"Where's the Palestinian Ben Gurion"?
Ephraim Karsh answers his own question--the Palestinian Ben Gurion is nowhere in sight:
WHATEVER THE UN vote may achieve, it will not be a step toward Palestinian statehood.
Contrary to the received wisdom, Israel was established not by a UN General Assembly resolution but through the unwavering determination of the Zionist leadership, or rather David Ben-Gurion, shortly to become Israel's first prime minister, in the face of mounting international skepticism regarding partition (in March 1948 the US administration effectively backed down from the idea) and doubts about the new state's ability to fend off both Palestinian violence and a pan-Arab attempt to abort it at birth.
In doing so, Ben-Gurion could rely on an extraordinarily resilient and vibrant national community, armed with an unwavering sense of purpose and an extensive network of political, social and economic institutions built over decades of pre-state national development.
In this respect, eighteen years after being given the chance to establish their own state free of Israel's occupation, and despite the billions of dollars in international aid poured into this effort, the Palestinians have barely made it out of the gate. One can only hope that the international community will at long last pressure Palestinian leaders to own up to their obligations and opt for a true build-up of civil society that will ensure their constituents a decent and peaceful existence, rather than seek illusionary shortcuts and intensified conflict with Israel.One can only hope, knowing full well that the viability of "Palestine" is rather beside the point since it's meant primarily to be the vehicle Israel's enemies can use to finally get rid of it.
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