Wednesday, January 12, 2005
I was delighted by the landslide victory of Mahmoud Abbas or Abu Mazen in Palestine last Sunday. The world was right to smell optimism by this victory. I always liked Abbas because of his belief in nonviolence and his role in the Oslo peace accords.
Abu Mazen’s biggest challenge will not be in negotiating a peace agreement with Israel as much as it will be in taming the endless factions and corruption (i.e. Arafat’s heritage) that rule the Palestinian areas. His challenge will be in convincing horrendous groups such as Hamas to drop the gun and join the nonviolent bandwagon towards the state of Palestine. This won’t be easy because convincing Hamas to stop terror is just like convincing McDonald’s to stop serving hamburgers. Hamas lives on its terror activities which give it its political points and playing cards. In addition, it will be hard to convince Syria and Iran to halt Hamas activities because those two countries also want to maintain their “Hamas/Jihad” playing cards on the Palestine Poker Table.
I just hope Abu Mazen can make the life of the average Palestinian better and I pray that the US and Israel will help him in this endeavor. Only then can Abu Mazen gain credibility and trust among his people and pull them towards his vision and agenda. I just hope this new leadership can change the image of the Palestinian from the suicide bomber to someone who wants to live a decent life with a decent future.
Israel must take steps towards helping Abu Mazen. Releasing prisoners is a good start. The key to solving this conflict is to make the majority of both parties believe in the peace process one more time.