The Failed State of Palestine

Jewish Current Issues

Michael Eisenstadt, director of the Military and Security Studies Program at The Washington Institute, has produced a lengthy Policy Focus Paper entitled “The Palestinians: Between State Failure and Civil War.”

Eisenstadt writes that the Palestinian Authority has “largely functioned as a de facto state since its creation in 1994” and now “displays many of the traits of a failed state:”

    On the eve of the Hamas takeover of Gaza, the PA was no longer able (and in some respects, it never was able) to fulfill the most important functions of a state: to provide for the welfare and security of its people. The clearest signs of the weakness of the PA were what Palestinians referred to as “the four Fs”: fawda (chaos), fitna (strife), falatan (lawlessness), and fassad (corruption).

None of the four “Fs” were caused by Israel.

The Bush administration is now devoting maximum effort in its final year (and trip after trip by its Secretary of State) to establish a state that has already failed, pushing weak and compromised “leaders” into final status negotiations that are doomed to failure until the real “core issue” — a culture of terror — is addressed:

    Ending the chaos, strife, lawlessness, and corruption that have characterized life in much of the West Bank will require far-reaching political reforms, the inculcation of a culture of political compromise, and strong leadership — conditions not likely to be fulfilled soon.

    Likewise, Israeli security restrictions in the West Bank that hamstring the Palestinian economy, limit Palestinian freedom of movement, and constrain the PA’s ability to exercise its authority throughout the territory are likely to remain in place until Fatah’s militia, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, is dismantled and the PA demonstrates that it can prevent attacks on Israeli civilian and military targets and check Hamas’s efforts to lay the groundwork for a future takeover in the West Bank.

Next month the president is heading to Ramallah, when he should be going to Sderot.

December 21, 2007 | Comments Off on The Failed State of Palestine

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