Sunday, October 17, 2004

Nothing for Arafat Hatem Abunimeh - Chicago, Ill.
During the second presidential debate in St. Louis, Mr. Bush said that he decided not to deal with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat because he felt that Arafat had let the former president [Bill Clinton] down, and that Mr. Bush thought that Arafat is not the kind of leader who can lead toward a Palestinian state. The president added that the Palestinians need leadership that is committed to democracy and freedom, many young moderate Palestinians feel that their leadership has failed and they are working very diligently at molding new leaders that are chosen by them and not brought from the outside like Arafat ,and his compromised by terror Palestinian authority. At present, there is no credible Palestinian leadership that is capable of representing all of the Palestinian people and their aspiration for statehood. In recent weeks, Palestinians have been trying to register voters in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Israeli government should facilitate the efforts of these volunteers so they can establish a constituency core base for future elections. The U.S. should also do all it can during the next administration to support the Palestinians so they can have an opportunity to choose genuine representatives for the day when negotiations resume to bring about peace. The world is changing, Palestinians and Israelis understand that change is inevitable, the current status quo isn't likely to continue indefinitely. Ramallah's shopping mall and Jerusalem's restaurant are the two prototypes that need to be expanded upon throughout the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The old revolutionary mentality is extinct, it needs to be replaced by new progressive and comprehensive economic realities on the ground.

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