Ousted British Prime Minister Tony Blair is now envoy to the “peace process.” In reality, he is envoy to Abu Mazen. According to The New York Times, his mandate is, “mobilizing international assistance…
Ousted British Prime Minister Tony Blair is now envoy to the “peace process.” In reality, he is envoy to Abu Mazen. According to The New York Times, his mandate is, “mobilizing international assistance… securing financing for Palestinian institutions and governing tasks, and hashing out plans to promote Palestinian economic development.” As if Palestinians – the world’s largest per capita recipients of international aid and recipients in sum of more money than Europe under the Marshall Plan – require more of that and not an elemental restructuring of a hateful nationalist ideology that has swallowed its own children in pursuit of the destruction of other people and their children.
Tony Blair as the economic/institutional envoy to the Palestinians parallels the role of Lt. Gen. Dayton, U.S.A, as the military envoy. Had anyone noticed until this week that the former economic/institutional envoy, Sir James Wolfenson, QUIT more than a year ago, citing frustration with the Palestinians? It must take a LOT to frustrate a former President of the World Bank. And a LOT to frustrate an American general officer. But Lt. Gen. Dayton’s predecessor, Lt. Gen. William Ward, U.S.A, told Congress upon leaving his job that the Palestinians had not met a single one of his conditions for success despite his best efforts.
We assume they were pretty good efforts, as were those of Mr. Wolfenson and Lt. Gen. Dayton – and as will be those of Prime Minister Blair. One should assume, then, that the flaw lies in the mission, not in the men.
“Hashing out plans to promote Palestinian economic development”? Looking around the Arab world, would a sensible businessman put his money in Gaza or Jenin? No. He would go to Amman with its educated workforce, Qualified Industrial Zones and a king dedicated to modernizing banking and trade. Or he would go to Tunisia, a truly moderate country that spends the lion’s share of its budget on education and healthcare. Perhaps our businessman wants to invest to make a statement. Then he would go to Lebanon, which is trying desperately to hold together as a multi-ethnic, multi-religious democracy in the face of subversion from Syria and Iran.
“Securing financing for Palestinian institutions and governing tasks”? Does that mean enhancing the EU’s ongoing program to pay Palestinian civil servant salaries – including to those in the government in Gaza now working for Hamas? Paying the state-supported clergy – who encouraged the trashing of the lone Gaza Christian church and the desecration of its holy objects? Paying teacher salaries? Will it include those in the West Bank as well as Gaza who teach from rabidly anti-Semitic and anti-Western texts, ensuring the economic failure of yet another generation of Palestinians – or at least those that survive the siren call of martyrdom?
Granting that the Fatah Finance Minister is relatively attractive to Westerners, he stands in front of a sinkhole of the Palestinians’ own making. No other people asked for and received half as much money, time, skill or forbearance from the civilized world, including from those it would destroy. And it is hard to imagine another people wasting it in such an orgy of blood and hate.