WSJ: Fatah isn’t the answer

This commentary by Michael Oren in the Wall Street Journal summed up my thoughts pretty neatly. 

Following the military takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas, there seems to be a headlong rush on the part of the US, Israel and Europe to support the new Palestinian administration of President Mahmoud Abbas, and lift the aid embargo imposed after the election of a Hamas-led government.  But no one seems to be addressing the underlying concerns that led to Hamas’ surprise election victory in the first place, namely, the rampant corruption of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority. 

Once western aid dollars, shekels and euros start flowing freely into PA coffers once again, it’s hard to believe the PA won’t continue it’s longstanding pattern of corruption.  This in turn, will drive West Bank Palestinians into the Hamas camp. 

"In view of its performance over the past 14 years, the Palestinian Authority under Fatah can be counted on to squander most or all of the vast sums now being given to it by the U.S. and the international community."

The WSJ commentary offers one possible route out of the quagmire, but it requires the international community to challenge the authority of Fatah and the PA. 

So far there’s no evidence that anyone is willing or even thinking about doing this.

The international community should have learned this lesson by now:  backing one side in a civil conflict invariably results in increased support for the other.

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