Written by: Abed Al-Majeed Suwailem

Although Cairo will host a dialogue between Palestinian factions, the answer to this question will depend on the measures of success for each of the parties. For the Fatah Movement, success is measured in maintaining the cohesion of the internal Palestinian situation, in a way that is capable of dealing with challenges in this stage, especially the return of Palestine to the circle of international and regional concern, and in a way that renews national legitimacy and ends the state of division. For Hamas, the measure of success will depend on the degree to which it is “legitimized” in the political system and its preservation of an active and influential role in this system. One of Hamas’s priorities is to “maintain” the highest possible degree of influence over the course of affairs in the Gaza Strip, whether matters are moving towards the unity of the PA’s institutions, a single authority and/or a unified government.  

If it is permissible for us to discuss the visions and interests specific to the Palestinian left, then the criterion for success in these dialogues will focus on crystallizing what can be considered the third “role and position” to represent the desired state of balance. This is in order to break the severe state of polarization and to reduce the state of control that the sharp polarization establishes in the Palestinian reality. It is clear that there are many intersections and common goals amongst all three directions, despite each parties’ different priorities.

Independent lists may be the real puzzle in the upcoming legislative elections in terms of seeking to be transient lists of polarization with a direct interest in ending the division. These lists are the most capable of confronting the phenomena and manifestations of political and financial corruption alike and are the most expressive regarding the importance of rebuilding the political system with stable and democratic foundations and building a democratic national model for national development, which may lead to the adoption of foundations and principles from the social economy. It is the most efficient economy for the conditions Palestine is going through, given that these foundations and principles are linked to social safety nets, higher rates of actual wages, and effective systems against poverty and unemployment.

The real mystery lies in the interpretation and definition of the independent. Usually, the phenomenon of independents is considered to be negative as long as this phenomenon is outside the system of direct factional domination and subordination. The description given to the independents in this regard was negative and accusatory, indicating confused connections and vague references. Often, these independents, or those under their rule, were divided between the factions to the point of “completely blasting” any possibility of being or remaining independent.

However, the situation today is different, and the phenomenon of independents is not a symbolic representation of the private sector, and it is no longer a phenomenon that subsists on the shadows of the factions, their protection and care. It has become a wide phenomenon that reflects a range of diverse competencies across classes and social groups, which now see itself in spite of its great economic, cultural and social role without real political representation and a real role in political life. The sad thing is that this great phenomenon in Palestine is hardly invited to any national dialogue that reflects the reality of the country and its people, the present and the future of the cause and the homeland.

The independents are a wide group that has capabilities and degrees of competence and experience that enable them to effectively contribute to the path of national construction and national empowerment and to support national development in all aspects. It is not required that the independent phenomenon becomes isolated from the national struggle, that it appears to be in contradiction to the struggle, or that it be a social or cultural superstitious phenomenon, but rather, it should be an integral part of the national situation.

I believe that one of the most important successes in the Cairo dialogue is the participation of the widest spectrum of independent national competencies. The absence of real independents at the table of dialogue about the future of the country and the people in Palestine is nothing but a direct reflection of the political polarization in Palestine. When any society chooses to omit such a broad spectrum, it inevitably lost its way.



The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the opinion of the Association or donor.