It’s like this toilet in the sand, a fixture without the plumbing.
Like I’ve said for years, the Palestinian Arab ‘leadership’ has no intention of creating a state of their own, as long as Israel exists. They need to remain an official non-entity for propaganda and terrorist reasons. It’s a two pronged approach. They seek to maintain their political edge against Israel in the demonization of the Jewish state on the international level, as an usurper of Arab ‘humanitarian rights’, as well as trying to wear down the Israeli political and societal structure, through a relentless policy of cruel and vicious terrorism.
NOTE: I have my domestic political beefs with David Frum, but here he needs to be heard concerning the lack of a ‘Palestinian’ government to correspond with its move for further recognition as being a de-facto government at the United Nations last year. Frum’s observations mirrors that of Bret Stephens in a piece published some years ago titled, Toilets in the Sand.
Here the contrast with the Israel, and particularly with the pre- state yishuv, is instructive. What strikes even the most casual student of the period is how meticulously the early Zionists laid the groundwork for independence: How they created a set of non- governmental political and social institutions, such as the Jewish Agency and the Histadrut, that could quickly be adapted for statehood. This was not glamorous work, but it suggested an understanding that a state, like a toilet, requires an elaborate understructure in order to function properly.
Observing the long gestation of Palestine, one sees different processes at work. There are many ministries, but these seem to have been designed for the purpose of creating ministers and deputy ministers and clerks. A great deal of attention has been paid to the design of Palestinian military uniforms. And, of course, there are the propagandistic emblems of statehood: billboard posters of Arafat next to the Dome of the Rock and the like.
Striking here is how much attention is lavished on surface, versus how little on structure. It is like a child´s idea of statehood: flags, parades, titles. But states, like buildings, are feats of architecture in which engineering comes first, aesthetics second. A well-built state, like a well-built house, depends chiefly on what is unseen. The Palestinian state has been built the opposite way, which is why, even at the height of Oslo, it seemed such a flimsy thing; and why, even now, the only things that still work are Israeli-made: the electricity grid, the telephone lines, the hospitals, the sewage system, the roads, the currency.
David Frum: Where is the Palestinian state-in-embryo?
From the Ma’an news agency, datelined Dec. 17, 2012, in Ramallah: “The heads of popular committees in refugee camps across the West Bank met Monday in Ramallah and agreed to escalate protests against UNRWA [The United Nations Relief and Works Agency]. Demonstrators will shut down all UNRWA offices on Tuesday to protest the dismissal of over 100 staff at the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, the committee chairman said.”
Is this state-building? After the UN vote, you might imagine that the Palestinian Authority (or “State of Palestine”) would do something to make a reality of its new status. It might seek direct negotiations with Israel. It might advance a proposal for a final settlement. It might initiate confidence-building measures or suggest new areas for useful cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians.
No, nix, not.
The PA (“State of Palestine”) seems to have no plan at all to make a reality of its proud words.
Palestinian nationalism often seems a mirror-image of the Zionist project, but with this one crucial difference: Over the half century before the foundation of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement pre-built the institutions of a state. The Zionist movement built not only a proto-government and the elements of an army, but charitable institutions, educational institutions, even artistic institutions. The Jewish state, when it came, was voted by the UN. But it was in no sense a gift from anybody, let alone an international organization.
When it came, that state did not have the boundaries its most ardent supporters would have wished. Much of the Jewish homeland lay outside the Jewish state, and remains outside that state to this day. But the practice of realism defined the founding generation of the state fully as much as the ideal of self-reliance. They accepted less than they dreamed of in order to achieve at least something of what they aspired to.
NOTE: David also makes a mistake in believing that things could have been different: ”There could be technological exchanges, electrical grids, a non-stop superhighway from Tel Aviv to Basra, daily shuttle flights from Jerusalem to Mecca.” No non-Muslim can set foot in the religious apartheid city of Mecca, no Jew, no Christian nor anyone else belonging to a different creed or of non-faith.