What about the state of security in nascent Palestine?

peace.jpgOne of the constant and justified worries of Jews in Israel and the diaspora is the state of security in the future Palestinian state, but the ‘community’ is too often fed spin and propoganda concerning the situation in Palestine.
A recent report, published by the credible International Crisis Group demands close reading and consideration because it offers a wealth of factual detail that is otherwise never available for discussion.
“Security reform is one of the Palestinian Authority’s most notable successes, but recent attacks on West Bank settlers, coinciding with resumed Israeli-Palestinian talks, illustrate the difficulties in sustaining such progress as long as the occupation and internal Palestinian divisions persist”, and the paper also discusses the invidious and difficult situation with respect to reformers in the PA and their relationship with Israel, the occupier…
Crisis Group presents …a series of recommendations for minimising friction between the PSF and IDF, expanding the Palestinian forces’ ability to operate in the West Bank, curbing human rights violations and allowing a more vigorous democratic debate. Many Palestinians almost certainly would welcome expanded authority for their security services, lesser interference by Israel and greater respect for human rights. But there should be no illusion: under present circumstances, many if not most would see these measures as beautifying the occupation – not ending it – and of obfuscating the reality of cooperation with those they believe Palestinian security forces ought to resist. Nor are the proposed steps to enhance respect for human and civil rights likely to succeed so long as the national movement remains split between its two dominant actors…
Without a credible Israeli-Palestinian peace process or their own genuine reconciliation process, Palestinians will be stuck in their long and tenuous attempt to square the circle: to build a state while still under occupation; to deepen cooperation with the occupier in the security realm even as they seek to confront it elsewhere; and to reach an understanding with their historic foe even as they prove unable to reach an understanding among themselves.
It poses hard questions about the complexities of creating civil society and order that need to be thought about carefully by Israelis on the left and Palestinian advocates, particularly because the PA is held in such low esteem by many who would like to see much more radical action on the part of Palestinians. From what I understand, unless civil society structures are strong, this could be a recipe for disaster unless the PA is prepared and Israel is prepared, to work with realistic elements in the political wing of Hamas. And this also obviously demands, Israel’s partnership in dismantling the occupation and the military structure that goes with it.
Whether one holds views about two states or one state, the same significant issues have to be considered carefully.
A long piece in the New York Review of Books by Nathan Thrall on the American role also demands reading and consideration.

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