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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A 'Palestinian state' on the way?

The New York Times' Ethan Bronner seems to think a 'Palestinian state' living side by side in peace and security with Israel is just around the corner.
As preparations intensify for a Palestinian-Israeli summit meeting in Washington on Thursday, the crude outlines of a Palestinian state are emerging in the West Bank, with increasingly reliable security forces, a more disciplined government and a growing sense among ordinary citizens that they can count on basic services.
According to Bronner, the only thing that's necessary for 'normal life' in Judea and Samaria is for the Jews to leave.
Of course, the West Bank remains occupied by Israel. It is filled with scores of Israeli settlements, some 10,000 Israeli troops and numerous roadblocks and checkpoints that render true ordinary life impossible for the area’s 2.5 million Palestinians.
Really? What is 'true ordinary life' if not making a living and going out and enjoying oneself after work - precisely what Bronner is describing?

The truth is that there are two major problems preventing the creation of a 'Palestinian state' and until those two problems are resolved, there's not likely to be a peaceful one. The first is, as Bronner is told several times throughout the article, the 'Palestinians' are not yet ready to assume responsibility for their own security. That statement means a lot more than 'the Palestinians aren't yet well enough trained.' It means a lot more than 'the Palestinians have yet to remove the terrorists from their midst.' It means that the 'Palestinian police' have to be willing to treat all people in their jurisdiction equally. It means that they cannot defend only their own respective clans, but must act as a true police force. Will they do that if push comes to shove? I wouldn't bet on it.

The second issue (which probably needs to be fulfilled first) is that the 'Palestinians' have to accept the existence of the Jewish state alongside them with which they claim they are willing to live in peace and security. That hasn't happened yet and it's not likely to happen in the foreseeable future. If it ever did happen, the 'Palestinians' might stop demanding that their state be Judenrein.

That's why most analysts, as Bronner admits, don't see a 'Palestinian state' happening anytime soon.


At 3:53 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

A Palestinian state also needs rule of law and an attractive environment for foreign investment. Neither of these conditions is likely to be satisfied in the foreseeable future. The PA neither has free elections nor does it have a functioning market economy and none is going to appear in the next two years.

Even Barry Rubin expects the direct talks to fail.


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