Saturday, May 03, 2008

Failing the test of history

From Ynet News, 30/4/08, by Martin Sherman:

Palestinians have attained ‘failed state’ status even before it was established

... the Palestinians have undermined – indeed invalidated – their claim to statehood ... Failure to achieve statehood is the ultimate indicator ....

And the Palestinian failure has been undeniably staggering. In fact a strong case can be made for the claim that, in the history of modern national independence movements, none have enjoyed conditions more conducive to success, and yet achieved such miserable results, than that of the Palestinians. Indeed, the proponents of Palestinian statehood must be compelled to respond to a simple but trenchant question: Why hasn't it happened up to now? For it should not be forgotten what the Palestinians had in their favor:

  • Decades of unmitigated support and patronage of the USSR, one of the world's two post-WW II superpowers
  • Almost universal international endorsement of their claims
  • Highly supportive coverage in nearly all major international media
  • Massive financial backing making the Palestinians the highest per capita recipients of international aid on the face of the globe
  • Almost two decades of highly accommodative Israeli administrations which not only acknowledged but often even identified with their claims of statehood

Yet in spite of these highly benign circumstances the Palestinians have not managed to produce any semblance of a sustainable society. The Palestinian leadership has done nothing but bring about a repressive and regressive interim regime that provided little but the pillage of the Palestinian people and the squander of the vast amount of resources provided by donor nations.

Nearly a decade and a half after the Oslo Agreements, the Palestinians have shown the world that they simply cannot "cut it." All they have been able to establish was both tenuous and dysfunctional, from a corrupt kleptocracy to a tyrannical theocracy – both now sliding into abysmal anarchy and chronic chaos accompanied by fratricidal fury. Indeed the Palestinian state has perhaps the unique, if dubious, distinction of attaining "failed state" status before it was in fact established.

So today, decades after other movements for national liberation across Africa and Asia, with far less financial and political support, managed to throw off mighty empires, the Palestinians with all the might of the Muslim world, and its vast petro-riches, behind them, have been unable to wrest independence from a tiny mirco-state like Israel – not only when it opposed such independence, but even when it did not!

Clearly then, the time has come for the international community to recognize that rather than a coherent, cohesive national entity, the Palestinians comprise an amorphous amalgam of clans, gangs and bands whose overriding aspiration to not to establish a state for their own people but to dismantle a state of another people.

Clearly the time has come to remove the issue of Palestinian statehood from the international agenda – for the Palestinians themselves have shown that they are patently incapable of maintaining such statehood. ... continual and chronic failure to attain it, even under the most benevolent conditions, must surely be clear grounds for disqualification.

Accordingly, the time has come challenge the validity of the conventional wisdom which holds unquestioningly that "the Palestinians deserve a state of their own.” Not because of any objections raised by the opponents of such a state, but because the Palestinians themselves have manifestly failed the test of history.

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