Projections for the Palestinian Revolution

Eisenbach, Dave

"The establishment of an autonomous Palestinian state in the West Bank is not in the true interest of the Palestinian people. Those who think immediate autonomy would be another step toward a new and improved world order disregard the history of almost every revolution from 1789 to 1989. The history of Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan indicates that if the Palestinians remain patient, within 20 years, they will peacefully assume control of a democratic government with an established bureaucracy, legal system, and economy.
"Land for Peace" is a catchy phrase, but it is also a dangerous over-simplification which ignores political reality and historical trends. Israel's refusal to allow truly democratic elections and political freedoms has prevented Palestine from establishing a democratic tradition. Given the political oppression and violence of the last 25-year Israeli occupation, military and political withdrawal would be equivalent to the overthrow of an authoritarian or totalitarian system. Two centuries of history show that after the initial revolutionary euphoria wears off, the united revolutionary opposition (i.e. the Third Estate, Solidarity, and perhaps the PLO) splinters into conflicting groups that struggle to fill the power vacuum. Revolutionary states without democratic traditions slip into anarchy, civil war, and/or tyranny as in the cases of the late eighteenth and nineteenth century French governments. Even if the Palestinians were to establish a democratic government immediately after their autonomy was granted, the lack of a democratic tradition would make them susceptible to the same civil strife and tyranny that undermined the Weimar Republic."--from page 26

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The Journal of Politics and Society

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Helvidius Group of Columbia University
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February 14, 2014