Gaza is wracked with violence and death, but West Bank Palestinians are not responding to calls from Hamas to demonstrate in support of those suffering in Gaza. Bassam al-Salihi, a leader of the Popular Party, commented: “the Palestinian population no longer has any confidence in its national leaders, that’s why there has been no mass mobilization against the Israeli operation in Gaza.” The years of feuding and inability to cooperate in the pursuit of peace has left West Bank Palestinians dejected and cynical about any effort suggested by either Hamas or Fatah to produce peace. There is no leader who can order a third intifada because no consensus on the future of Palestine is present among its people. In the 2006 elections, the people of Gaza voted for Hamas while the West Bank remained loyal to Fatah.
Nothing will change until a Palestine government finally focuses on a solution that entails compromise and moves away from positions from which there is no movement. The people of Palestine need a Nelson Mandela who has a vision of the future that requires taking the first step in hope it will result in future steps toward peace and prosperity.