Tuesday, October 24, 2006

# Posted 10:30 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

DEMOCRACY ON AN EMPTY STOMACH: Tomorrow, the PostGlobal's "The Question" will focus on democracy in the West Bank and Gaza:
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has said bread is more important than democracy, and he may be preparing to dissolve the Hamas-led Palestinian parliment.

Does a leader have a right to bypass democratic institutions to ensure his people are fed and secure?
You can weigh in on the The Question at PostGlobal.com.

Here's my two cents: Dictatorship has only reinforced the poverty and suffering of the Palestinians. Democracy has yet to prove itself in the PA, but it deserves a serious chance. The Palestinians are not starving nor will they starve while Europe and the UN stand by, ready to help. Abbas is treading a dangerous path.

It is harder to say whether sometimes democracy ought to be bypassed to ensure security. Historically, this tends to be little more than a pretext for aspiring dictators to take power for themselves.
(4) opinions -- Add your opinion

Bringing back the "Wests" heart throb Arafat was the start of the problem. The Palestinians had a robust political debate among various factions. They were not trying to kill each other off.

When Arafat came back he destroyed the factions. If you were against him you either died or joined him. Some of the people who joined Arafat changed their positions overnight. But they were alive.
I would concur with your concerns. Both that democracy needs to be given more of a chance (because, if ended, it will be a long time in returning) and also that suspension of democracy is too dangerous to be countenanced.

If it becomes acceptable to circumvent the process for this or that emergency, we will see both an increase in the declarations of that emergency and an expansion of the list of acceptable emergencies.

Tyranny is habit forming among the powerful.
Europe and the US, the two main suppliers of aid to the Palestinians have both stopped the flow. Israel has confiscated and is currently holding nearly half a billion dollars in funds belonging to the PA.
The US and Europe are, right now, serving to force Palestinians into acquiesing to the dictatorship of Abu Mazen.
So much for democracy promotion.
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