Palestinians push reform

Curbing corruption
Long before George W. Bush began calling for reform of the Palestinian National Authority (and for Yasir Arafat’s ouster), a group of Palestinian lawmakers and researchers had outlined plans for creating a democratic society. The elected members of the Legislative Council, including Hanan Ashrawi, had been pressuring Arafat to accept their 1997 draft constitution, streamline his cabinet and set a date and procedures for new elections.

The Christians, Muslims and Jews with whom I spoke in June said that the badly needed reforms are already well defined. Most also insisted that the success of the reform strategies depends on an end to Israel’s 35-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.


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