It is apparent that there exists an urgent need for a national Palestinian conference that will include all political and social factions. The goal is to establish a clear Palestinian position vis-à-vis the changes within the Palestinian arena as well as to answer one crucial question: what do the Palestinians want at this stage?
The disparity now between the position of the Palestinian Authority, which calls for negotiation and peace on one hand, and Hamas which seeks to escalate the confrontation on the other, should unite into one position. The continuation of this political and security chaos only troubles the Palestinians and contributes positively to the Israeli rightwing. In fact, the Palestinians, in light of the electoral political game between Sharon and Netanyahu, will pay for Hamas”s recent upheaval in Gaza dearly. The disturbance will drive extremist Sharon to use all criminal means available to appear strong and unaffected by the withdrawal from Gaza. Perhaps the blood of innocent Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank shall be the required price for the electoral success of Sharon, as part of the battle to win the leadership of the Likud party or in his struggle for the post of prime minister.
King Abdullah of Jordan will play the role of mediator. The root of the problem is that there is a single, clear and unified official Israeli policy even if it is cunning and deluding. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority is weakening due to contradictions. It is for this reason that the Jordanian King”s task will prove to be a difficult challenge.
On the other hand, however, it is clear that the Israelis are victorious, as for a long time they have sought to hasten normalization with the Arabs by receiving King Abdullah of Jordan and President Mubarak of Egypt as guests to their country. Even if the mediation task of King Abdullah fails, Israel would be content with a visit from the Jordanian King.
Even if the world united in aid of the Palestinian cause, such a coalition would be ineffective unless the Palestinians themselves take on the decision to be successful. If their contradictory stand continues, the Israeli party will maintain their strong position and the Palestinians will remain weak. The Palestinians will deeply regret the loss of a historical opportunity that is the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. They should cease such an opportunity and coordinate with the international community through a realistic political approach to encourage Israel to withdraw from the remaining occupied lands. It seems, however, that the Palestinians are professional losers of opportunities much like the rest of the Arabs.