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Follow us on: Advanced Search Editorial Palestine united April 30, 2011 01:30 AM (Last updated: April 30, 2011 01:30 AM) By Daily Star Editorial The Daily Star The nascent Palestinian reconciliation, to be consummated next Wednesday in Cairo, is a welcome step that should result in a unified and stronger push for statehood led by the right group – a united Palestinian people.
Fatah and Hamas announced last Wednesday that they had come to an agreement – brokered by Egypt – to form a new unity Cabinet and hold presidential and parliamentary elections. Predictably, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decried the reconciliation, saying Israel could not make peace with a Palestinian leadership which included Hamas. Such rhetorical contortions should not obscure the fact that Netanyahu has spent his time in office undermining peace efforts, with the robust pace of illegal settlement construction the most glaring example.
The West, however, has taken a wait-and-see approach to the Palestinian accord, evidently preferring to judge any future Palestinian by how it upholds the territories’ international commitments.
Such a stance gives the Palestinians a window to demonstrate their resolve to do what they must to achieve recognition for a Palestinian state. Indeed, it is past time that all Palestinian factions admitted the reality that, regardless of what their outside benefactors might whisper to them, the only clear path toward statehood requires Palestinian unity.
As long as the political leadership of the Palestinians remains divided, the factions will be confronted with a large number of outside actors who only wish to pursue their own interests by manipulating the bickering Palestinians.
When the Palestinians accept that they must act on the international stage as one nation despite varying positions on the issues, then they will become a powerful actor able to push forward their agenda.
The goal of statehood is inching closer, as a handful of countries have recognized Palestine and others continue to mull the move; the Palestinian Authority has made clear that it wants the U.N. General Assembly to vote on recognizing Palestine this fall.
First, however, the Palestinians must focus on themselves and create a united administration over the lands of a future state with a plan to bring that state into existence. The talks in Cairo must not – as has happened before – turn into an empty photo op; the deal must be followed by concrete and immediate steps toward reunification and the holding of democratic elections.
The Palestinians must know that the rest of the region is occupied with the unrest stretching from North Africa to the Gulf; their cause, however dear other Arabs say it is, is not at the top of anyone’s agenda. In this context, the Palestinians should take advantage of the opportunity for reconciliation as a means to reassert themselves as an independent force striving for the recognition of a Palestinian state.
Comments Ted Rudow III, MA April 30, 2011
Israel is anything but democratic for the indigenous people of the land, the Palestinian Arabs. Occupancy is very difficult to overcome and Israel has already got the Palestinians' land.
The only way they will ever give it up is if they're thrown out. There is no other way that they'll ever give back the Palestinians their share of the land. It's encouraging to see how divided the Jews are amongst themselves, "A house divided against itself shall not stand."- The Palestinians are a lot more together than any of them, at least they're united--the Christians and Arabs. I'm glad to see a lot of the Jews are sympathising with the Arabs.
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