Tag Archives: Fath

Palestinians–We Don’t Trust Anyone!

New surveys of Palestinian attitudes toward their leaders revealed deep seated mistrust of either Hamas or Fatah. Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah organization received the endorsement of 39% of Palestinians, down from the 46% who had that feeling in November. Only 16% had a favorable attitude toward Hamas and as far as 41% think, a plague on both your houses! There is widespread dissatisfaction with leadership in Palestine and people are seeking honest government that will address their needs rather than play to the grandstand of rhetoric. A majority of those surveyed supported peace moves, but, they simply did not trust the current crop of leaders to actually make peace happen.

The Hamas figure is interesting, given that it probably was influenced by Israel bombings in Gaza. Most probably close to 12% of Palestinians actually endorse Hamas as an effective leadership group. The tragedy of the Palestinian movement from day one has been its inability to bring forth a statesman who could bring together divergent factions and work on a genuine compromise solution with Israel. Instead, Palestinians have been led by the corrupt and incompetent Arafat and today by an ineffective Abbas. Is there anyone around who can step up and exert effective leadership?

Hamas Leader Indicates Willingness to Dialogue With Fatah

Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, leader of the Hamas party which currently is in control of Gaza indicated he is willing to sit down and discuss issues with President Abbas, the leader of Fatah. Several months ago, Hamas overthrew the Fatah led government in Gaza causing a break between the two Palestinian groups. Haniyeh said: “There is a serious improvement in Palestinian dialogue and we have agreed to hold talks with Fatah in one of the Arab capitals.” He also indicated Hamas control over Gaza was a “temporary” one and there was possibility of restoration of Fatah power.

A key aspect of any Palestinian-Israel agreement is engaging Hamas in dialogue and negotiation. For the first time in months, Hamas is ready to talk which presents an important opportunity for America to urge Israel to end its opposition towards interaction with Hamas until certain preconditions are met. The upcoming Bush sponsored Middle Eastern conference can only benefit by having Hamas in a setting in which Arab nations indicate they want an end to terrorism and a recognition of Israel in order to bring peace to the Middle East. An important issue is whether or not the Bush administration is willing to exert pressure on Israel.