State of Failure

122713_mishmash_bookBy Jonathan Schanzer
Palgrave Macmillan 2013,
356 pages

This book lays out the history of the Palestinians from 1947, when the British withdrew from Palestine, to today and their status as a U.N. nonmember observer state.  The author notes the main reason for the failure of a Palestinian state is the lack of strategic direction and leadership. His thesis is that Palestinians, as well as countries that support them, need to recognize that the Palestinian government is broken and needs to establish a proper foundation for a two-state solution to be a reality.

As I read this book, I kept thinking of an often-quoted “definition” of insanity as doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result.  The author documents that Palestinian history is full of terrorist acts, not just against Israel, but also against Americans, and that the government misappropriates funds provided to them. They don’t — and won’t — accept Israel’s right to exist.  Yet, America and many other countries continue to provide aid to the Palestinians in the hope of a different outcome.

The author is less cynical than I am about this subject. He offers 14 points of consideration that the Palestinians and supporters of Palestinian independence should consider in order to achieve success. But is anyone listening?

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