The Arab Spring, ‘double-think’, and Palestinian Statehood

This is cross posted by Benjamin Lazarus at The Commentator

A rare sight in Palestine: Elections

In George Orwell’s, 1984, he coined the term‘double-think’, which refers to the idea that an individual can hold ‘two contradictory beliefs’, whilst simultaneously accepting and believing both opposing convictions.

Despite the dismay of much of the new liberal establishment, the likely failure of the Palestinian bid to become the 194th member state of the United Nations would be wholly correct. Quite simply, to support the birth of a Palestinian state as it stands politically today, and to simultaneously support the Arab spring would be to commit the action of ‘double-think’.

The Arab Spring is essentially the spread of democracy throughout the Middle East; allowing the populations of each oppressive regime to overthrow their autocratic rulers, and to attain the very basic principle of the vote.

Thus, if one is to support this movement how can one then possibly justify supporting the official birth of an un-democratic regime in the very same region?

Mahmoud Abbas, the man presented as a supposed moderate to the Western world, has no democratic right to his position.

He was elected in 2005 for a four year term but this expired in January 2009. He then decided to extend his reign for a further year – until January 2010. This extension has now quite clearly expired – and yet Abbas still refuses to leave his post, despite his actions being in sheer disregard to the Palestinian constitution.

Indeed, Article 65: ‘The Basic Law’, grants presidential legitimacy to the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). Therefore, under the Palestinian constitution, Hamas’s Deputy, Abdel Aziz Dweik has been robbed of his democratic position by Mahmoud Abbas.

Furthermore, the imaginary nation presented to the UN general Assembly did not have the aptitude to hold either presidential or legislative elections as required by Article 47 of its Basic Law. This is because competing Palestinian rulers will not permit it.

Whilst Abbas’s term has expired, the PLC legislatures are also over-due an election, since their period of legality expired on the 25thJanuary 2010. Indeed, Article two of The Palestinian Elections Law no.9, which is recognized by Hamas as legally binding requiresan election – so where are the ballot boxes?

A government also needs to have the capacity to function – to legislate. But this unfortunately is not the case in the Palestinian territories today.

Since January 2006, the PLC has not legislated once, neither has it conducted any meetings in the last four years, nor passed on any ministers. It is essentially an impotent, undemocratic and constitutionally corrupt administration, and one that surely no serious person could advocate was actually ready for statehood (In this sense, it is actually similar to the Arab spring states – there is simply not enough civil life to make it ready for democracy).

Those who advocate hacking away at the UN – Palestine umbilical cord would do well to think twice about why democracy should be starved from the Palestinians, but not their Arab brothers and sisters across the region.

Unfortunately, one suspects the liberal-left’s anti-Israel hysteria plays a prominent role here; the overthrowing of Mubarak’s pro-American government, with the seemingly inevitable replacement of the Muslim Brotherhood will create a rabidly visceral anti-Israel government in Egypt.

The likelihood of the Arab spring resulting in several more Islamist anti-Israel regimes is very great (as already seen in Tunisia with the recent electoral success of Ennahda).

Perhaps, this is actually what the liberal-left wish to see. A Palestinian state, whether democratic or not, will be a serious threat to the existence of the state of Israel, and thus, such an action of ‘double-think’ may not actually be ‘double-think’ after all.

Benjamin Lazarus is a political analyst with a particular interest in the Middle East and Islamic extremism.

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