Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict
[ Palestinian social economy ] [ Palestinian society's health ]

Edward Said unreasonably claims that Israel supports Arafat among Palestinian leaders

Edward Said says that life in Palestine got worse after the Israeli-Palestinian Oslo accords and attributes that to Israel governmentís collaboration with Yassir Arafat. Yet with whom else was Israel to negotiate, if negotiate she must? Free Palestinians of New York perhaps? Instead of posing that question, Edward Said says Israel somehow perpetuated Arafatís rule in Palestine. Though it makes sense for Israel to stop subsidizing Palestine to force it to select reasonable leaders instead of Arafat, the matter is an internal Palestinian question, not Israeli business.

Edward Said ignores the real reason Palestinian life worsened under Arafat: the Palestinians got what they wanted, a measure of independence from Israel. That meant losing Israeli social and medical services, living with border restrictions that control Palestinian labor migration to Israeli employers, losing various kinds of direct funding and economic assistance from Israel. But the Palestinians want it both ways: political independence with economic integration with Israel. A good wish, but no right to it.