Can the PA be more than an empty shell?

Senior officials in the Prime Minister’s Office said Jerusalem wanted to hear a formal announcement from the new Palestinian Authority government saying it accepted the Quartet’s three benchmarks before transferring frozen tax revenues to the PA.

The cabinet is expected to take up the issue of releasing the funds, believed to be more than a half billion dollars, at its upcoming meeting on Sunday. The Quartet’s three conditions are the recognition of Israel, the renouncement [sic] of terrorism, and the acceptance of previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements. — Jerusalem Post

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone would insist that the PA actually do something about corruption, about the criminal gangs that prey on the Palestinian population under its protection, and about the fact that so many of its ‘security’ officers are also members of terrorist groups?

If the idea is that ultimately the new Fayyad government will develop into more than just a shell to be used to fight Hamas and an excuse for the Quartet to force Israel to withdraw from the West Bank, and that ultimately it will be a vehicle for coexistence between Israel and at least the West Bank Palestinians — then it will need to be a real government that provides actual benefits, and not just a parasitic class that rules by force.

In order for this to happen, it will have to change drastically. It will have to provide openings for younger people (which means it will have to find younger Palestinians that still accept the idea of coexistence, possibly difficult today).

It will have to stop defining itself in terms of the struggle with Israel (as Fatah does by charter) and start defining itself in terms of service to its citizens. If it can’t do this, then it will never be able to get popular support, and in the long run even American arms and money will not save it — and West Bank Palestinians — from Hamas.

As I’ve said before, in order to survive, it will have to put helping Arabs above killing Jews.

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