The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

              A Palestinian "State"
Mark Steyn has a great column today making fun of Saeb Erekat's WaPo piece about Bush taking his job.

"But, if Bush did "take my job", it’s because Erekat is not up to it. For 10 years, the world has been trying to give a state to the Palestinians and the Palestinians keep tossing obstacles in their path. The latest innovation was a suicide-bomber arrested with explosives bearing HIV-infected blood, the thinking being that anyone who survived would get Aids. Unfortunately, the heat of the explosion kills the virus. But, in his combination of depravity and incompetence, the "Aids bomber" neatly encapsulates the present state of Palestinian "nationalism". The only way the Palestinians will get any kind of state is if Israel and America inflict it on them and eliminate such lethargic middle-men as Mr Erekat.

So Sharon is withdrawing from Gaza, abandoning the settlements and building a wall. This is bad news for those Palestinians who take a more nuanced approach to Jews - who think that, if you accidentally infect yourself while strapping on the HIV bomb, you should have the right to state-of-the-art treatment from an Israeli hospital. But they'll have to make the best of it. Israel has concluded that, if you can't "live in peace" with your neighbour, the priority is to live.

What a strange world the Middle East is. For 10 years, in northern Iraq, the Kurds have run a pleasant, civilized, pluralist, democratic de facto state, but external realities require them to be denied one de jure. For the same period, in the West Bank and Gaza the Palestinian Authority’s thugs, incompetents and bespoke apologists have been lavished with EU aid and transformed their land into an ugly, bankrupt Arafatist squat. But external realities require the world to defer to the "Chairman" as a de jure head of state, lacking merely a state to head."

This brings up an interesting question that is not discussed at all: whose interests would be served by creating a Palestinian state now, and who would benefit from it? It is clear that any Palestinian state set up now would be a disaster; no economy, no law, and no infrastructure would mean that this new state would instantly become an impoverished terrorist haven and breeding ground. Obviously neither Israel, nor the US, nor Europe have an interest in that, and would receive no benefit. Similarly, the Palestinian people would not benefit from being ruled by a despotic, kleptocratic regime. Arafat would not benefit because he would then have the very difficult job of running a state, with all its inherent problems, as opposed to just being a "revolutionary leader"; this is without a doubt one of the reasons that he could not accept Barak's or Clinton's offers. While the "moderate" Arab regimes insist that the Palestinian issue inflames their populations and that its resolution would remove an issue that causes terrorism, this is completely disingenuous. The Arab regimes do not want a resolution in the form of a Palestinian state because then those regimes would have no issue with which to distract their own citizens; and if there is no external distraction, these citizens may start to look closely at their own leaders and realize that they have led them down a dead-end street and that could easily lead to the overthrow of these regimes.

Given all this, it seems that the only possible reason that the issue of a Palestinian state continues to be brought up (especially in Europe and the Arab world) is to beat up on Israel.
|| Nudnik 9:00 AM
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