How the World Enabled 25 Years of Palestinian Decline
- After 25 years of fighting Israel in every possible way, all the Palestinians have to show for it is 25 years of steady decline. Despite massive international aid, Gaza's per capita GDP has remained virtually flat, totaling $817 in 1987 and $876 in 2010.
- To add insult to injury, neither terror nor diplomatic warfare succeeded in preventing Israel from flourishing over those years. The sadder part of the story is that none of this has managed to persuade the Palestinians that such tactics are self-defeating.
- Yet the international community has played a crucial role in enabling the Palestinians' counterproductive tactics, cushioning them from the consequences of their bad decisions with more than four times as much per capita aid as any other nation receives. Gaza's situation may not be rosy, but it outranks more than 110 countries in terms of both life expectancy and infant mortality.
- As long as international aid is keeping them relatively comfortable, Palestinians feel little incentive to change their tactics.
- Far worse, however, is that by offering the Palestinians almost unstinting diplomatic support while relentlessly criticizing Israel, the world feeds Palestinian fantasies that these tactics will someday succeed - that eventually, the world will force Israel to its knees. So why would Palestinians conclude that they are the ones who need to change their behavior?
- For all its vaunted concern for the Palestinians, it seems the international community would rather let them suffer another 25 years of steady decline than try to wean them from their failed strategies.
Building Blocs -Editorial
While a strong majority of Israelis has consistently supported a two-state solution for well over a decade, Palestinians both in Gaza and the West Bank have remained unwavering in their irredentism and if anything have grown more extreme in their rejection of a Jewish state existing anywhere in "Palestine."
It is Palestinian intransigence, not Jewish building in consensus Jerusalem neighborhoods and settlement blocs, that is the real obstacle to a negotiated peace and a two-state solution. Most Israelis understand this.
Salam Fayyad's Call for an "Economic Intifada"? -Khaled Abu Toameh
Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, this week called for an economic intifada against Israel in response to Israel's decision to seize tax revenues belonging to the PA in order to cover Palestinian debts to the Israel Electric Company. Many Palestinians refuse to pay water, electricity and other bills because they believe the international community should be covering all their expenses. Others refuse to pay because they believe the money eventually falls into the hands of corrupt PA officials.
Fayyad is hoping that by calling for an economic intifada, he will succeed in diverting growing anger and frustration on the Palestinian street towards the Israelis. This has always been the PA's way of avoiding responsibility for anything that goes wrong.
Nine UN Resolutions Against Israel, Silence about Syrian Attacks on Palestinians
On Dec. 18, the UN General Assembly adopted nine resolutions against Israel. [But] perhaps the most striking event in the Middle East this past week was the attack on a Palestinian refugee camp in Syria. At the Yarmouk camp, roughly 100,000 Palestinians are said to have fled after air strikes that killed dozens of people. On this, the General Assembly is silent, while it repeats its litany of complaints against Israel.
The logical conclusion is that the UNGA isn't interested in Palestinians except as a weapon with which to attack Israel. When someone else acts, and actually attacks Palestinians, that's too bad but isn't of widespread interest.
(Council on Foreign Relations)
Palestinians Aim to Isolate Israel -Mohammed Daraghmeh
Palestinian officials are plotting a series of tough steps against Israel. Emboldened by their newly upgraded status at the United Nations, the Palestinians are talking of filing war crimes charges against Israel, staging mass demonstrations in the West Bank, encouraging the international community to impose sanctions, and ending the security cooperation that has helped preserve quiet in recent years.
The Palestinians also talk of increasing the "popular struggle," a term they use for demonstrations against Israeli soldiers.
Israel: Palestinians Seeking Confrontation -Itamar Eichner
"Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is seeking to incite a confrontation with Israel," the Israel Foreign Ministry said, following the Palestinian leader's announcement that the PA will actively try to isolate Israel in the international community.
"The Palestinians' tragedy is that instead of dedicating efforts to building themselves, they are focusing on trying to harm Israel. Instead of building their future, they are immersed in attempts to ruin ours."