Hamas, which has for years opposed the PLO, agreed to join the efforts to reform the PLO. Talks behind the scenes produced positive results. A new PLO will soon see the light, provided that reconciliation continues and that elections take place in Palestine.
If anything, recent months saw Hamas move much more to the political center, accepting de facto an Israel based on the 1967 borders and agreeing to reach that goal through "popular struggle" rather than "military means."
Israeli Prime Ministers have reiterated their acceptance of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, but their efforts to achieve a lasting peace with the Palestinians have largely been discounted.
Questioning the PLO's current configuration, many Palestinians are now talking publicly about the need to create new political parties different in structure, ideology and working procedures from the present set of nationalist or Islamic factions.
How can so many reasonable minds welcome the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas as good news, a good sign, like the far too long delayed reunion of a too long divided people, when it is, in reality, a catastrophe?
If the coming year will witness the birth of the state of Palestine, we need to see from now what kind of state it will be. Programs that can give concrete answers to this question will undoubtedly do better than generalities.
It's well worth our while as Americans to pay more attention to what the so-called Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) is doing. That's because we American taxpayers are footing the bill for much of it.
It is easy to be pessimistic, or even apathetic, about the latest round of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. Nevertheless, a breakthrough is possible this time -- thanks to the unshakable Palestinian peace strategy.
It won't be all smooth sailing, but economic progress on the West Bank may undercut those who advocate violence and confrontation, as more and more Palestinians and Israelis see a sliver of hope for the future.