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A New Palestinian State? Isn’t that dangerous?

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December 1, 2015 by wimvincken

We see the collapse of several Arab and Muslim states, like Syria, Libya, Yemen. Several Arab and Muslim states are run by authoritarian leaders (authoritarian kings, emirs, or generals (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar), other states, like Tunisia, is struggling to survive, Pakistan is under growing pressure! The whole region is unstable now and very likely for many years to come, thanks to widespread dysfunction and/or plain bad governance, extremism, systemic corruption, and the absence any representative institutions and the constant attack by Islamic extremists. Do you think that we need to add a new State of Palestine to that collection?

The Palestinian national movement is in chaos: There are two of everything, split between Fatah and Hamas. That includes two mini-states in part of the West Bank and Gaza, two constitutions, two sets of security services, and two visions of where Palestine is and what kind of state it should be. A stable state would require Hamas and Fatah to merge, so that they are able to share power in a political system driven by governance, not violence and incitement. Even under the best circumstances, it’s hard to picture Hamas’s Islamist vision of Palestine reconciled with Fatah’s more nationalist one. And there is little in the history of the Palestinian national movement or the Palestinian Authority’s governance style to suggest anything but aggressive disruptive politics, much less a smooth transition to functional statehood.

There are no Palestinian leaders then only the (internationally recognized) Palestinian President Abbas. He’s 80 years old and has not chosen a successor, nor is one on the horizon. He’s democratically elected, but his term has years ago expired. His death or incapacitation or retirement could and will easily create a power vacuum that would make the political situation even more unstable.

Not creating a Palestinian state risks increasing the violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And let’s be clear: Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, and its doubts and opposition to Palestinian statehood on terms what the Palestinians are demanding (to leave the Middle East or to drop dead), have heavily influenced the possibilities and prospects of such an outcome. Such Palestinian state would be a liability for the Middle East and the Palestinians themselves.

Strategically, a newly created Palestinian State is not likely to succeed with the current available Palestinian leaders and is likely to become a terrorist-hub, making the situation in the Middle East even more dangerous, not to forget the suffering of the Palestinian population. You can’t expect that Israel will give into the demands of Hamas and move out of Israel to other countries in the world or to perform suicide.


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