On recent trip to Ramallah, I spoke with a senior Fatah official and former Palestinian Authority minister about the state of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Consistent with most other Israelis and Palestinians who I’d met, he was not particularly optimistic. The conversation turned to the advances in security and economic development in the West Bank under the widely hailed leadership of Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad. I asked whether progress on political reform had tracked at all with the progress in those other areas.
After acknowledging the vastly improved security (demonstrated most definitively by the depth of cooperation between Israeli occupation authorities and Palestinian security forces) and economic growth (which is real, despite being donor driven, and thus unsustainable), the official dispatched my question with a flick of his cigarette.
The above excerpt was originally published in Foreign Policy.
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