I wrote a few weeks back about the upcoming, much-delayed, little-anticipated Palestinian local elections which had been one, two, three times delayed for various reasons; most recently in order to allow Gazan parties to organize in time to participate in the elections. Their inclusion seems important to me; it tangibly unites again a Gaza-West Bank administration, especially important after the recent reconciliation, ending the political split between the two territories. In the quest for a state, discarding Gaza to the side, as it looks Fatah is about to do, does not seem a politically savvy or humane move.
Unfortunately, the petty Fatah-Hamas bickering has once again prevented a fully representative, trans-national united Palestinian administration from becoming a reality, despite the reconciliation which was meant to present a united front in advance of the statehood bid at the UN. It looks more and more as though that reconciliation was shallow and superficial, a mere farce to look better on the world stage. Surprise, suprprise.
Though there is no information on the Palestine CEC website about this newest development, I’ve no doubt in the story’s accuracy. It is on par with the oft-petty behavior of these officials, to deny the millions living in Gaza of the opportunity to vote in elections which affect them very directly because their leadership can’t stop bickering with each other and with Fatah.
If a true reconciliation occurred, then Gaza’s Hamas government and the West Bank’s Fatah government have a responsibility to allow populations of both territories equal representation in whatever form a “reconciled” government takes. It seems a lot like Fatah is bending to yet more diplomatic pressure to not deal with Hamas-the-political-party, despite it being the lone diplomatic or political representative of the people of Gaza. If not that, then they are simply power-hungry and afraid of losing their toe-hold in the delicate balance in which they consistently lose more and more.
Somehow, cutting the electoral voice of a huge portion of the Palestinian population out of the system does not bode well for a statehood bid in which they will ostensibly sell themselves as a democracy.