web analytics
January 28, 2015 / 8 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


‘We’re On A Trajectory Toward Failure’: An Interview with Middle East Expert Jonathan Schanzer

Dr. Jonathan Schanzer

Dr. Jonathan Schanzer

That Mahmoud Abbas is corrupt and presides over a corrupt Palestinian Authority is no secret to right-wing Israel activists. It is apparently a secret, however, to most of the world that prefers not to know of Arab malfeasance.

And yet, if the Palestinians are ever to have a viable state, their supporters must face this fact, argues Jonathan Schanzer in his new book, State of Failure: Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Unmaking of the Palestinian State (Palgrave Macmillan). If they don’t, any future Palestinian state will likely “collapse under its own weight,” he writes.

Schanzer, who holds a doctorate from King’s College London, is currently vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and has testified before Congress on Middle East affairs on several occasions.

The Jewish Press: Why do you argue that a future Palestinian state will “collapse under its own weight”?

Schanzer: You wouldn’t have an immediate collapse tomorrow. But the book raises questions about whether the Palestinians are able to sustain themselves over the immediate to long term [with] a government that isn’t transparent, is mired in corruption, and is overly dependent on foreign aid.

Over the last two decades, the United States has poured $5 billion into the Palestinian Authority, the Europeans have done roughly the same, and the Arabs have also contributed billions. But after 20 years, one sees a very ossified and brittle Palestinian Authority that might be no better prepared for statehood today than it was when we flipped the switch in the early 1990s.

Which begs the questions: Why do the United States and so many other countries donate so much money to a corrupt entity? Over the last several years alone, the Palestinian Authority may have “misspent” over $3 billion, according to a European Union audit.

I think this is a big question and one that I have never really been able to get a satisfactory answer for. I’ve talked to people like Dennis Ross, Aaron David Miller, and Elliott Abrams, and Palestinians involved in the negotiation process, and I think the big takeaway is that the U.S. and the international community continue to pour money into the Palestinian Authority in the hope of just getting a deal done.

In other words, we’re not interested in what the Palestinian state will look like, only the fact that there will be a Palestinian state. We keep looking to get that deal done – that handshake on the White House lawn – without thinking about how we can transform the Palestinians into a government that will be able to look after itself.

In writing this book and urging the Palestinians to reform, you’re assuming that the Palestinians actually want a state. But do they? Many have argued that the Palestinians don’t want their own state so much as they want to destroy the Jewish one.

What you’re getting at is essentially the question of the goal of Palestinian nationalism. There is a good argument to be made that Palestinian nationalism has been more focused on the destruction of something, i.e., the state of Israel, than the creation of something, i.e., a viable Palestinian state.

That said, we have seen in the UN over the last three years a concerted effort on the part of Mahmoud Abbas to establish the state of Palestine. You’ll recall that last year the state of Palestine received overwhelming support from the UN General Assembly and that this year they have begun to cast votes in the General Assembly as the state of Palestine. They’re also looking to upgrade their status at a bunch of UN member agencies.

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “‘We’re On A Trajectory Toward Failure’: An Interview with Middle East Expert Jonathan Schanzer

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
IDF soldiers evacuating wounded near northern border town of Ghajar.
Northern Golan Heights Declared a Closed Military Zone
Latest Indepth Stories
New York Times

Why does the Times relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

syria_iran_map

To defeat parasites-the hosts of terrorists-we need to deny them new people, potential terrorists

game-figure-598036_1280-810x540

Combating Amalek doesn’t mean all who disagree with you is evil-rather whom to follow and to oppose

Is "the word is the thing"? Abbas sits behind "Palestine" sign at the United Nations.

Desperate people take what they can, seizing opportunity to advance their main goal; the Arabs don’t

There was a glaring void in the President’s State of the Union speech: Israel.

Let’s focus not on becoming an ATM for that little bundle of joy, but on what you can save in taxes.

Since the passing of the Governance bill legislation on March 11, 2014, new alignments have become to appear in Israeli politics.

Israel has some wild places left; places to reflect and think, to get lost, to try to find ourselves

The British government assured Anglo-Jewry that it is attacking the rising levels of anti-Semitism.

Obama’s Syrian policy failures created the current situation in the Golan Heights.

Our journey begins by attempting to see things differently, only then can we be open to change.

Despite Western ‘Conventional Wisdom&PC,’ the Arab/Israeli conflict was never about the Palestinians

Confrontation & accountability, proven techniques, might also help dealing with religious terrorists

In fact, wherever you see soldiers in Paris today, you pretty much know you’re near Jewish site

Inspired by the Perek Shira pasuk for “small non-kosher animals” we named the bunny “Rebbetzin Tova”

The abuse following publication proved a cautionary tale: no one followed in Peters’s footsteps

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
Resnick-012315-Artist

Nouril concluded he had no choice: He had to become more observant.

Richard Dukas

I was very pro-Israel, I was very proud of being Jewish, and I was living in New York at the time as a single man in my 20s and I was just looking for a little bit more.

A school voucher means the state is giving you a voucher to send your kid to whatever school you want. That might be problematic as far church-state issues are concerned.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

To many Orthodox Jews the issue is “Permitted & Prohibited;” “Right & Wrong” barely considered,

You can’t say “Jewish French,” “Jewish British,” “Jewish Italian.” They are “French Jews,” “British Jews,” and “Italian Jews” – because they’re seen as Jews first and residents or citizens of their countries second.

Another thing they have been covering up is the nature of the building that was attacked. To this day people refer to it as a consulate or an embassy, but it wasn’t.

The reality is that civility is less important than clarity, and right now only very few people on the Left are interested in having a civil conversation about the merits of particular policy solutions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/were-on-a-trajectory-toward-failure-an-interview-with-middle-east-expert-jonathan-schanzer/2014/01/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: