Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Palestinians failed, Kurds succeeded

An interesting comparison: The Kurds have succeeded in establishing their own country while no one was paying much attention. On the other hand, everyone wants the Palestinians to establish their own county, even Israel wants it. But they have totally failed. They have an elected "head of state," but there is nothing for him to be head of. This is Marty Peretz's observation. At his blog at the New Republic
... Still, consciously or not, and I believe consciously, the Kurds followed the example of what the Zionists did from the twenties on. For several decades, even under the raging reign of Saddam Hussein, they built an educational system and a health system, they had a working Kurdish government that no one recognized, they paid attention to all of the requirements for civil society. There is a vibrant economy and it is generating serious foreign investment. It is true that, for the last dozen years or so, their ambitious ventures were implicitly and explicitly carried out under the protection of the U.S. Yet it was as if nobody noticed. The international system paid no attention, except to warn that there should not be a Kurdish state. There should not be a Kurdish state. There really should not be a Kurdish state. Yet there is a Kurdish state, and it will get along with Turkey. Contrast the Kurds with the Palestinians. Everyone is passionate for a Palestinian state. There have been at least two declarations of independence proclaiming it. 120-odd countries have already recognized the state of Palestine. The Palestinians have embassies all over the world, and the world's countries have representation in it. Even the government of Israel wants there to be a Palestine, and three of the previous governments have also expressed support and worked for a Palestinian state. In fact, I suppose I want a Palestinian state, too. But the Palestinians don't have a state, and it's not because Israel failed to give them one or negotiate one with them...
If you are not convinced that the Palestinians failed, read on. Gaza is in chaos. Haretz reports about what happened last Saturday and Sunday in Gaza:
On Saturday ... the following incidents were recorded in the Strip: Militants from Hamas' Operational Force kidnapped a member of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' presidential guard in the Jabalya refugee camp; in response, members of the victim's family abducted a Hamas activist; and during negotiations to stop escalation of the confrontation, one of the soldiers in the Hamas force threw a hand grenade in the family's direction and wounded three of its members. Additionally, a few hours earlier, armed men, apparently from the Army of Islam, blew up part of the American International School in the northern Gaza Strip. They did not touch the guards on duty there, but explained to them that "it is forbidden to guard an institution belonging to infidels." Casualty lists -- In addition to the murder of Hassan Abu-Sharah, on Sunday, two members of the Abu-Amer family were murdered and a third was injured. The background for this was apparently a feud between clans. On that same day, the deputy head of the Palestinian manufacturers' association was also shot and wounded while someone tried to steal his car. Two passersby were injured by gunshots during an attempt to attack a toy salesman in Gaza City, and a member of the Hamas Operational Force was injured by shots fired at the organization's headquarters in the center of the Strip.

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