Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Palestinians Get Donor “Birth Certificate”

As expected, the conference held today in Brussels for donors to the Palestinian Authority, endorsed the idea that the PA “is above the threshold of a functioning state.” This statement echoed the opinion rendered by the International Monetary Fund last week and the United Nations yesterday. According to Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad, this all amounts to a “birth certificate” for a Palestinian state.

This birth certificate will add more fuel to the PA’s campaign for a UN General Assembly vote endorsing a Palestinian state in all of the West Bank, Gaza, as well as eastern Jerusalem. While such a move would trash the peace process, the best that Tony Blair, the Middle East envoy of the diplomatic quartet of the European Union, Russia, the UN, and the United States could muster today against this development was to assert that a Palestinian end run around negotiations would split the international community even though he admitted that such unity on the subject was “a rather misplaced hope.”

While the reforms and the efforts at better governance of the West Bank championed by Fayyad are worth supporting, the idea that his administration has somehow miraculously transformed Palestinian political culture is unrealistic.

The assertion that the PA could actually run a “functioning state” ignores a fundamental truth about Fayyad’s regime. It is not merely dependent on massive foreign aid. It also could not function or survive without the protection afforded by Israel’s military presence in the West Bank, the very thing that Fayyad claims he wishes to eliminate. Although the area’s economy is starting to recover from the terror war started by Yasir Arafat in 2000, an Israeli withdrawal would mean that the terror groups who constitute the real power in Palestinian society might obtain the ability to transform this territory into another terrorist launching pad like Gaza. Even though unilateralism seemingly allows Fayyad and PA head Mahmoud Abbas to gain statehood without committing political suicide (or signing their own death warrants) by agreeing to a peace accord with Israel, such independence isn’t very good for their long term survival either.

In that light, today’s endorsement of statehood must be understood as having more to do with isolating Israel than with the hard work of building an actual state.


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.