For years, the AMAN coalition of Palestinian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) centered on problems with administrative and monetary corruption. However, the Palestine chapter of Transparency International, which was established in 2000, determined in 2021 to sort out a way more controversial situation: political corruption.
Those two phrases appear to many to be synonymous fairly than an oxymoron, however the eroding integrity of the present Palestinian management seems to have pressured the native Transparency International to lift the stakes and sort out a corrupt political system that amongst different issues canceled an already long-overdue nationwide election and allegedly ordered harming a critic in Hebron by the Palestinian safety forces, an act that led to his demise and the violent crackdown of demonstrations calling for accountability.
In their anger on the deterioration of the Palestinian political system, many repeated an announcement made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that he would resign if 50 or extra Palestinians name on him to step down. Abbas, 86, is now in his 12th yr in workplace after lengthy passing his four-year time period and seems to have consolidated all powers in his arms.
In a 10-point manifesto, AMAN known as on Palestinians to reject this anti-democratic slippery slope and made a particular plea to civil society organizations to “fight this political corruption by creating a coalition that can contribute to making a change toward a more honest governance structure.”
Azmi Shuibi, a former member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, produced the first-ever anti-corruption study in 1996, which resulted in an angry reaction from President Yasser Arafat and the arrest of a Palestinian journalist that broadcast the report. Shuibi, now an adviser on the issue of corruption, told Al-Monitor that the situation is very serious and must be addressed with the efforts of all involved. “We need to raise the red flag and make a loud warning that if the current political corruption is not checked we are moving into a dangerous zone,” he mentioned.
What seems to have triggered the escalation of criticism by civil society was the mixture of restrictions on the 2 predominant sectors of governance. Shuibi famous, “It grew to become clear that we’ve got reached a scenario the place the management has tightened its management over all of the sectors of society, together with all of the retailers that had been used prior to now; to observe up on allegations of corruption make the anti-corruption efforts of civil society ineffective. They not solely succeeded in stopping any criticism from the legislative department, however the govt department has been chipping away on the judiciary. Without a legislature and a cornered judiciary, the ruling occasion was capable of stifle the efforts of individuals calling for accountability. Things obtained even worse when the president began utilizing presidential decrees with none dialogue or debate for his personal functions and to maintain sure folks in place for a very long time.”
In order for example the issue, AMAN produced a set of infographics. It acknowledged that 50 Palestinian ambassadors have been in their posts for more than five years and 14 more than 10 years. Six governors have been in their posts for seven years and four heads of security agencies have not been changed in more than 10 years.
Speaking on Wattan TV, Shuibi said everyone must get involved to save the situation. “We want everyone to be involved — whether it is those in power, factions, political parties or civil society. We are heading downward and we are seeing some signs of what kind of authoritarian power we will have that will shatter the Palestinian dreams as expressed in the Palestinian Declaration of Independence.”
Shuibi explained that the problem is no longer petty corruption or even financial based on the lack of accountability, but that it has become a much more existential problem.
Shihab Amjad, an international relations professor at Al-Quds University, told Al-Monitor that corruption has been festering in Palestine since the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority some 28 years ago. “The PA has develop into a rentier system with out any mechanism for accountability and the absence of a parliament and an govt that has monopolized all sectors of presidency. This is why the political system has been corrupted,” he mentioned.
The requires reform seem to have had some success. Abbas agreed to satisfy with a delegation of civil society leaders who handed him an extended listing of points that have to be addressed. There was no public assertion by both facet as to what’s on the listing and what the response of the Palestinian president is. The Palestinian information company Wafa mentioned that Abbas throughout the Sept. 9 assembly instructed civil society leaders, “We are partners in defending the rights of the Palestinian people in the face of the occupation and its plans aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause.”
Abbas additionally careworn the significance of freedom of opinion throughout the framework of related legal guidelines, in regard to the promotion of public freedoms.
Shuibi cautiously welcomed the assembly of civil society heads with the president, however he was not completely reassured. “At best we might have slowed down the downward movement,” he famous.
It is unclear if the marketing campaign to raise the criticism to political corruption was behind the shock assembly, however civil society leaders wish to see motion and never phrases. Of course, political corruption isn’t restricted to the West Bank and the Abbas authorities, however applies to the scenario within the Gaza Strip the place there’s a good worse case of political corruption. A holistic approach wherein all related teams are wanted to place a cease to this deterioration that has gone on too lengthy is partly brought on as a result of the occupation has gone on too lengthy.