June 5th is election day in many communities in the U.S. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working hard for several candidates I admire, hitting the pavement with walk lists, ringing doorbells, making phone calls, and holding two house parties. I’m exhausted. I can only imagine how the candidates must feel. Now the decision is in the hands of the voters.
Good thing I voted early because I’m going to be very busy at the polls on election day from 6 AM to 9 PM, working as a poll official.
I know very little about the election process in Palestine. That’s one of the things I hope to learn about when I return to Gaza later this summer.
I recall that President Jimmy Carter observed the last election in Palestine in 2006, and declared it to be fair and honest. Hamas won a clear majority, and we all know what happened after that.
What signal was the U.S. and Israel sending to the Palestinians about democracy?
“Conduct a fair and honest election, but don’t choose leaders we don’t approve of.”
I wouldn’t be surprised if Palestinians thought twice about our form of democracy after the price they have paid for casting their ballots in 2006. The siege has crippled their economy and ruined their livelihood. Operation Cast Lead left more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, dead. Both are directly attributable to the results of the last election.
If I faced the same consequences, I think I’d stay home on Election Day.
So much for spreading democracy around the world.