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National Unity Government May Not Be Perfect, But It Is Good news for Palestine

By Khalid Amayreh

 in occupied Palestine

PIC, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, June 6, 2014

Cabinet of the Palestinian National Unity government

Very few Palestinians expect the new unity government in Ramallah, composed of technocrats unaffiliated with any political faction, to liberate Palestine from the shackles of Zionism or defeat Israel and its guardian-ally, the United States. We don't live in a fantasy and we all know the facts on the ground too well.
But the unity government, whose formation has been made possible thanks to last month's reconciliation deal between Hamas, the Islamic liberation movement, and Fatah,  the mainstream PLO faction, is ostensibly at least a welcome development for all Palestinians and their enduring just cause.
Indeed, the fact that Israeli leaders have been frothing at the mouth against the reconciliation process is in itself a reason for hope, it means that the unity government or "consensus government" is a step in the right direction and should be given the benefit of the doubt.
Yes, there are doubts, fears and misgivings. But when Israeli leaders express their rage and dismay with us or at something we have done, it should mean we are doing the right thing, given the eternal contradiction between the oppressed and oppressors.
That is why Palestinians must strive to shield the new government from Israel's blackmailing tactics and conspiracies.
Israel has already initiated a series of sanctions and punitive measures intended to bring the government to its knees in earnest.
However, with the division behind us, the government should be able to withstand and thwart Israeli measures.
More to the point, with the bulk of the nations of the world refusing to succumb to Zionist pressure to boycott the new government, it is clear that its chances for success are high.
Even the American administration, and despite a pliant Congress that is at Israel's beck and call, is refusing to cave in to Israeli pressure to boycott the new government.
We know that we can't get all that we want. But we are successfully pursuing our interests despite Israel's vehement objections. We have done something against Israel's will.
To be sure, there will be unceasing attempts by Israel and its fifth column, which is quite active in our midst, to get us back at each other's throats.  We must therefore be on the guard and see to it that any misunderstanding doesn't take us one or two steps backward.
The division cost us dearly and cost our national cause too much in every conceivable respect. We must therefore hold on to this unity. We must do all that is possible to strengthen it and consolidate it. Failing to do so, God forbid, would be an unforgivable blunder against ourselves and our just cause. In the final analysis, the world can't be more Palestinian than the Palestinians themselves.
But there are certain things the Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza must do in order to keep up the spirit of unity.
They must uphold human rights and civil liberties and see to it that citizens have their basic human dignity preserved.
We are Palestinians. We have been through it all, from creation to destruction. Thus we won't accept any measure compromising our rights and liberties.
The authorities, while dealing with an iron-fist with criminal elements and trouble-makers, must not resort to flagrant excesses against honorable citizens for voicing non-conformist views or protesting certain policies or grievances. No one is above the law, not Mahmoud Abbas or Ismael Haniya, or the police.
A final point: Israel has already said it will not allow Hamas to take part in elections slated to take place six months from now.
Well, this is a real threat and we must take it seriously. Israel after all considers Palestinian democracy a mortal threat to Zio-Nazism.
Hence, we must explore every possible way to circumvent the Israeli threat. And if holding elections is proven impossible, then alternative measures will have to be sought.
Hamas in particular ought to be vigilant and extremely cautious as to efforts by local, regional and international parties to isolate the movement by manipulating the election process.
After all, Hamas is not liked in so many quarters that would love to see the liquidation of the Palestinian cause. After all Hamas and its supporters are the main obstacle impeding the realization of these powers' morbid wishes.




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