Mahmoud Abbas

The Palestinian leadership is responsible for a lack of effective leadership and culture of corruption resulting in an endless cycle of violence and suffering, a leading Palestinian human rights activist said.

Palestinian leaders are responsible for a lack of effective leadership and culture of corruption resulting in an endless cycle of violence and suffering, a leading Palestinian human rights activist has warned.

Bassem Eid, the founder and former director of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, wrote Monday in an op-ed in The Times of Israel that “for both Fatah and Hamas, the conflict has become a business and a means of retaining power. They profit from the conflict financially and politically, so they do everything to ensure that it continues.”

Eid believes that the only solution to end Palestinian suffering is to hold to account its leadership. “If so-called pro-Palestinian activists truly want to help the Palestinians, then they should demand freedom, human rights, democracy, and justice for the Palestinians.”

The Palestinian people, he claimed, no longer feel represented by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and are frustrated with the lack of democratic accountability on their part.

PA head Mahmoud Abbas was elected on a four-year term in 2005 and no election has taken place since, more than a decade later. Nor does Hamas see elections as being in its own interest.

Meanwhile, ordinary Palestinians that are mostly concerned with making a living and providing education for the children are suffering the consequences. “Nothing is being done to establish an economic infrastructure in the Palestinian territories because no one is willing to invest in the West Bank, let alone Gaza,” Eid wrote.

He insists that the blame for the collapse of the peace process lies firmly with the Palestinian leadership. “Palestinian leaders have mishandled negotiations so badly that today, the very idea of a two-state solution, is in tatters,” he said, adding that “because of the violent nature of Hamas’ rule over Gaza and their continued attacks on Israel, we Palestinians are anything but free and independent.”

BDS Should Fight the Real Problem

Moreover, Eid criticized the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) movement for doing more harm than good. “Since the Palestinian-controlled economy is so weak, many Palestinians are employed by Israeli firms – the only source of good jobs for Palestinians,” he said.

If they really have the well-being of Palestinians at heart, Eid said, “They should assist Israel in creating jobs in the West Bank for Palestinians. They should assist Palestinians in developing an economy while ensuring that the money is not used to enrich the terrorists’ rule or to augment the terrorists’ arsenal. They should encourage Palestinians to live in peace with Jews.”

In “Would a Palestinian State Be a Failure?” which was published in the April-May issue of The Tower Magazine, Eylon Aslan-Levy looked at a number of factors that would cause the failure of a new Palestinian state. One of those factors identified by Aslan-Levy is “factionalized elites,” which is similar to Eid’s description the Palestinians’ failed leadership:

“Palestine would also be born with deeply factionalized elites. With no nationwide elections in a decade, and militias still loyal to their various leaders, Palestine would be close to the Fund for Peace’s worst-case description, in which no political class or national leader exists that is acceptable to the majority of the population … leaders are divided into factionalized parties” and a “a dictatorial party takes over through force,” Aslan-Levy explained.

By: The Tower

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Source: United with Israel