The Age of Entitlement Breeds Anti-Semitism

Examining the intimidating and often violent anti-Israel demonstrations that have broken out on city streets and college campuses in the past few months, Hannah Meyers observes:

The anti-Zionist protesters who have blocked bridges in Manhattan and the airport in Los Angeles, smeared paint on government buildings, burned police hats, and bludgeoned their opposition with megaphones aren’t the miraculous or demonic manifestations of the attacks of October 7. Their actions to disrupt, menace, and injure others have come about as the result of a policy, procedural, and moral failure—a failure that has led the perpetrators of these offenses to believe themselves not only justified but elevated somehow by their decision to take action. This failure is the logical conclusion of a profound societal change over the past two generations—a decision to teach our youth that true virtue comes from claiming you are deserving of an entitlement.

Read more at Commentary

More about: American society, Anti-Semitism, Crime, Israel on campus

Recognizing a Palestinian State Won’t Help Palestinians, or Even Make Palestinian Statehood More Likely

While Shira Efron and Michael Koplow are more sanguine about the possibility of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and more critical of Israel’s policies in the West Bank, than I am, I found much worth considering in their recent article on the condition of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Particularly perceptive are their comments on the drive to grant diplomatic recognition to a fictive Palestinian state, a step taken by nine countries in the past few months, and almost as many in total as recognize Israel.

Efron and Koplow argue that this move isn’t a mere empty gesture, but one that would actually make things worse, while providing “no tangible benefits for Palestinians.”

In areas under its direct control—Areas A and B of the West Bank, comprising 40 percent of the territory—the PA struggles severely to provide services, livelihoods, and dignity to inhabitants. This is only partly due to its budgetary woes; it has also never established a properly functioning West Bank economy. President Mahmoud Abbas, who will turn ninety next year, administers the PA almost exclusively by executive decrees, with little transparency or oversight. Security is a particular problem, as militants from different factions now openly defy the underfunded and undermotivated PA security forces in cities such as Jenin, Nablus, and Tulkarm.

Turning the Palestinian Authority (PA) from a transitional authority into a permanent state with the stroke of a pen will not make [its] litany of problems go away. The risk that the state of Palestine would become a failed state is very real given the PA’s dysfunctional, insolvent status and its dearth of public legitimacy. Further declines in its ability to provide social services and maintain law and order could yield a situation in which warlords and gangs become de-facto rulers in some areas of the West Bank.

Otherwise, any steps toward realizing two states will be fanciful, built atop a crumbling foundation—and likely to help turn the West Bank into a third front in the current war.

Read more at Foreign Affairs

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian statehood