Palestine

  • Gaza: Disengagement's Harsh Realities

    Mkhaimar Abusada
    August 20, 2008

    In the few weeks that have passed since Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, the urgent challenges facing President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have become clear but whether Abbas will succeed has not. The stakes are high.

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  • After Arafat: A View from Gaza

    Mkhaimar Abusada
    August 20, 2008

    Even murkier than the cause of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's death is the question of who will fill the gaping political hole left by his passing. True to his penchant for avoiding definitive decisions, Arafat did not name a successor.

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  • A New Hamas?

    Khaled Hroub
    August 20, 2008

    Will Hamas and Sharon sit at the same negotiating table in the near future? Yesterday's inconceivable fantasies may become tomorrow's realities, regarding developments in the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas.

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  • Gaza Turmoil Renews Demands for Palestinian Reform

    Khalil Shikaki
    August 20, 2008

    The eruption of popular violence against Palestinian Authority (PA) officials in the Gaza Strip in July reflected both popular discontent with the PA and a power struggle between "young guard" nationalists and their "old guard" rivals who dominate the Palestinian leadership.

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  • The Paradox of Press Freedom in the Arab World

    Kamel Labidi
    August 19, 2008

    The second of June marked the second anniversary of the assassination of Lebanese writer Samir Qasir, with no indication of who ordered the car bombing that silenced one of the loudest Arab voices criticizing autocratic Arab regimes, particularly the Assad family in Syria.

  • Hamas in Power

    August 19, 2008

    In recent decades a number of democratic transitions began when an authoritarian government agreed to elections under rules it had designed to ensure its continued hold on power—and then lost. In the Philippines in 1985, Chile in 1988, Poland in 1989, and Yugoslavia in 2000, rulers ceded power, gracefully or not, after a surprising defeat at the polls.

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  • Five Myths about Western Political Party Aid in the Arab World

    Until recently Western assistance programs aimed at strengthening political parties were less present in the Arab world than in almost all other areas of the developing world. As part of the heightened U.S. and European interest in promoting Arab political reform, however, such programs are multiplying in the region.

  • What Happened to the Fatah Young Guard?

    Ben Fishman, Mohammad Yaghi
    August 19, 2008

    As much as Hamas's landslide victory in the January 25 Palestinian legislative elections was a triumph for the Islamist movement, it was also a crushing defeat for the younger generation of Fatah leaders who had hoped the election would facilitate a leadership transition in the long-ruling Palestinian national liberation movement.

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  • Professionalism or Factionalism in the New Palestinian Government?

    Hossam Ezzedine
    August 19, 2008

    Palestinians have been hoping that Hamas and Fatah will live up to their announced agreement that the government of national unity under formation would not concern itself with negotiations with Israel, which were supposed to remain the purview of President Mahmoud Abbas in his capacity as leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

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  • EU Policies towards Hamas Frustrate Policy Aims

    Muriel Asseburg
    August 19, 2008

    The European Union approach towards the government led by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) formed in March 2006 has been one of isolation; the EU and its member states have refused dialogue, at least on an official level, and have withdrawn budget support.

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  • The Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Reform and Peace are Interdependent

    Philip Wilcox
    August 18, 2008

    Since 2002, U.S. diplomacy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been constrained by Israel's doctrine that there is no Palestinian partner for peace. According to this concept—accepted by the United States—until Palestinians halt violence toward Israel and reform their internal politics, there can be no peace talks.

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  • How Weak is Hamas?

    Jarrett Blanc
    August 18, 2008

    Negotiations for a unity government between Fatah and Hamas are the fruit of international pressure, which has forced Hamas to consider sacrificing some of its formal authority within the Palestinian Authority (PA) despite the fact that the Islamic movement and its allies hold 77 out of 132 seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).

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  • Palestine: Social Impact of the Islamist-Secularist Struggle

    Mahdi Hadi
    August 18, 2008

    The changing political balance in Palestine —from domination by the secular nationalist Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) to effective challenge for leadership by the Islamist Resistance Movement (Hamas)—can be seen not only at the ballot box, but also in the daily lives of Palestinians.

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  • Rough Sledding for U.S. Party Aid Organizations in the Arab World

    Dina Bishara
    August 18, 2008

    Foreign democracy assistance organizations working directly with political parties have come into the line of fire as some Arab governments have pushed back against democratization initiatives over the past two years. In Algeria, Bahrain, and Egypt in particular, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) have been among the first to feel pressure.

  • A Look at the Economic Future in Palestine

    The Palestinian economy has been in an ever-deepening crisis since the outbreak of the second Intifada in 2000, a crisis rooted in and perpetuated by an extremely inauspicious political setting. The record of economic decline is staggering: domestic output and per capita income have plunged; poverty and unemployment have ballooned; private investment has plummeted.

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  • Life under Hamas Rule

    Taghreed El-Khodary
    August 14, 2008

    Since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip on June 15, governance has barely functioned. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyya in a November 4 speech expressed his dissatisfaction with the paralysis afflicting the executive, judicial, and legislative institutions, accusing the Ramallah government of responsibility.

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  • Governance since the Fatah-Hamas Split

    Charles Levinson
    August 14, 2008

    Shortly after the split between Fatah and Hamas in June 2007, Dianna Buttu, the astute young advisor to Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, said that watching the rival factions joust for control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) was like watching bald men fight over a comb.

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  • Palestinian Authority Reform: Role of the International Community

    Keir Prince
    August 14, 2008

    You are building your home. But you are having a problem with the architect, who keeps demolishing parts of the house. Sometimes he feels you did not follow the blueprints, sometimes he feels you used sub-standard materials, and sometimes, even though you are sure you followed all the instructions, he just does not like the way it turned out.

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  • Can Fatah Survive?

    Mouin Rabbani
    August 13, 2008

    With preparations accelerating, it seems increasingly likely that the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah) will hold its Sixth General Conference during 2008. Yet given the advanced state of disintegration in which the movement finds itself, it may well be a case of too little too late. Simply put, Fatah’s very survival now hangs in the balance.

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  • Palestinian Hizb al-Tahrir Flourishes Where Hope Withers

    Omran Rishq
    August 08, 2008

    The failure of the Palestinian national movement and its shaken credibility in the public eye are giving strength to religious movements, which are expanding to fill a widening gap.

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