The situation in the West Bank is deteriorating, according to the Washington Post. In addition to a budget deficit that now tops $1 billion and a decline in the foreign aid that the area relies on, the Palestinian Authority is facing political pressures:
“Most of the money is spent on security, and the security is not for the Palestinian people. It is for the world, especially Israel,” said Bassam Zakarneh, president of the Palestinian Authority workers union. “If they say we will cut your salary 50 percent to create a sovereign state, we agree.”But that has not happened, and now some are calling for the Palestinian Authority — formed as an interim body more than 16 years ago — to be dismantled. Fayyad, an economist who in 2009 outlined a nation-building strategy based on economic development and good governance, said that would be a profound mistake.
This is a very sad but entirely predictable development. Last year’s push for UN statehood gave the Palestinians a short-lived emotional rush, but as that rush has faded, and ugly reality has once again set in, disappointment has taken its place. This is not exactly a recipe for stability.Israel isn’t to blame for the consequences of an ill-advised Palestinian attempted end run around negotiations with the Jewish state, but there are nevertheless things it could do to help: namely, promoting economic recovery in the West Bank. One hopes Israel will see the wisdom of this; despite all the dark clouds and the obstacles in the path, the best prospects for lasting peace still come from a stable, thriving West Bank.