In response to the American peace proposal, the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has once again threatened to terminate the Palestinian Authority (PA) and end security cooperation with Israel—threats he has made in the past without following through. Since its inception, write Yosef Kuperwasser and Sander Gerber, the PA—created to form the basis for an independent and democratic state—has done much harm and little good:
Abbas’s Palestinian Authority hurts the Palestinians themselves first and foremost. The Oslo peace process never envisioned Israel or some other outside power fulfilling the aspirations and expectations of the Palestinian people for freedom, a decent political system, and economic prosperity; by definition, they needed to be fulfilled from inside Palestinian society. The total failure to fulfill those expectations, therefore, begins with the PA itself, which has proved itself to be a deeply corrupt, incompetent, and undemocratic regime in the eyes of the people it purports to represent.
The Palestinian Authority has not held elections for more than fourteen years; its elected parliament does not function. . . . It denies its Palestinian citizens basic human rights and freedoms, such as freedom of speech. It tortures prisoners.
Worst of all, the PA spends its resources on inculcating into the Palestinian consciousness and the Arab and international discourse a flawed, ahistorical narrative of victimhood that denies the existence of a Jewish people and its right for a state in its ancestral homeland; demonizes the Jews and the Zionists; justifies all forms of struggle against Israel, including terror; and preserves the Palestinian commitment to regain all of mandatory Palestine. It uses international aid to eternalize the conflict by paying handsome salaries to terrorists and their families (about 7 percent of the PA’s annual budget funds this “Pay-for-Slay” policy).
While the Palestinian Authority blames all of its shortcomings and more on the Israeli occupation, the truth is that it misused the enormous amounts of foreign aid it received and is itself the main culprit for the failure to translate this aid into the building of a thriving and successful economy—which would only be helped by peace. Rawabi, the new Palestinian city built by a private Palestinian entrepreneur, stands like a symbol of what could have happened if the PA’s resources had been spent on constructive projects.
Read more on Tablet: https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/298398/palestinian-authority-peace-plan