Ahead of our September 2011 bid for United Nations membership, reports from the U.N., World Bank and the International Monetary Fund confirmed that Palestinians were above the threshold for running state institutions—an achievement that Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere deemed as "a remarkable international success story."
Maen Rashid Areikat, The Time for a Palestinian State Is Now
The Private Sector is doing fine.
Maen Rashid Areikat is the chief representative of the general delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the United States.
Areikat is not an economist.
And boy does it show!
But he does tell a good story, as he did in his performance for The Wall Street Journal in The Time for a Palestinian State Is Now.
Contrast the story Areikat tells above to the current dismal state of economic collapse that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority has foisted upon its people, as the Palestinian Authority has reached its limit for bank borrowing:
The Palestinian Monetary Authority chief Jihad al-Wazir said Sunday the PA had reached its maximum limit for bank borrowing. But the minister told Ma'an: "If we need, we will borrow from banks to pay salaries."If this is supposed to be "above the threshold for running state institutions," then you can begin to imagine how very low that threshold must be, because only in the desperate economic times the world is facing can someone with a straight face claim that the West Bank resembles "a remarkable international success story."
"In fact there are deposits and cash which we haven’t used so far," Naji continued.
The minister assured that public sector staff salaries would be paid on time in the coming months, while underlining the seriousness of the crisis and urging Arab and international donor to fulfill aid pledges to the PA.
The IMF says the aid-dependent Palestinian economy has entered a "difficult phase" with a severe liquidity crunch worsening since last year due to a drop in aid from Western backers and wealthy Gulf states and Israeli restrictions on trade.
PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said in January that his government owed $1.1 billion in bank loans, as well as $400 million in unpaid revenues to private sector contractors.
Perhaps Chief Executive of PADICO investment company Samir Hleilah put it most delicately when he said:
The Palestinian Authority is bigger than its economyAnd let's not forget that the only thing that makes it possible to even broach the topic of creating another Arab state is the huge amount of support that other countries are expected to provide--and considering the dimensions of the current debt, those donations are far from a sure thing.
With that in mind, here is Egypt's Foreign Minister in 2010, Ahmed Abu Alrit, estimating the billions it will cost after Abbas and the Palestinian Authority is given a state:
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu Alrit, said today in an interview on Egyptian television that the cost of establishing a Palestinian state after signing a peace treaty with Israel would move from 40 to 50 billion dollars. The Egyptian minister explained that this cost takes into account the need to meet the needs of the Palestinians, including the provision of services to residents as well as compensation for land they lost. He said regional countries should be drafted to cover this cost for establishing a Palestinian state is in the interests of all parties. [Google translation from the Hebrew]The disastrous mis-management of Abbas and the Palestinian Authority stand in sharp contrast to the 1970's when the World Bank found Palestinian territories to be among the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world.
Contrary to Mr. Areikat's fairy tale, the time for a Palestinian state will not come until it is willing to the hard work necessary to prove it can eliminate the gross corruption and incompetence that continues to plague the West Bank.
Then it can prove it is serious by finally sitting down to talk peace with Israel.
Technorati Tag: Palestine and West Bank.