The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development—REFORM carried out an online dialogue session entitled: “Youth’s Partnership within Political Parties” to monitor and analyze the role of Palestinian political parties and movements in promoting political participation.
the role of Palestinian political parties in promoting political participation
The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development—REFORM implemented an online dialogue session entitled: “Youth’s Partnership within political parties,” with the participation of Mr. Fahmy Shaheen, a member of the Palestinian People’s Party, Mr. Murad Harfoush, a member of the Central Committee of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, Mr. Islam Nasr, a member of the Palestinian Democratic Union Party-Fida, and a number of young men and women activists. This session aimed to monitor and analyze the role of Palestinian political parties and movements in promoting political participation, to create a participatory mass political culture and clarify the impact of the political division on the development of the concept of political participation because of its importance in determining the ruler’s relationship with society.
During the session, the young men and women participants discussed some of the obstacles that they encounter when joining the leadership bodies of the parties, participating in decision-making processes at the advanced levels and engaging in public institutions. They further discussed the deep gap that exists between the various social components, the disruption of the democratic process, the Palestinian-Palestinian division, the Palestinian issue at the international level and the so-called “deal of the century.” The young participants also highlighted the importance of freedom of opinion and expression and their right to be involved in the political sphere.
youth’s right to be involved in the political sphere
In turn, Mr. Fahmy Shaheen called on the various representative frameworks to enable young men and women to enhance their citizenship and integrate them into Palestinian society. He also indicated that youth are required to consciously enter political life, whether on the local or international level, so that they can prove their presence and to continuously develop their awareness by investing in the available means which are reading, watching and listening.
Mr. Murad Harfoush added that there it is the youth’s responsibility to engage in political and social work in order to lead the societal development process and the process of democratic transformation within Palestinian society. On the other hand, Mr. Islam Nasr said that this generation that was born during and after the signing of the Oslo Accords is not a desperate and frustrated one, but rather one that is full of persistence, optimism, hope and aspiration for the future. He also suggested that the youth must seeks change through building a future that is based on justice and freedom while opposing the current situation that is characterized by exploitation and discrimination.
At the end of the session, the youth stressed that their participation within political parties is almost non-existent, and this leads to their reluctance to participate in public affairs. They also demanded that they be allowed to take a real role within the leadership of the parties, as they suffer from a weakness in their social and political roles.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The project also seeks to foster civic engagement by providing safe and interactive spaces that link young activists with decision-makers to bridge the gaps between them by knowledge sharing. It aims to enhance the participation of young women and men in advocating for positive change in democratic processes through monitoring public policies, drafting policy papers, and providing policy suggestions.
To achieve this, the project provides the social and political activists with the ability to engage in a deep analysis of power dynamics between different social components and points of access through facilitating public debates. “PARTAKE II” increases youth’s awareness in democratic processes and enhances their abilities in pressuring policymakers to hold elections with their participation.