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At last Palestinians get to vote

By David Singer - posted Tuesday, 21 May 2013


A TV show - "The President" - now being aired on Maan TV - a popular independent Palestinian radio station - presents an opportunity for the election-starved Palestinian Arabs to have their say on what they would do on a variety of subjects if they were elected as the President of Palestine.

Since elections to appoint a President were last held in 2005 - this show offers the ordinary man in the street the opportunity to have his say on how to resolve the conflict between Arabs and Jews that has been ongoing and unresolved for the last 95 years.

On the Jewish side there are opinions and policies galore for ending that conflict that translate into the creation of many political parties vying for power to implement such policies at least once every four years.

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There appears to be no popular political movement on the Arab side calling for fresh elections to be held to test the support enjoyed by Mahmoud Abbas - the current unelected and unconstitutional President since his term expired in 2009

Indeed there appears to be no dissenting voices criticising policies adopted since 1967 by the PLO - that Abbas also now heads - rejecting any form of territorial compromise with Israel in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem - the territories occupied by Jordan between 1948-1967 until captured by Israel in the Six Day War.

Sovereignty in these areas has remained unallocated since Great Britain handed its internationally recognised control of these territories back to the United Nations in 1948 - terminating its role as Mandatory under the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine unanimously vested in it by the League in 1922.

Y Net reports that 1200 young Palestinian Arabs aged 20-35 applied to go on "The President" and the number of contestants has now been cut to 15.

The contestants have to face a panel of politicians, professionals and businessmen who together with the audience vote the contestants on and off from the show.

The winner will travel the world as a mock Palestinian ambassador and perhaps receive a car as well.

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With negotiations between Israel and the PLO stalled for the last two years because of Abbas's refusal to sit down with Israel without preconditions - some kind of circuit breaker is certainly required.

Judges on the show include Palestinian spokesperson Hanan Ashrawi, Arab member of the Israeli parliament Ahmed Tibi and Khouloud Idabis a former Palestinian Cabinet Minister.

Idabis explained the following rationale for the show:

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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at www.jordanispalestine.blogspot.com.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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