The US is transferring $150 million in aid to the Palestinian government in coming days, the Palestinian Prime Minister announced Wednesday.
The payment is part of a total of $550 million the US pledged to pay to the Palestinians over three years, part of a total of $7.7 billion in pledges from international donors made at a conference in Paris in December.
[Palestinian Authority PM Salam] Fayyad said the US money would go directly to the national treasury, to be used for running the cash-strapped government.
Everybody knows that the Palestinian Authority (PA) under Mahmoud Abbas and Fayyad does not represent a significant number of Palestinians, is not capable of making a peace deal with Israel that both sides could accept, and could not enforce such a deal if it were made.
Everybody knows that the only thing keeping the PA from losing control of the West Bank as happened in Gaza is the presence of the IDF.
Abbas’ frustration at the failure to make progress in talks that are supposed to lead to an independent Palestinian state is disingenuous: he knows that Israel cannot accept a right of return for refugee descendants, and he knows that Palestinians will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
Israeli PM Olmert’s pretense at negotiating with Abbas is just that, because he knows the same things.
President Bush knows that “a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians that defines a Palestinian state” will not be signed this year, at least not a meaningful one.
Everybody knows that Hamas is more popular among Palestinians than any other political entity.
Everybody knows, even Javier Solana of the EU must know by now, that Hamas is committed to destroying Israel, not ‘liberating the Palestinians’ from the 1967 occupation. And everybody knows that Hamas is funded by Iran, which is also committed to same goal.
And everybody knows that establishing a peaceful Palestinian state — especially one which is “viable, contiguous, sovereign, and independent” in President Bush’s words — while Hamas controls Gaza and threatens to take over the West Bank — is simply impossible.
So why are millions, indeed billions, earmarked for this project, when everyone knows it is entirely a charade?
Why do we continue to hear the same nonsense from politicians and media about the importance of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, when the greatest problem — the problem that threatens to engulf the world in nuclear war — is the struggle between Iran and its allies and proxies and the West for control of the Middle East and its resources? Why is less attention paid to the nuclear weapons presently in the hands of the highly unstable Pakistan and those soon to be built by Iran than to the importance of a ‘contiguous’ Palestinian state?