Friday, May 08, 2009

Its the economy stupid!

With just ten days to go until the Binyamin Netenyahu meets Barak Obama, it seems to be becoming increasingly clear what the new Israel Government's position will be in terms of working to negotiate a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

While not ruling out a Palestinian State, the Israeli Government appears to be moving towards a position where instead of allowing a Palestinian State to be declared as soon as possible, the Israeli Government will work with our neighbours in the Arab world and other interested participants from around the world, to help develop the economy and civil society of the Palestinian people.

I believe this is a good move.

Last week in Israel and around the world, we celebrated Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day, and we celebrated how 61 years ago Israel was able to become an independent Jewish State. However, 61 years ago Israel did not majically appear, the Jewish people for fifty to eighty years previously had worked to develop a civic society and economy that could support an independent state. We see this as we celebrate the 100th birthday this year of Tel Aviv.

61 years ago, when the United Nations voted to accept Israel as an independent state, the Jewish people worked hard to create a successfull indpendent state, and it has continued to develop successfully over the past 61 years. However, at the same time the Arab world rejected Israel and so also rejected the idea of a neighbouring Palestine. This view has continued amongst the Arab world, until today so that in Camp David Arafat refused a Palestinian State, and so did Abu Mazen last year, when offered it by Prime Minister Olmert. Therefore, while Israel has continued to develop, the Palestinian people have been working to destroy Israel instead of trying to build their own society and economy.

Therefore, even if the Palestinian's were to accept their own state alongside the Jewish State of Israel, they would not now be in a position to do so effectively. Therefore, firstly the world needs to work with a Palestinian Authority Government (that recognises that they will have to live side-by-side with Israel) to help develop their economy and society and then this will help create a more stable environment which would allow for an independent state to be created.

It is not for nothing that a successful economy is vital for a successful government.

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