By Dr. Mamoun Fandy
In his column in the
Following are excerpts from Dr. Fandy
"Where Should Someone Who Wants to Mediate in Solving the Palestinian Problem Go" - to the PA or to Hamas?
"Where should someone who wants to mediate in solving the Palestinian problem go? Should the Europeans and the Americans go to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, or to Hamas in
"Today, there is in fact no Palestinian partner [for peace] - and the idiotic warring Palestinian factions can take
"In terms of international [climate], there has never been a better opportunity than there is right now for solving the Palestinian problem. Europe supports the Palestinians and wants a U.N. resolution establishing a Palestinian state, like the resolution that established the state of
"The birth of a new state in the
"The behavior of the various Palestinian factions, and the rivalry between them, looks to the world like efforts to maintain the status quo. [Hamas prime minister] Isma
The Palestinian Leadership Must Confront Its Shortcomings; "The Palestinians Today Are the Worst Enemy of Their Own Cause"
"There is no doubt that the occupation and
"It is important that we be honest in criticizing the Palestinian situation, which is precarious in the best of cases. Once I was invited to a meeting with the Palestinian foreign minister, in an important country. During the meeting, the Palestinian foreign minister was shown a map of the Israeli settlements. When the minister took hold of the map, I immediately realized why the Palestinian cause is going nowhere: He looked at the map, but [could not make head or tail of it]. It was obvious that he had never looked at a map in his life. I wondered: Why, when we have the best intellectuals from the best universities in the world, do we let these leaders represent us This is a question that the Palestinians must answer for themselves.
"The people in
"States and movements do not fight or resist unless there is a political goal behind the war or the resistance. To date, the Hamas leadership, and even many in the Fatah leadership, have not convinced us that they are striving to attain a particular logical and practical goal. If the goal [of the resistance] is for a few members of the leadership to be recognized as symbols of resistance and [national] honor - we are perfectly willing to give them this recognition, but there is no need to sacrifice innocent lives in order to accomplish such a limited goal.
"However, if the goal is realizing the dream of establishing a Palestinian state, and for this people to live in dignity like other peoples - then that is a different struggle, which requires new strategies. The first [of these] strategies is the creation of a united leadership for the future Palestinian state - one that will convince its enemies to negotiate with it and to give it the land. It is easy to convince friends - but solving the problem requires first of all convincing enemies
"The Palestinians today are the worst enemy of their own cause. The time has come for us to tell them this openly, out of love, and not out of vindictiveness.
"There Will Never Be a Political Situation Better Than There Is Now for the Arabs, And Particularly for the Palestinians"
"Global political circumstances have changed since Barack Obama entered the White House. There will never be a political situation better than there is now for the Arabs, and particularly for the Palestinians. Thus, the Palestinians must be flexible with Obama if they wish to solve their problem; they must unite their leadership, and they must commit to a cessation of violence and to return to the discussion table to deal with the two-state solution presented in the Arab [peace] initiative... No one in the international community who wants a solution seeks three states [
"The era of delay is over. We already know that
"The Palestinians again face an historic choice: whether to be part of the solution or part of the problem. They also [now] have [an opportunity] to give
(1) Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), July 27, 2009
(2) The article was published prior to the conference, which took place August 4-5, 2009 in Bethlehem.