Palestinian leadership may achieve recognition, but can it achieve independence?
Middle Eastern analysts concerned with the Palestinian statehood bid have rightly highlighted the benefits conferred by such status. They assume, however, that the current Palestinian leadership is willing to take the necessary steps to lead Palestinians from statehood on paper to independence in practice.
In the early 1990s, the Palestinian leadership supplanted its struggle for self-determination with a state-building project. In its narrow pursuit of a mandate to govern, it placed undue faith in the US’ willingness, and arguably its ability, to pressure Israel to end its prolonged occupation, thus shunning a resistance platform. In its bid for statehood, the Palestinian leadership must resume its self-determination struggle. Doing so requires that it abandon any faith that US benevolence will deliver independence.
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