Mr Abbas Goes to New York?

When the United Nations General Assembly voted on 29 November 2012 to grant the Palestinian Authority (PA) non-member observer state status, the reaction of many of the most ardent and long-term critics of Israeli settler-colonialism was derisive. The arguments are entirely persuasive: this was a symbolic move by a desperate regime in Ramallah who has not only failed in securing any concessions on any negotiating point that matters – Jerusalem, the Wall or the settlements – from Israelis, it has, by both implication and explicitly (in quickly retracted statements), abdicated the right of return.

Author: Mike Hanini. Source:

Author: Mike Hanini. Source:

The reign of the PA has been a litany of capitulations: settlements have expanded; the Wall has continued to go up; Jerusalem is increasingly cut off from the West Bank; Gaza is now a deliberately carved-out territory which the Israeli officials are happy to pound occasionally militarily or to ‘put them on a diet but not make them die’ when not bombing them (in the memorable words of Dov Weissglass, the Israeli lawyer and a former close associate of Ariel Sharon), the Palestinian bureaucracy survives on handouts from donors while the autochthonous economic sphere has choked because of active Israeli de-development of the Palestinian economy. Most egregiously, the PA has acted as a dependable subcontractor of the Israeli security apparatuses. With its security forces trained by the US army general Keith Dayton, the PA’s policemen have been more concerned with controlling any dissent against the Israelis than they have been in any kind of struggle against their ongoing coercion.


To read more, go to

Share SOAS Politics
This entry was posted in Articles. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.