The Political Reality of a Future Israeli-Palestinian Peace
An excellent piece in Foreign Policy by David Schenker. He argues that democratic reforms have not moderated the Palestinian population”from the top down”; rather the parties have been pushed towards radicalism directly from the Arab Street. Highlighting the obvious fact that political institutions, while important both in a real-world an academic sense, have the power to shape political culture, they are not the only forces at work. Sociological factors (radical Islam) along with economic factors (the intense poverty found in the Territories) have been more powerful in shaping the political identity of Palestinians since the mid-1990s than the political institutions have been. Consequently, the real sea change that has occurred in the last decade and a half has been the import of radical ideology (along with the corresponding money and arms), leading to a shift in the political center amongst the Palestinian people and their leadership.
The article also offers some poignant policy advise, although I doubt it will gain much traction inside the Obama team. “Today, Fatah may be better than Hamas, but the organization is clearly no panacea. Based on Fatah’s disposition toward Israel, it is all but assured that a Palestinian national unity government will not advance negotiations. The sooner the Obama administration recognizes Fatah’s shortcomings, the sooner it can start developing a new paradigm for Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.”
Posted on 05/08/2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on The Political Reality of a Future Israeli-Palestinian Peace.