By Noah Salameh
I’m trying to look back and understand why the Palestinian people reacted and voted for Hamas, also those who have not been Hamas supporters before.
Fateh has been ruling the Palestinian people since the Oslo Agreement in 1994. Fateh selected the negotiation track and accepted the Oslo agreement and also the Road Map. This is on the political side. As Palestinians, our people are very disappointed from the achievement of the negotiations.
When people supported Abu Mazen in the presidential elections we hoped for improvements in our lives – reducing the checkpoints, improving the economic situation, or fighting corruption. We got none of what we hoped for.
The lack of support from the USA and the EU in the negotiations played a strong element in the Palestinian elections.
The interference of the Americans whether by supporting candidates that lacked credibility in the public or by vocally opposing others had a counterproductive effect.
Everyone involved in this conflict and interested in peace has to evaluate the recent period and reconsider their policy and actions.
The Palestinian vote is a protest against the negotiation process, which lasted all these years without managing to open one checkpoint or cancel the British Emergency Laws, which rule since 1945.
Peace is not just an agreement, it is changing the life of people, it is giving our children hope, it is ending the occupation, and it is stopping using double measures from the democratic worlds.
We – the Palestinian peace movement – will continue to struggle by nonviolent means against the occupation, the corruption and raise hope
for the future of the children in Palestine and the world.
It is difficult to be optimistic in this time, but we have to work hard if we want peace based on justice, respect, equality and reconciliation.
Noah Salameh is directer of the Palestinian Center for Conflict Resolution
and Reconciliation in Bethlehem