rules by decree; when your “High Court” is a Potemkin one; when your president repeatedly cancels even local elections; when a terrorist group allied with Iran holds half your putative state; when you are trying to “reconcile” with the group you previously promised to dismantle; when you have been offered a state three times in the last decade, refused each offer, and won’t come to the negotiating table to receive a fourth… you just might not be ready for a state.”

Elliot Abrams writes in the Weekly Standard:

“Palestinians therefore face, and face us with, an interesting situation: Just as they are about to go to the U.N. to demand recognition, they are farther from free elections than they have been since the day Arafat died. This will not complicate their situation in the U.N., where there are no democratic standards. But for Americans, the Palestinian demand for ‘freedom’ must mean more than ‘end the Israeli occupation.’ One of the key insights of the Bush administration was that a Palestinian state was not a worthy goal when it meant creating a vicious, corrupt Arafat satrapy.”

It seems ironic that while with advent of the ‘Arab Spring’, the international community champions the cause of free and fair elections in the Middle East, the world appears unconcerned by the lack of democracy in the Palestinian territories. With democracy seemingly breaking out in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan and Morocco, even in Syria, the fact that the PA and Hamas are both unwilling to hold elections should send a strong message to the international community that the Palestinians are not yet ready for statehood.

Sharyn Mittelman

Tags:

RELATED ARTICLES


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Italian TV: "Hitler also had Jewish blood. It means absolutely nothing…the most ardent antisemites are usually Jews." (Photo: YouTube screenshot)

The implications of Israel’s recent spat with Russia

May 7, 2022 | Update
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hosts Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in January: A new Iran nuclear deal would be a boon to Russia and allied anti-democratic forces (Photo: ITAR-TASS News Agency / Alamy Stock Photo)

Are the Iran nuclear talks deadlocked?

Apr 29, 2022 | Update
Supporters of Hamas and Islamic Jihad gather in Khan Yunis, Gaza, on April 8 to celebrate the attack on a Tel Aviv bar by Raad Hazem (Photo: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo)

Incitement and the latest terror wave in Israel

Apr 14, 2022 | Update
A flyer for Naftali's Bennett's Yamina party in last year's election - in the end, it was his own party, whose candidates were handpicked by Bennett, that has been the Israeli PM's Achilles heel (Photo: Shutterstock, Roman Yanushevsky)

Israel’s diverse coalition government loses its majority

Apr 9, 2022 | Update
Image: Israel's Government Press Office

Israel hosts unprecedented summit with Arab leaders

Mar 28, 2022 | Update
Israeli PM Naftali Bennett (L) has made Israel the "primary international mediator" in talks between Russia and Ukraine to end the war started by Russia's invasion, thanks to Israel's strong relations with both Russian President Putin (R) and Ukrainian President Zelensky (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Israel takes mediating role in Ukraine war

Mar 18, 2022 | Update

SIGN UP FOR AIJAC EMAILS

RECENT POSTS

Image: Wikimedia Commons

University of Melbourne exposes BDS’s lies and extremism

Image: Shutterstock

AIJAC welcomes ABC inquiry outcome, calls for further consideration of external complaints body

Shireen Abu Akleh

Tragedy of journalist’s death exploited to intensify conflict

Australian Citizen's Party head Craig Isherwood (Screenshot)

Laughing all the way to the postal bank: The LaRouchites in the 2022 Election

Image: Shutterstock

Submission to the Independent Review of ABC Complaint Handling

Image: Wikimedia Commons

University of Melbourne exposes BDS’s lies and extremism

Image: Shutterstock

AIJAC welcomes ABC inquiry outcome, calls for further consideration of external complaints body

Shireen Abu Akleh

Tragedy of journalist’s death exploited to intensify conflict

Australian Citizen's Party head Craig Isherwood (Screenshot)

Laughing all the way to the postal bank: The LaRouchites in the 2022 Election

Image: Shutterstock

Submission to the Independent Review of ABC Complaint Handling

SORT BY TOPICS