A Decree from the President of Palestine that makes sense

Moving from a state of internal chaos to structural reform.

Sam Bahour
6 min readMar 16, 2021

The Palestinian political system is in a self-inflicted free fall. The results may be catastrophic for the just Palestinian struggle for freedom and independence. Most of the Palestinian people are looking on with utter despair, not only those living under Israeli military occupation in Palestine (West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip), but also those living in Israel, refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and amongst the diaspora worldwide. If corrective action is not immediately taken, Chairman Abbas and all the members of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian’s political agency, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), will be to blame.

The dire situation is not the immediate result of the Palestinian President and Chairman of the

PLO’s flurry of recent controversial Presidential Decrees and Laws by Decree, rather it is an accumulation of decades of mistakes, mishaps, decisive and destructive partisan politics, forced geographic separation, and direct external intervention by foreign governments in Palestinian domestic affairs. Now, more than ever, is the time for President Abbas to admit failure and attempt to pick up the pieces of the Palestinian political system.

In a recent opinion piece titled, The PLO is about to self-destruct by ballot box, I laid out in detail the political dangers of the current moment. Here, I attempt to propose a constructive way forward. What follows is a proposed first step President Abbas could take to begin the urgently needed corrective action. In addition to revoking the recent barrage of decrees he issued which has sparked outrage at the individualism in his actions, the bulk of what is proposed below were included in my Open Letter to Chairman of the PLO and President of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas on July 6, 2019. Now is not the time to hold leaders accountable, that will surely come, but now is the time for corrective action.

Below is a proposed Presidential Decree Abbas can issue tonight to start the process of getting the Palestinian political house in order. I urge him to only issue such a decree after making publicly clear that, 1) He will not run for any…

Sam Bahour

Writer, businessperson, activist.