Friday, April 30, 2010

The Palestinian cold war

The split between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is reflective of the foreign influences dominating the Middle East

Jonathan Spyer, Friday 30 April 2010

"Though rarely alluded to by those engaged in trying to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the split between the Hamas enclave in Gaza and the West Bank Palestinian Authority has the increasing look of permanence about it. The divide reflects regional politics, with each of the rival authorities aligned with one of the opposing blocs in the cold war that currently dominates the Middle East.....

The proudest achievement of PLO and Fatah leader Yasser Arafat was the establishment of a single, authoritative Palestinian national movement not beholden to or dependent on any outside power. This movement no longer exists. The full implications of its disappearance are not yet apparent. But the continued presence of two rival, dependent authorities changes the basic dynamic both of Palestinian politics, and of the framework of possibilities between Israelis and Palestinians. It deserves far greater attention."

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