A PFLP veteran cleaning his rifle, 1969
The unique entity known as the Palestinian Authority (PA), created twenty-five years ago as a supposedly transitional structure, is well past its sell-by date. The anniversary earlier this year of the Oslo Accords, which established the PA, was an occasion to take stock of the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The next twenty-five years are unlikely to see any more change in the state of this conflict than in the past twenty-five years, as long as the existing “peace process” edifice, of which the PA is a part, remains.
The PA receives tokens of diplomatic support from its sympathizers from time to time by being treated in some international organizations as if it were a state. During the most recent session of the United Nations General Assembly, for example, the Palestinian ambassador was elected president of the Group of 77, the largest bloc of less developed nations. But the PA plainly is not a state, and Palestine can never be a state as long as some other state occupies the territory where its would-be citizens live and exercises the most important functions of sovereignty in that territory…
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