Palestinian Ruler Asks Facebook Followers For Change

Palestine's Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has asked his Facebook fans for suggestions on how to form a new government, dramatically contrasting events in other parts of the Middle East.

We applaud Palestine’s Prime Minister for his savvy in both social media and politics: Salam Fayyad has asked his followers on Facebook to help put together a new government for the region — dramatically contrasting events elsewhere in the Middle East.

Fayyad’s well-managed page on Facebook, first reported by the Ma’an News Agency, contains a post saying he met with human rights institutions yesterday to discuss how to form a new government. And a post from this morning reads, according to Google Translate:

Dear friends, it seems that the question on the new government has raised a lot of attention, so let us join ourselves and help the Prime Minister to answer the following questions first: What is your view of the priorities of the new government? II: Who are the characters that you think are most able to help the prime minister in the implementation of these priorities, especially related to interest and youth issues?

A post an hour later asks his fans, who total 21,328 as of this writing, what they think of his suggestions on how to reconcile divided political views in Palestine, linking to an op-ed page containing seven points. Here’s the Google Translate rendition of the English:

First: For practical purposes, in the light of experience gained from the previous rounds of talks aimed at inclusive national reconciliation as a precondition for any subsequent actions, we must distinguish between the concept of reunification of the homeland on the one hand, and the concept of national reconciliation on the other.

Second: That the work to restore the unity of the homeland does not require the achievement of comprehensive national reconciliation as a precondition, but as a result of targeted evolution gradually from the reality of what is expected to be caused by a shift in the unity of the soul and calm the mood of the year.

Third: From experience, in all its aspects, I believe that the focus is the effort to restore the unity of the homeland at this stage, the address and one which is forming a government of national unity.

Fourth: In order to so quickly and this is possible, it is essential to bridge the basic gap in the structure of the framework within which the rule of the Government of National Unity First (the government following the Mecca agreement between Fatah and Hamas in March 2007) and of the absence of the concept of security clear and agreed upon.

Fifth: To fill this gap, I propose the demarcation of the security concept in which they operate Hamas is now based in the Gaza Strip, the same concept adopted by the National Authority in the West Bank. To be sure, this concept is based on excluding the option of violence in pursuit of our project to attain its rights.

Sixth: Entrust the unity government in addition to other routine tasks to oversee the implementation of this concept through the existing institutional arrangements, as it is without any change in the West Bank and Gaza?

Seventh: To buy time, and for the immediate commencement of work on reunification, postponed action on any other tcontentionus issues and agree to be agreed upon later.

Palestine has the newest government in the Middle East so that would likely influence the savvy approach taken by the Prime Minister. We wish more leaders in this part of the world follow his example.

What do you think about Fayyad’s use of social media and how Palestine might achieve change as a result?