Serious strings must now be attached to aid to Palestinian Authority

The JC Leader 26 August 2022


Palestinian flag and sky. Photo taken in the West Bank.

August 25, 2022 14:14

Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the Oslo Accords, the peace process that seemed at the time to be the high point of attempts to reach a lasting agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It is difficult now to remember the feeling of optimism.

For all the difficulties of implementing the accords, something positive was in the air. But, to use Abba Eban’s unfortunately timeless phrase, the Palestinians have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. That optimism soon disappeared into intifadas, terror, deceit, obstruction and corruption.

The first part of our major investigation into the Palestinian Authority to mark the anniversary should make salutary reading for those who still, despite the evidence, think that the PA can be some sort of partner for peace. Its president, Mahmoud Abbas, has not faced an election since 2005 and leads an executive only distinguishable from other brutal dictatorships by its sham democracy.

The PA has done a good job at fooling many in the West to believe the idea that it only wants to make peace with an unwilling Israel. The reality is the reverse.

Which brings us to the present day, nearly 30 years on from Oslo. New thinking is needed. If the next three decades are not to be a repeat of the last ones, change has to come.

The West has to play a role in this. Instead, for example, of simply funnelling aid to the PA, more serious and far-reaching strings must be attached, such as an insistence on the rule of law and respect for human rights.

This may not be enough. But it will be a start to the vital task of recognising reality.

August 25, 2022 14:14

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