Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Hamas or the PA as a Partner for Peace with Israel? Maybe There's a "Third Way"

In recent days I’ve devoted a number of posts to the potential of Hamas as the winner of the January Palestinian elections, and as a result Israel’s partner for peace in any upcoming peace negotiations that may occur. And I undoubtedly will dedicate more virtual ink to Hamas. But a 3rd party is evolving in the West Bank, and were this party to be successful, it would definitely be a beacon of hope from dark times in the state of Israel.

The “Third Way” party is intending to push the platform of an honest government, a government who truly is looking out for the needs of the people and is free from corruption. Good governance, peacemaking, and democracy will be the pillars for this party’s platform. The leaders appear to be Salam Fayyad, who has spent years as a World Bank official, and Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian spokeswoman for improved human rights and respect for the rule of law.

"Hamas has 25 to 30 percent of the public's support, but it's not just from religious people. It's people who are not happy with the [Palestinian] Authority," say Ali Jarbawi, a Bir Zeit University professor of political science, and one of the top candidates on the new list ticket. "So you need an alternative, one with a democratic, social, liberal outlook, and that alternative is not Fatah. The [new list] will be liberal and will be anticorruption, and that's what's attracting people to Hamas."

Only time will tell if this group can gain popular support in the upcoming elections. But they seem to provide a nice balance of providing for the social needs of the Palestinian people and being a good partner for peace with the Israelis. Mix in that this could be the most favorable government to the US, and I would love to see support for the “Third Way” party grow.

Posted by Scottage at 1:32 AM / | |