Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, now leading his new centrist Kadima (literally "forward") party, has made the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel a part of his election platform. Polls show Kadima with a wide lead over all other parties with elections scheduled for March.
The Palestinians, for their part, seem ready to vote Hamas into power. Part of this is certainly due to current President Mahmoud Abbas' ineptitude and corruption. According to Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres, a Hamas takeover of the PA would put would the entire Roadmap peace plan in question. He added:
During all of this there seems to be no even vaguely moderate Palestinian voice, no calls for a renewed peace process. The Bush administration, which had seemed to be moving towards a more pro-Palestinian position since the President's reelection last year, clearly has grown frustrated and has supported Israel's military response in Gaza. Even European leaders over the past year have said there will be no Palestinian state without an end to terrorism and a return to the peace process.
There is overwhelming support in the world community: in Europe, in the United States, even in Israel, for the Palestinians to have a state of their own. It is the Palestinians' own continued insistence on the destruction of Israel that will cause them, once again, to miss an opportunity for freedom and a hopeful future. The Palestinians face only further hardship and suffering until they abandon their terror war and truly accept Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.