Blow for Palestinian economy

Fatah, the largest block in the PLO and in the Palestinian Authority, is holding its Sixth General Congress this week in Bethlehem.

General opinion holds that Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, will ensure that the discussions take a hard line in tone. The option of armed resistance remains firmly on the table. Even Palestinian schools, responsible for a new generation of peace makers, continue to teach as routine that Israeli cities including Haifa are part of Palestine.

What is disappointing is the lack of state-building. President Obama with European support is actively taking measures to bring this near eternal conflict to an end. In response, Fatah offers a negligible amount of discussion, which deals with creating a functioning economy or implementing administrative reforms.

Bottom line: The corruption and nepotism, for which Fatah was famous for under Chairman Arafat and which led to the Hamas triumph in Gaza, will be protected at all costs.

The Palestinian Prime Minister, Salim Fayyad, is an economist with a strong and hard-earned international reputation. It is through him that much of the hopes of the West are transferred. But as we learn in psychology, such transference is not a guarantee for a new reality. As information from the Congress emerges, it is clear that real power lies outside Fayyad’s spacious office.

The result? For the near future, more political uncertainty, a poor recipe  for economic growth. As for policy measures, there will be no new initiatives to build cheap housing, as has happened previously in the Ramallah region. There are no known initiatives to set up regional development councils. (That is often undertaken by NGOs, who then criticise Israel). There will be no restructuring of the public sector finances, as consistently demanded by the IMF.

The intenational media will continue to receive sensationalist copy. The Palestinian person in the street will continue to receive large amounts of valueless rhetoric. No if that where to be registered in the national accounts, the Palestinian economy would be booming today.

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One Comment on “Blow for Palestinian economy”

  1. rachel Says:

    Hey nice post …. Keep up the great work


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