Carter causes consternation with election call for Palestinian Arabs

May 8, 2015 by David Singer
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Former US president Jimmy Carter has created a stir with his call for Palestinian Arabs to hold elections to end the internecine struggle between Hamas and the PLO in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and Gaza…writes David Singer.

Speaking at a joint news conference with PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah – after cancelling his stop in Gaza where he was supposed to meet Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh – Carter – now a member of the independent Elders Group of global leaders – declared:.

“We hope that sometime we’ll see elections all over the Palestinian area and east Jerusalem and Gaza and also in the West Bank,” 

No Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections have been held in over a decade – even though Abbas’s term in office as President expired in January 2009 – a position he continues to fill without any constitutional authority to do so.

In 2006 – a year after Abbas was elected as President – Hamas overwhelmingly won the one and only election ever held in Judea and Samaria. The PLO refused to accept its electoral defeat and a year afterwards Hamas violently ousted Abbas’s Fatah faction from Gaza and seized control there.

Carter’s call can be seen as timely – given the current stalemate in the negotiations between Israel and the PLO and the distinct likelihood they will not be resumed.

Indeed one could see Carter’s election call as the most constructive contribution he has made to peace in the Middle East since his following statement in Time Magazine on 11 October 1982 concerning Jordan and Jordan’s late monarch – King Hussein:

“Hussein is personally courageous but an extremely timid man in political matters. That timidity derives almost inevitably from the inherent weakness of Jordan. As a nation it is a contrivance, arbitrarily devised by a few strokes of the pen”

This viewpoint would be just as applicable in 2015 to Jordan’s current monarch – King Abdullah – who is trying to distance himself from any involvement in the future of Judea and Samaria even though Jordan was the last Arab country to occupy those territories between 1948-1967..

Elections would enable the long-suffering Arab populations in Gaza, Judea and Samaria to have a say in their future after having been under the tyrannical dictatorships of Hamas and the PLO for almost ten years.

Ironically there are those who argue against holding such elections because they are worried that Hamas will again be triumphant – resulting in greater upheaval and unrest than currently exists.

Respected commentator Khaled Abu Toameh puts it thus:

“Free and democratic elections are the last thing the Palestinians need now. Such elections would only pave the way for a Hamas takeover of the Palestinian Authority and plunge the region into chaos and violence. As long as Abbas’s Fatah faction is not seen as a better alternative to Hamas, it would be too risky to ask Palestinians to head to the ballot boxes.”

Toameh presumes that only Hamas and the PLO will contest any such new elections.

Given their woeful performances over the last ten years – any such new elections would hopefully spawn the emergence of political parties other than Hamas and the PLO with markedly differing viewpoints and policies – perhaps even parties calling for Jordan to enter into negotiations with Israel to allocate sovereignty of Judea and Samaria and even Gaza between their respective States.

Keeping people in a perpetual state of silence by denying them any say in their future is a guaranteed recipe for disaster.

When people vote – they bear the consequences of the Government they elect.

Carter the Elder has spoken. What says Obama the Younger?

David Singer is a Sydney Lawyer and Foundation Member of the International Analysts Network

 

 

 

 

Comments

3 Responses to “Carter causes consternation with election call for Palestinian Arabs”
  1. Paul Winter says:

    Thanks for the article, David.

    The quote from Time Magazine of 11.10.82, confirms everything that I have written in opposition to your grand design for a Jordanian takeover of Judea and Samaria. Jordan is an unnatural, weak and unstable polity. Giving them any control over areas vital for Israel’s defence would be insane.

    Carter is too stupid to have grasped that democracy’s one (wo)man, one vote in mohammedan society becomes one man, one vote, one time. And he is too full of himself to have heard Erdogan saying that democracy is a tram that you take to some stop and then get off; a true islamist seeking the rule of a caliph – himself of course. Barack Hussein, on the other hand is an islamophile and an active enabler of revolutionary islam.

    A free election in Fatahland (Judea and Samaria) would install the Moslem Brotherhood franchise – Hamas – which has shown its commitment to democracy, ruling Gaza since 2006, when it was elected for a term of 4 years.

    • David singer says:

      Paul

      Jordan has proved to be the most stable and strongest Arab polity since it was arbitrarily created in 1922 with the stroke of a pen out of almost 80% of the territory set aside for the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home.

      Jordan bucked the Arab world to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1994 that has withstood many stresses that could have seen it torn up.

      Jordan remains the sole Arab State that can peacefully resolve the future sovereignty of Judea and Samaria in direct negotiations with Israel.

      Your novel idea that elections not be held in Judea and Samaria and Gaza because the result would not be to your liking is ground breaking. If the people are stupid enough to elect Hamas then they will have to live with the consequences of their decision. Israel will have to deal with that situation as it sees fit in its national interest.

      Keeping the people muzzled for the last 10 years has proved a disaster. It is time they were given a say and their taskmasters – Hamas and the PLO – put to the electoral test.

  2. Raymond Phillips says:

    Jimmy Carter just like Obama has lost the plot. Carter – now a member of the independent Elders Group of global leaders that is so funny. What they sit around in parks playing chess and talk about the ol’ days…
    Let arabs fight between themselves that’ll save Israel.

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