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Mahmoud Abbas may appoint a new Cabinet of technocrats to replace the Hamas government that has drawn economic santions from former benefactors in an attempt to get money flowing to the Palestinians. Instead of appointing politicians and faction leaders to the ministries, Abbas wants to handpick Palestinian professionals for the jobs:
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday promoted the idea of a Cabinet of technocrats as a way to ease crippling Western sanctions, but pledged not to force it on Hamas, who reacted coolly to the idea.
Abbas addressed reporters for more than an hour at his headquarters in Ramallah on Tuesday evening. In his strongest endorsement yet of the technocrat idea of a Cabinet made up of professionals instead of politicians, he said it should be "considered seriously" as a way out of the current deadlock. ...
The idea was endorsed earlier Tuesday by a group of academics, politicians and professionals representing all walks of life in Palestinian society, who called for the establishment of a transitional government consisting of independent figures to resolve the crisis between Fatah and Hamas.
The call, which was made at a press conference that was held in Ramallah under the title "Appeal for the Sake of Palestine," comes amid growing fears that the Fatah-Hamas dispute could spill over into civil war.
Unlike most of the proposals from Abbas, this idea has a great deal of merit. The pressure of the sanctions has opened a huge rift in Palestinian polity, and that has started descending rapidly into a hot civil war. Their differences have become so profound that the notion of a legitimate authority in the territories has dissipated. All is faction, and no ground for anything but violence appears to exist.
An appointed and reasonably non-partisan technocracy could take the mantle of authority and allow members of all factions to recognize it. The caretaker government could settle disputes about power transfers and police force composition. They could create enough of a barrier to terrorist activity to restart economic activity, and perhaps build enough confidence to generate some support for honoring past commitments, allowing aid to flow back into the terrirtories.
Mostly, such a structure could lead more quickly to the rise of a responsible ruling class in the Palestinian territories. Right now, the violence gives no room for sober and rational leaders to come to the fore. The competent administration of technocrats could persuade the Palestinian people to cast aside both the corrupt legacy of Yasser Arafat and the lunatic Islamism of Hamas. A civil war would throw up only violent leadership, which the Palestinians have had in spades for the last decade and more.
Only the rise of moderate and rational leadership will save the Palestinians and bring an end to the conflict between them and the Israelis. Abbas' technocracy has the potential to deliver that in the near term, instead of having that class forged in the crucible of a lengthy and destructive civil war between two factions of dedicated terrorists.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Mahmoud Abbas may appoint a new Cabinet of technocrats to replace the Hamas government that has drawn economic santions from former benefactors in an attempt to get money flowing to the Palestinians. Instead of appointing politicians and faction leader... [Read More]
Tracked on October 18, 2006 6:12 AM
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