March 15, 2003 |
Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat is expected to appoint a prime minister any day now, but that doesn't mean he'll satisfy the foreign mediators who pressured him into creating the job -- or that peace will be any closer. International peace brokers pressed Arafat to name a prime minister in hopes of creating a strong, independent leader who could peel some of the authority away from the aging president.
January 1, 1994 |
At 42, Nama Haloul wears her scars like medals won in the Palestinians' long fight for freedom--and as inspirations for the tough political struggle she sees ahead. Her right hand is plastic, installed by Israeli doctors when they amputated the mangled remains of her own after an attempt to bomb an Israeli army camp here more than 21 years ago. She extended it without a flinch to greet a recent visitor at her refugee home.
September 3, 2000 |
With or without Israel's permission, Palestine is about to be born. Whether this month, as some Palestinian leaders insist, or a bit later, the declaration of an independent Palestinian state seems all but inevitable and will crown a 52-year quest for legitimacy and homeland that has been at the heart of the most enduring conflict in the Middle East. But what will this state, Palestine, look like, and how will it function?
January 20, 1996 |
The term never appears on the ballot, of course, but when Palestinians go to the polls for the first time today, they will be casting their votes in favor of a Palestinian state. Not only do all 674 candidates running for public office support the goal, but in the very act of electing their own government, Palestinians are taking a first step toward building a sovereign state. The election lacks many of the trimmings of democracy and drama of a Western-style political race.
January 24, 2006 |
When the campaign for Palestinian parliamentary elections kicked off this month, it seemed only fitting that Fatah, the nationalist movement Yasser Arafat helped found nearly half a century ago, chose to hold its inaugural rally at his tomb. Fourteen months after Arafat's death, the iconic leader still casts a long shadow over Fatah's political fortunes.
January 31, 1993 |
"We shall do everything in our power to undermine and derail negotiations between our Palestinian brethren and Israel," a young leader of the Islamic fundamentalist movement known as the Hamas was telling me a year ago in Gaza. "And, believe me," he added, "we shall kill and kill if necessary!" His target was the U.S.-sponsored peace talks, then just under way in Madrid, between Palestinians and Israelis.
July 5, 1991 |
For decades, this highway through hell has been the road of hope out of Palestine. The narrow slice of blacktop, which cuts through the desert out of Basra and winds through the rich oil fields of Kuwait, was built in the 1960s by the fledgling construction company of Yasser Arafat when the Palestine Liberation Organization was being hatched. Palestinians since have traveled the road from Amman to the Persian Gulf when they ran out of hope at home. But now, time has run out on the other end.
April 7, 2002 |
When I was in college, an Armenian American acquaintance told me about his grandfather's obsession with the Turkish genocide against his people in the early part of the 20th century. To a comment of "nice weather today," the old man habitually would reply, "What does it matter since our people were slaughtered?" I wonder if I will be like him 40 years from now. For the first time in my life, I see the shadows of Israel's destruction, if not by Arab armies all at once, then by suicide bombers, one Jewish child and mother at a time.