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US vote a painful reminder for divided Palestinians
Published Sunday 11/11/2012 (updated) 18/11/2012 15:04
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I didn't follow the United States elections due to my belief that in the Palestinian subject particularly, and US policy in the Middle East in general, the difference between the candidates is negligible.

But I followed the approach for both candidates in how they reflected their position and defended themselves, as well as the mode in which each party criticized the other. I realized why they are at the top of the pyramid and rule the world and control the fate of people, and why we are at the bottom of the gendarmerie failing even to maintain our unity.

I followed with interest Obama’s victory speech, delayed more than three hours even though everything was ready and waiting -- the public, the media, and the entire world -- but Obama preferred to wait for a call from his defeated rival Romney to bless his victory and wish him success in his mission.

Obama began his speech with thanks to his rival for his handling the election battle clean and clear from charges, treason phrases, defamation, and personal abuse, as we hear and read in our media every hour and every moment. Then he thanked his wife, his family, and his extended family America, where he said to the public that he became the US president because of them and re-elected, he promised that he will be president for all the people of America in all it segments, colors, ethnics and nationalities.

They are at the top of the pyramid and we are at the bottom because of the governance for the people, who choose every four years their president exactly and perfectly and not looking for excuses and justifications to evade this merit. It’s true that we are not America and not even a part of its state, but we‘re talking about a concept and how to apply it, democratic values, cultural, and moral practice.

They competed for tactile achievements made by the president or claimed that he achieved, they spoke of figures, data and facts. They didn’t talk about fake achievements or military and diplomatic victories that do not exist. They rebutted each other's claims in front of the people who will decide which of them deserve to govern and decide their fate in the coming four years.

We didn't hear one of them accuse his opponent of being an agent of the enemy or neglecting the interests of America for the benefit of its enemy; no one questioned the patriotism of each other. They don’t have patriotic humans, noble, fighter, loyal to his country in the daytime and in the night he is a traitor, an agent, a killer, a corrupt, a thief, and a briber without any evidence provided about what they say or accuse. They talk about everything and criticized anything, but according to the ethical and professional rules that specified by law.

American leaders can’t mislead or underestimate people because there is a free media and most importantly an influential, not cutting and pasting the news but investigations, asking questions, giving answers, and even if it’s necessary, exposing.

Their media don’t accept the official answers about coups and everybody will accept that, but the media examine the accuracy and credibility of a speech and whether the official exploits his power or this is the truth and then the independent and honest justice will protect peoples rights before it protects the official and his action.

The US vexes us on its policy of supporting Israel; US vexes us again with its democracy that makes us feel how young we are and how much they are our senior.

The author is a former Palestinian Authority minister who lectures at Birzeit and Al-Quds University.
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1 ) Carlos / USA
11/11/2012 22:37
I think he wants to promote democracy. He is looking through rose colored glasses. He did not have to put up with the commercials full of lies. Did he watch the Democratic Convention when the majority of Democrats repeatedly rejected the proposal to make Jerusalem israel's capital? Only on the 3rd try, rejected again, the proposer proclaimed victory when they had clearly lost. US democracy was bought and paid for by the rich. The rich want wars and we will go to war & they steal our pension.

2 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
12/11/2012 17:51
Good essay. So you give me the impression that America's championing of its democratic values is so exemplary that you hunger for such replication to take root among Palestinians but remain frustrated by a hope that seems so long in coming (if ever it would). Remember this: America can NOT remain a contented nation at peace with itself if you take democracy out of her. For America, democracy is a vital part of its culture, not just a political/governing aspect of itself. Unlike (cont.)

3 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
12/11/2012 17:53
the European (or other democracies in "the West") if you take such well-exercised/well-tolerated democratic values out of America, America will experience a national malaise. It will start to lose its character. It will start to become something that is foreign to itself for the worse. This is not necessarily the future reality for your people (and all the Arab Peoples, in general) and us regarding the fulfillment of democracy (and its practice of civility) in our destinies. Of (cont.)

4 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
12/11/2012 17:54
course the democratic values and civil discourse thereof have much to emulate for the political progress of any nation or people. Everything you reference is very meaningful. My point is that when democracy is on track of being bonded to a people's culture--a social phenomenon--then its fulfillment to fruition is given major acceleration for the better ... and that takes (a hell of a lot) of time.

5 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
16/11/2012 09:59
Excellent writing that points out something very stark: none of the Americans who comment on Maan have said anything about this op-ed. Nothing. Soufian Abu Zaida is no smallfry - he is a veteran Palestinian politician and diplomat, and his writing screams for assistance from all those who want a viable, strong Palestinian state. Yet none of the noisemakers are here, where they are really needed. They are simply part of the problem, not the solution. That's sad. Palestinians deserves better.

6 ) Matt / USA
18/11/2012 19:47
Hello, I enjoyed your article very much. I just wanted to suggest that when we were a younger nation our elections and campaigns were messy affairs. The political rhetoric of the late 18th century was a bit more harsh than the stage managed affairs we witness today. Thank you for reminding me that the US does indeed have an admirable level of civility in its political discourse, and at times a rigorous press. I wish you well.

7 ) Danielle / USA
26/11/2012 00:08
I wanted to say you had a good article about our political processes from an outside point of view. There is a problem in the USA. We're heavily divided and though the election passed with only words, it highlighted how very divided we are. And though you are reminded how young your country is, our country is experiencing (and has my entire life) an problem with apathy with our political process. Many believe their direct involvement means nothing. So in a way, we are in a state of MALAISE!

8 ) Danielle / USA
26/11/2012 00:19
Yes we try to hold the flame of democracy high. But our government is a REPUBLIC. We have a complicated voting process where in the end most of us feel our individual votes mean nothing because of a tradition built into voting system when the country was young to keep it fair for states with little population. As long as we have hope and hold to our most sacred national document--The Constitution, anything is possible in the land of free as long as we have HOPE and make use of our DEMOCRACY!
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