Posteuphoria in Palestine
If there is a phrase that sums up the mood in Palestine following the Palestinian elections in January, it might be "posteuphoric." Despite many reservations about the agreements reached between Israel and the PLO-a significant part of the Palestinian people believe them to be unjust-there were still high expectations about the peace process. This was obvious from the high voter turnout. These expectations reached their peak with Israel's redeployment from the cities and the elections that, not coincidentally, followed almost immediately. People were eager to participate in the process and against all their experience and better judgment wanted to believe that we had entered a new stage, that elections would result in a structure of inclusion, and that the council would become a platform for the democratic expression of diverse views. They wanted to believe that the elections would open the way for an improved economic situation and a return to normal life.*
Within weeks, the euphoria had given way to a deep sense of frustration and discouragement, pessimism, and even alienation.
Mustafa Barghouti a practicing physician and president of the Jerusalem-based Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees. He is also a former member of the Palestinian negotiating team following Madrid.