Sometimes I don’t feel like the people arguing realize that Palestine is completely under occupation. Palestine is not a sovereign state. At best the Palestinian Authority just facilitates and takes care of the administrative dirty work for Israel. But make no mistake, Israel is the side holding all the power and all the cards.
What are some crucial elements for a state to have, in order to be considered sovereign?
Well..they’d have to have control of their borders and airspace. Israel controls both of those for Palestine. We’re not allowed to even have an airport.
Okay..so what about, the freedom to tax its population according to their abilities? Well…the PA has its hands tied for that too. It is not allowed to change or mess with the import tax and VAT. That means that Palestinians pay the same VAT and import taxes as Israelis do. Just to be clear, the average income for Palestinians is around 1200-1400 NIS, while in Israel it’s around 9000 NIS.
Hrrmm, what about citizenship? It’s a hallmark of any sovereign state to issue its own passport and issue citizenship to whoever it wants, right? The Palestinian Authority can only give passports to people Israel approves, the Palestinian Authority is not allowed to issue Palestinian citizenship to anyone.
Yes, it’s true. If you happen to be Palestinian, and fall in love with someone who is not? You’re screwed. You’ll never be able to live in Palestine with them without a million complications. Your partner will have to keep perpetually renewing tourism Visas from Israel, and usually after a while, Israel stops giving those after they discover you’re living in areas under the Palestinian Authority.
Abbas himself, the president of the Palestinian Authority, cannot travel, I repeat, he cannot travel without having sufficient permission and coordination issued by Israeli occupation authorities.
What about an army? Hah! Good joke. Only recently were our Police even permitted -yes, permitted- to carry any form of side arms.
So tell me..an entity that cannot control its borders, its airspace, its own taxation, has no say in its own citizenship matters, and its highest office cannot travel without permission…what would you call such an entity?
Because it sure as hell isn’t a sovereign state.
And then somehow people turn around, and put this sad “Authority” on the same level as Israel? They treat both sides as equals? An occupied population and a military occupier?
The areas under the Palestinian Authority are at best Bantustans. The Transkei Bantustan in South Africa for instance, also called itself an independent and sovereign state. We all know the truth of how that was, and we all know how it ended.