Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Charity Economics, Subservient Politics: Why Oslo Must Go

By Ramzy Baroud
Palestine Chronicle

"Recent demonstrations in protest of the rising cost of living have swept across the West Bank. While they are not indicative of a Palestinian version of the 'Arab Spring', they are still an important first step.
A reasonable demand, however, cannot possibly be for Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to sack the government of Salam Fayyad. Neither has much sway over Palestinian economy, let alone political will.

Abbas enjoys Israeli and Western backing because of his ability to manage - if not sustain - a factional split between his party, Fatah, and Hamas, which controls Gaza. He remains faithful to security coordination between his authority and Israel, and continues to crack down on his opponents with an iron fist. He is also desperately clinging to a loyalty to Washington policy - despite the fact that the latter’s prestige and influence is quickly diminishing in the region.....

How long the PA can continue to operate as a functionary of Israel and Western interests will now largely depend on Palestinians. Even if more money is pumped into PA coffers, the fundamental problem will not go away. Bribing a nation with meager handouts to deny them political rights is superfluous at best, and it will most certainly not last.

There are new calls for the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority. For these calls to be meaningful, they need to be accompanied by a unifying transitional political program which will guide Palestinians out of the temporary chaos that is likely to follow. The program must be a part of a larger vision, one that looks past charity-economics and frivolous talks of two-state solutions, and which actually bridges the gap between divided Palestinian communities."

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