I used to have a vision of a propertied, bourgeois Palestinian state, whose citizens were too busy making money to join militias. After all, in almost every country to which they have emigrated, Palestinians have proved enterprising and industrious.
They’re the ones with the initiative to leave. What about the rest still there?
I was so keen on this vision that I toured the region promoting it. Imagine a Palestine integrated into the global economy, I would tell Israeli audiences; a Palestine whose businessmen want to remain on good terms with their suppliers and customers, most of whom are necessarily in Israel; a Palestine whose propertied classes won’t tolerate lawless gangs or freelance rocket launchers.
The precondition, of course, was for Israel to remove the barriers around the Palestinian territories, which in turn depended on being able to trust the authorities there. This week, the baseless fabric of my vision dissolved, leaving not a rack behind.
Nuh. Dumb, belligerent culture ruled by thugs put paid to that.