Heading for a Failed State

Efraim Inbar (Jerusalem Post) - * Much of the international community is expecting that the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza will facilitate the return of the Israeli and Palestinian parties to the negotiating table within the framework of the road map. * However, the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza will actually strengthen the divisive trends in Palestinian society, making it poorer, more violence-prone, and less willing to reach a deal with Israel. * The lack of law and order in the PA is inimical to a climate that encourages economic growth, and the chaos hinders the efforts of the international community to deliver aid to the Palestinians. * The PA is further weakened by the ascendance of Hamas in Palestinian politics, filling the vacuum left by an inept PA. * Hamas's growing role in Palestinian politics portends increasing difficulty regarding the dismantling of its armed wing, which will, in turn, make Abbas's quest for monopoly over use of force a more distant goal. * Hamas's growing influence will also harden Palestinian positions on the conflict with Israel. There is little reason to believe that empowerment of radical Islamists leads to moderation. * Finally, the PA's ability to prevent the looting of Israeli property left behind after the Israeli withdrawal is far from certain. The writer is professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University and director of the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies.

2005-07-02 00:00:00

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