Real Two-State Problem Is the Hamas-Fatah Feud

[Jerusalem Post] Khaled Abu Toameh - The Palestinians already have two separate political entities or mini-states - one in the West Bank and the other in Gaza. These rival entities, controlled by Fatah and Hamas respectively, are acting and dealing with each other like two different countries. Repeated attempts by Egypt and Saudi Arabia to persuade the two parties to form a Palestinian unity government have failed, prompting Cairo and Riyadh to come up with the idea of establishing a confederation between the two "mini-states," an idea both Hamas and Fatah have categorically rejected. For now, it appears that the Palestinians (and the rest of the world) will have to live with the fact that the split between the West Bank and Gaza is not a temporary or passing phenomenon. If the Obama administration is serious about promoting the two-state solution, it must focus its efforts first on helping the Palestinians solve the dispute between Fatah and Hamas. The divisions among the Palestinians, as well as failure to establish proper and credible institutions, are the main obstacle to the realization of the two-state solution. Less than half of the West Bank is controlled by the corruption-riddled Fatah faction, which seems to have lost much of its credibility among the Palestinians, largely because of its failure to reform itself in the aftermath of its defeat to Hamas in the January 2006 parliamentary election. Gaza, on the other hand, is entirely controlled by the radical Islamic movement that has wreaked havoc on the majority of the Palestinians living there. The Obama administration is mistaken if it thinks the power struggle between these two groups is a fight between good guys and bad guys. This is a confrontation between bad guys and bad guys, since they are not fighting over promoting democracy or boosting the economy, but over money and power.

2009-04-17 06:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive