. About the Palestinian
elections, quick reactions of people -- mostly-troubled, often-condemning, surely surprised -- came from traditional news sources and
communities who "wanted" another kind of result.
But "democracy prevailed," wrote Hanna Siniora, respected Palestinian publisher and citizen-leader, and "for the first time in the modern history of the Arab world, change took place through the ballot box. . .not by tanks, not through a coup detat, not through violence, but through the will of the people asking for drastic change,"
From the heart of the
Palestinian campaign and election, you deserve something beyond exciting, noisy
video clips and sound bites.
This is about a campaign victor, our valued, trusted friend -- Bernard Sabella, Ph.D. -- a Christian newly-elected to parliament.
Bernard was a creator and signer of the historic 1991 FRAMEWORK FOR A PUBLIC PEACE PROCESS, whose conference we helped organize and host in the
Bernard is a Professor of Sociology at
See how Bernard helps bring Muslims and Christians together in
will never forget our last visit with Bernard, in an ancient, underground place
of ritual beneath
It was just us, and Bernard told us how deeply he was penetrated by seeing the photo of Earth from space.
Then understanding the deep-deep meaning of One, and our peoples' interdependence forever.
This is one kind of person the Palestinian people chose to represent them --"cautiously optimistic" and "not alarmed."
Read in today's very personal e-mail from Bernard how beautifully he exercised a new level of democracy in
See how he listened. and heard youth and adults expressing in public their true needs and longings.
And consider what is truly asked for to help human beings grow together.
With acts of goodwill.
Victory for Democracy
Dr. Bernard Sabella
January 27, 2006
I ran as a Fatah candidate in the January 25th Palestinian parliamentary elections and I won the trust of my people for one of the two Christian seats from
In the town of
In 'Arab Al Jahalleen, a Bedouin encampment turned village on the Eastern outskirts of Jerusalem, the concerns revolved around providing feed to livestock on a regular basis and with affordable prices. There was a request by the Sheikh of Jahalleen, Abu Ahmad, that those officials at the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture should be qualified to deal with the questions related to land, agriculture and livestock. Abu Ahmad expressed concern that some staff members in the Ministry of Agriculture do not have the proper qualifications to fill their positions. As a joke, Abu Ahmad, said over a cup of specially brewed Arabic coffee that some staffers are educated in "
During the campaign I have touched base with our people and saw the love we all have to the good earth of
Some ask me about the Hamas landslide. My own interpretation is that this is democracy and our Palestinian people have cast their vote. I would have loved to see my Fatah movement win a comfortable majority but this did not happen due to so many different factors. The challenge now is whether internal Palestinian reform can be accomplished without the adoption of pragmatic positions on the political front. All Palestinians without exception want an end to Israeli occupation and the sooner the better. The question of how to accomplish this has been debated again and again in various Palestinian factions and movements over the years. Now that Hamas has become the political majority movement, the debate is going to be on its agenda. I realize that difficult and hard decisions await to be taken by Hamas. A movement that is at the helm of government is necessarily different from a movement in opposition or altogether out of government. I pray that Hamas would make the correct choices which are in the interest of our people, first and foremost.
I am cautiously optimistic and I am not alarmed. We need lots of wisdom on all sides. I am confident that the quiet and yet dedicated approach shown by Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, Abu Mazen, our President throughout the elections campaign and upon the publication of the results would help greatly in the strenuous process that awaits all of us in the coming months. I realize that much work needs to be done and I am hopeful that I will be, together with my PLC colleagues, up to the challenge. Most important I promise not to disappoint the trust and confidence that Jad and 'Ali and thousands others of my Palestinian compatriots have placed in me. I also promise to work hard within our Fatah movement to re-haul it and move it forward. In the end whatever gains we make in the PLC and in the Fatah movement will be the gains of our Palestinian people.