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The Two Essential Questions Regarding Palestinian Statehood

Will it be a force for peace and stability? What do Palestinian leaders really want?

by
Moshe Dann

Bio

December 28, 2010 - 12:00 am
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Ignoring reality led to the rise of Hamas and its capture of the Gaza Strip, the rise of Hezbollah and its dominance in Lebanon, and threats from Iran. Continuing along that path seems suicidal.

The Palestinian leadership is not ready for statehood, unwilling to make peace with Israel, and fragmented among warring groups. This is not a healthy basis for the future of Arabs or Israelis. Palestinian demands for statehood, therefore, are not only premature, they are immature. It’s like putting an accident-prone driver behind the wheel and hoping for the best.

Palestinian leaders have an extensive record of irresponsibility, incitement, and terrorism. Divided between the West Bank and Gaza, rife with corruption and mismanagement, the Palestinian Authority is unable to function wisely or effectively. Missiles continue to rain on Israel, anti-Jewish incitement is common, and terrorist attacks are a constant menace. Putting a country into their hands invites disaster.

Why then advocate what is likely to become catastrophic? Would a Palestinian state provide greater security for Israel or the region? Just as the U.S. would not (or should not) tolerate Russian, Iranian, or North Korean missiles in Cuba or Venezuela, how can it expect Israel to tolerate a far greater danger at closer range?

Is a Palestinian state of higher priority than Israel’s existence?

These are the core issues and critical questions. Not settlements. Not borders. Not “refugees.” And not Jerusalem. Palestinian statehood is not an answer; rather, it raises difficult questions: is it worth the risk, and what will be its unintended consequences?

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The author, a former assistant professor of history, is a writer and journalist living in Jerusalem.
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