„Really though, is there any more perfect metaphor in brick-and-mortar for the Palestinian statehood effort than this vacant monument on a hill outside Ramallah? Especially when accompanied by the de rigueur opening ceremony featuring sclerotic PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his cronies, attended on by the usual diplomatic cheering section? Building a real national cultural institution – like a real nation – takes patience, probity, political flexibility and plenty of disciplined hard work, not posturing and petty turf wars. In all the years I’ve reported on the Palestinians, their only top official who genuinely displayed those qualities was Salam Fayyad – who attained the premiership in 2007 primarily due to pressure from the international community, and was subsequently left hanging when a PA leadership threatened by his reforms forced him out in 2013.
Instead of real state-building, too many Palestinians – cheered on by their amen-corner here and abroad – have busied themselves with futile showboating at the United Nations, pointless appeals to the International Criminal Court, self-defeating BDS campaigns that end up mainly hurting ordinary West Bankers, and anti-Israeli incitement that breeds senseless acts of violent ‚resistance‘ which ultimately only serve to strengthen radical Islamist elements. (…)
With the fading Abbas nearing the end of his futile tenure, the PA’s foreign funders in the US and Europe would make better use of their leverage at this time to apply real pressure on the Palestinians to usher in a younger, more dynamic, less corrupt, and genuinely moderate leadership – one that perhaps that will dedicate itself to laying the foundations of a viable Palestinian nation ready to live in real peace beside a Jewish state, and to offer its own people more than just yet another failed Arab nation.“