In the aftermath of last month's diplomatic ruckus—Israeli bureaucrats referred, with Vice-President Biden in town, to building apartments for Jews in
Not necessarily. Moshe Elad, a columnist for Israel's largest daily Yediot Aharonot, notes that the Palestinian Authority's president, Mahmoud Abbas, and prime minister, Salaam Fayyad, have been talking about unilaterally declaring such a state in 2011—and that while "in the past, such statements would anger the Americans…this time around, even if we heard a response from the White House or the State Department, it was rather meek."
Palestinians, Elad reports, have been setting aside their traditional anti-Americanism and "taking pleasure in feeling that '
Yaakov Katz, military correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, describes
Five battalions of 500 soldiers each and trained by US security coordinator Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton in Jordan have already deployed throughout the West Bank alongside seven regional battalions.
By 2011, another five battalions will have undergone training. Fayyad's plan is to then dismantle the regional battalions and expand the Dayton-trained battalions to close to 1,000 soldiers each, bringing the total number to around 10,000. Add the police and the presidential guard and the number of armed PA security officers comes out to around 20,000.
The Palestinians would still then have to face the fact that about 300,000 Israelis live in settlements in the
Or, in another scenario, Fayyad goes to the UN Security Council to get his state recognized; with the Europeans, Russians, and Chinese likely to assent, the question mark is the
Some say these fears are exaggerated because Abbas and Fayyad lack sufficient Palestinian support. While Abbas's Fatah movement (with which Fayyad, while not a member, is effectively aligned) is thought likely to defeat Hamas in this summer's municipal elections, Fatah is itself deeply divided with its young guard scorning Abbas and Fayyad as weaklings—to the point that even a civil war is not ruled out.
Clearly, a unilaterally declared Palestinian state would be neither. It would be bristling with hatred instilled by the seventeen years of hate-education enabled by the "peace process," and with largely American-provided forces that would only grow as further weapons, trainers, and fighters flowed in from the Arab and Muslim world.
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