Daoud Kuttab (Continuación)

In its efforts to stop amateur rockets from nagging the residents of some of its southern cities, Israel appears to have given new life to the fledging Islamic movement in Palestine.

For two years, the Islamic Resistance Movement (known by its Arabic acronym, Hamas) has been losing support internally and externally. This wasn't the case in the days after the party came to power democratically in early 2006; despite being unjustly ostracized by the international community for its anti-Israeli stance, Hamas enjoyed the backing of Palestinians and other Arabs. Having won a decisive parliamentary majority on an anti-corruption platform promising change and reform, Hamas worked hard to govern better than had Fatah, its rival and predecessor.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the spring of 1948, my father, George Kuttab, and his brother Qostandi fled Musrara, a Jerusalem neighborhood just outside the walled city, after their sister Hoda's husband was killed in front of her and their children. When Dad used to tell us about the Naqba, the catastrophe that befell Palestinians in 1948, he never talked politics or hatred. He would laugh as he told us how his brother secured their home near Damascus Gate. To assure his mother and brother that the house (in what is now Israeli west Jerusalem) would be safe, my uncle joked that he had double-locked the door, turning the heavy metal key twice.…  Seguir leyendo »

I vividly remember the weeks leading up to the first international conference for Middle East peace. U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III, who had shuttled frantically to resolve the issue of Palestinian representation, kept the 1992 conference's location under wraps. Once he declared Madrid the site, many of us Palestinians felt a sense of jubilation at the looming discussions.

I thought of this after President Bush's call last Monday for an international parley on the Middle East to be chaired by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. I and many other Palestinians are much more skeptical now. Attending the Madrid conference felt essential, but the importance of summits has diminished as such forums have failed to produce results.…  Seguir leyendo »

When Henry Kissinger coined the term "constructive ambiguity" during his attempts to negotiate Arab-Israeli peace, he couldn't have expected that one day Palestinians would use it in their own peace initiative. The ambiguity in the agenda of the new Palestinian "unity government" depends on whether one sees the cup as half full or half empty. If Israel and the United States want to move forward on the peace process, the cup is half full. But if there is no real will to pay the price for peace, the cup is half empty.

More than a year ago, with international encouragement, the Palestinian people adopted electoral democracy, even before they enjoyed sovereignty and the end of the Israeli occupation.…  Seguir leyendo »