Wednesday, November 3, 2010

As If: Palestinian Utopia

Bernard Avishai who has a technocrat's ability to dream away political realities recently published this wishful-thinking study designed by the Rand Corporation. It depicts a Palestinian state created through economic and transportation solutions -- the day after a peace agreement.

As I posted in a comment at the time, "A lovely dream, an incredible video -- makes me what to live there. But the Palestinians have always been against practical solutions that would make everyday life better. And how would Hamas take to subsuming their grand plan under this master plan?"

When you consider that after 62 years the Palestinians are finally, finally making some infrastructure and economic investments in their 'state', one wonders how long it would take for the proposed utopia to be achieved. Am I the only one who found this article by Isabel Kershner in the NY Times so sad, so pathetic? It describes a mass wedding in Nablus in order to highlight the state-building-works that the PA has implemented recently thanks to Israel's easing of border restrictions and, let's face it, the monetary inducements and Israel/US insistence on the PA finally policing itself. What some militants have been calling collaboration is actually yielding movement towards a bettering of West Bank citizens' lives. Finally.

The PA will also finally make some infrastructure improvements to the Balata refugee camp. But as Kershner soft-soaps it, "The issue of improvement in the refugee camps has always been a delicate one. The Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war and their descendants are careful about impressions of permanence, sticking to their demand for a right of return to their former homes in what is now Israel."

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