UN Vote on Settlements Can't Hide Palestinian Collapse

(American Interest) Walter Russell Mead - The UN vote is certainly a propaganda victory for the Palestinian cause, but it does nothing to help the Palestinians in practical terms. Indeed, the Palestinians have not been this weak, this divided, or this helpless in many decades. Palestinians have been organizing to fight Zionism for well over 100 years; during all that time the fundamental problems of the Palestinians have come from the weakness of Palestinian political leadership and the lack of capacity of Palestinian institutions. The Palestinians continue to fall farther and farther behind the Israelis when it comes to political organization and military power. Not only have the Palestinian territories devolved into two micro-states (Gaza and the West Bank), but both Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank have become increasingly corrupt, ineffective and exhausted. Both depend on foreign paymasters to cover their expenses; neither has shown much ability to build a real state or to solve the problems of the Palestinian people. The incapacity of the UN to do anything concrete in the Middle East has never been more obvious; ask the people of Aleppo. The Sunni Arabs, the most natural allies of the Palestinian cause, are so weak and divided that they look to Israel as a defender of the Sunni world against the Persians and the Shi'a. No vote in the impotent echo chamber of the Security Council can change any of these facts. The writer is professor of foreign affairs and humanities at Bard College and professor of American foreign policy at Yale University.

2016-12-30 00:00:00

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