Thursday, September 22, 2011

Palestine: A State Not Yet?

I’ve tossed this one back and forth for weeks because on one hand, I believe that the Palestinians deserve their own state, just like the Israelis. My concern is the timeframe of it all.

Palestinian leadership is headed to the United Nations with an application for statehood…amid Israeli consternation and the United States threats to cut off foreign aid and veto the application if necessary. There are many questions that I have of the Palestinian Authority who is pressing forward with this application. The first of these questions revolves around economic concerns. Most states have something that can point towards that drives their economy.

The Palestinians are highly dependent on foreign aid and face the prospect of losing chunks of it, if this application goes through. Israel of course, still occupies the West Bank making any sort of economic development difficult. When your economy is foreign aid, that could be a problem, given the current economic conditions.

Furthermore, does the Palestinian Authority have the people with them on this question? The last thing we need is to recognize Palestine and than have an immediate civil war for control between the PA and Hamas for control. There is a sizeable base for support for Hamas within the area, so I’m not sure who to go with here.

Some people are against the statehood application because it undermines the peace process. Yeah, a peace process that has been particularly effective in solving the conflict for sixty plus years…that sucker needs to be undermined on some level because we’ve made little tangible process on the Israeli-Palestinian issue because often one or both sides have been more concerned about preservation of their own self images than actually bringing peace. But given the infrastructure, economic, and group dynamics, I’m not quite ready to endorse Palestinian statehood, even though I think they deserve it.

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