Analysis: Palestinians Aren’t Ready for Own State

The Palestinians want a state, but they can't handle it. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Marco Castro

The Palestinians want a state, but they can’t handle it. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Marco Castro

The potential for a United Nations Security Council resolution pushing for a final agreement establishing a Palestinian state has been garnering headlines, but unfortunately for the Palestinians, those aren’t the only recent reports mentioning them by name. And because of what else is going on for the Palestinians, they simply are not ready for a state of their own.

Aside from the security concerns for Israel over establishing a Palestinian state—and there are many—or the religious questions that also undermine such a goal—the reality is that money is something the Palestinians are dangerously lacking, and that’s reason enough not to give them a state.

  1. The Money Problem

The Palestinians’ recent budget crisis over Israel withholding taxes underscores the Palestinians’ lack of financial independence. While the end of Israeli security measures would increase freedom of movement—albeit bringing with it a reduction in security for both sides—the tax incident highlights that the Palestinians are highly dependent on Israel collecting taxes for them.

Will the Palestinians be able to handle it once they have a state? And if Israel is needed, will where to buy valium in dublin they be willing to cooperate if the Palestinians held a UN gun to Israel’s head to give them the state? What’s more, the Palestinians are still highly dependent on foreign aid, with Ma’an News Agency and Al-Monitor indicating they were in dire financial straits without the one tax source of revenue.

While they wouldn’t be the first state needing help, it’s a dangerous path toward a failed state.

  1. The Gaza Problem – Part 1

You know you have trouble when one major problem is so serious it needs two parts. Gaza is just such a nightmare. Currently, Gaza is badly in need of funds for reconstruction. The international community is again on the hook for that, and so far the actual cash flow hasn’t been enough. US Representative to the UN Samantha Power recently castigated the global actors for fulfilling only “a fraction” of their pledges here.

How will the West Bank government cope with the hordes of Gazans who will want to leave Gaza and move in their direction once the path is cleared? How will they handle the responsibility of organizing the rebuilding? Even if they blame the lack of outside money, it’s a big job and it’s one thing to be overseeing it as a quasi-government now. It’s another thing to have everyone’s eyes on you.

  1. The Gaza Problem – Part 2

Then there’s the Gazan economy, where the WAFA Palestinian news agency recently reported that unemployment is at 44 percent. That’s a shocking figure and it reveals the dire situation that would be awaiting a new Palestinian state. And Gaza’s path to improvement is much harder than the West Bank’s.

The southern Gaza border is controlled by Egypt, where the government has said the powerful Hamas movement in Gaza is linked to anti-government forces. In other words, Egypt has little good will towards Gaza and doesn’t want to encourage a lot of back-and-forth travel and commerce right now.

That Hamas and a bunch of other radicals still call Gaza home means that Israel is going to be edgy at best about opening up the border much more than it is now—especially at sea. And you can forget about a Gaza airport.

In other words, the Gaza economy has much more limited potential unless the world steps in and manages the Egyptian and Israeli crossings and takes responsibility for them. That hasn’t happened in almost a decade.


We haven’t even mentioned the security situation—where Hamas looks to be a threat to Israel and maybe the West Bank government and not very interested in real peace with either. It’s interesting that the Palestinians threatened to end security cooperation with Israel, yet never did. Do they need the Israeli military and security forces to keep the peace for them? What happens if they leave?

Just the economic situation alone makes it clear the Palestinians are not ready, not without a ton of help and a lot of wishful thinking. Considering the world hasn’t even delivered on rebuilding Gaza’s rubble, it remains to be seen how well they can be counted upon later and if that would even be enough.

There are many reasons why the UN should not hand the Palestinians a state or force it to happen. For one thing, the dollars involved just do not make sense.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, May 2, 2015)

What do you think?