I have to ask the question no one else is. How will the life of the average Palestinian improve once the war ends between Israel and the Palestinian authority?
I am proposing a best case “What If” scenario.
Peace breaks out between the Israelis and Palestinians. There are no more TERRORIST killings by Palestinians. And there are no more targeted assassinations of TERRORISTS by Israel.
All Palestinian towns and villages are no longer occupied by Israeli troops. The disputed settlements are resolved. The Palestinian right to return is dealt with. And both sides have agreed upon a shared capital in Jerusalem.
What happens next?
How does the lot of the Palestinians improve? Will the Palestinians begin to stop teaching hatred of Jews in their schools and focus only on educational skills needed in a modern globalized world?
Will the Palestinians develop a modern infrastructure including an energy source with a reliable electrical grid, sewage disposal, water treatment and distribution?
Will the Palestinian roads function properly? Will they have proper hospitals and social services? Will there be job counselling? Will there be jobs?
Prior to 1967 and the Israeli victory of the 6 Day War, when Israel militarily took the West Bank from Jordan, and Gaza from Egypt, the Palestinians had very little infrastructure.
After the 6 Day War, when Israel “occupied” these territories, the Palestinians got all of the above. Since Oslo in 1993, when all of these functions were turned over to the Palestinians for their control, many, if not most of these modern infrastructure elements quickly degraded or disappeared altogether.
Since the Palestinian Authority took control of their own destiny, the BILLIONS of foreign aid dollars which poured into the coffers of the Palestinian Authority have disappeared, and so did the much of the infrastructure, along with the jobs that were mostly in Israel.
Now, let’s just say that there is no more violence and everyone on both sides is in agreement on the territorial boundaries of both States. There is peace.
Given the history of the Arab world, especially the Palestinians; why would I believe that a new nation with no infrastructure, a culture built upon violence, hatred and phenomenal corruption, with absolutely no natural resources in the ground be able to enjoy successful statehood?
In Syria, Egypt and Jordan, three countries without oil wealth, unemployment and poverty is a daily way of life. Why would I assume an independent Palestine would be any different?
In all of the Arab world, democracy is as foreign a concept as an alien from Mars. Why would I imagine in my wildest dreams that the new state of Palestine would grasp democracy, when democracy is the Arab world’s single greatest reason to hate the West?
Where will the jobs come from since there is no natural wealth to be found in Palestine? What will the Palestinians do to earn money? What if Israel decides not to hire Palestinians to work in Israel?
What if Israelis are willing to buy property and create businesses that will employ Palestinians in Palestine? They can’t. The Palestinian constitution, or whatever passes for their constitution FORBIDS the sale of properties or real-estate to Jews.
So what do the Palestinians do to make a living and pay for the infrastructure needed to operate a successful country?
Will the Palestinian Authority disband their army of more than 40,000 “police officers”, or will they continue to operate a Police State?
My interest is as much in the Peace as it is in the War. I don’t believe the Palestinians are capable of running a modern, secular, and democratic society any more than any of the other Arab states.
There is absolutely no history whatsoever of secular democratic freedoms among the Palestinian Authority.
There is no imaginable way for the Palestinians to create wealth.
There is no semblance or history of organized and honest governance and the ability to maintain a critical mechanical and social infrastructure.
And then there is Hezbollah and their like minded Islamic fundamentalist buddies who are doing all the heavy-lifting in the violent war against Israel.
Why would anyone think, even for a second, that these Islamic tough-guys are going to allow a secular democracy to sprout and grow in their midst, especially since they’re the ones doing most of the fighting, killing and dying?
It’s easy for us in the West to be sitting on the sidelines pushing for a peace deal between modern, secular and democratic Israelis with an incredibly effective infrastructure, and a people who are still operating a century behind.
I imagine that peace in some form will come. Then the Palestinians will squander every opportunity and self-implode. The Israelis will be blamed. And the peace will leave.
This is the tragic reality of peace between the Arabs and Israel.
Since I see very little chance for any type of harmonious coexistence between the Palestinians and the Israelis, even after peace is declared, my suggestion for Israel is to hope for the best, expect the worst, and continue building the Wall.
The Wall will not bring peace. But it will bring better security. And in the context of living with the Palestinians, security is the next best thing.