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Sunday, July 10, 2011

The 'Palestinians' are pawns in the battle against Israel

If you see the 'Palestinians' as anything other than pawns in an attempt to destroy the State of Israel, the announcement by Salam Fayyad that most of the promised aid to the 'Palestinian Authority' has not arrived ought to make you rethink the 'Palestinians' role. Consider this.
Those arguing most strongly for Palestinian unilateralism, the PA's Arab neighbors, are among the stingiest with aid -- among them, only the UAE, Oman, and Algeria have fulfilled their aid pledges. As a result, the PA is saddled with a deficit that stands at $500 million and rising; steep indeed, but equivalent to only about half a day's oil revenues for Saudi Arabia.

This far exceeds the aid shortfall experienced by the PA in 2010, despite the fact that its aid requirements have fallen as a result of Fayyad's efforts to wean the PA off of external assistance. And it comes despite the PA's strides in fiscal management, which should have been heartening to donors wary of their funds being ill used.

That the same friends who are promising their UN votes to the PA are failing to follow through on their aid pledges should give Palestinians pause. The last IMF report on the Palestinian economy, issued last April, heaped praise on the PA's economic efforts, which were in part responsible for a remarkable eight percent increase in the West Bank's GDP in 2010. But it noted that continued economic recovery for the Palestinians depended on three things in particular: further reductions by Israel in restrictions on movement and access within the West Bank and Gaza; better coordination between the PA and Israel on the collection of "clearance revenue" (essentially taxes and fees collected by Israeli authorities and transferred to the PA); and more reliable disbursement of donor aid.

The first two boil down to Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, which is threatened by the specter of Palestinian unilateralism in September.
Could things get even worse for the 'Palestinians' after September? What could go wrong?

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