The New York Times, May 26, 2017
Credit Christina Hägerfors
I spent several years involved on the Palestinian side of the negotiations and can attest to their futility. Palestinian delegates, who needed permits to enter Israel to participate in talks, were routinely held up at Israeli checkpoints. When we spoke of international law and the illegality of settlements, Israeli negotiators laughed in our faces.
[...] In effect, the Palestinian Authority served as a subcontractor for the occupying Israeli military. The overwhelming focus on security, we were told, was necessary for the duration of peace talks. Today, fully a third of the authority’s roughly $4 billion budget goes to policing, more than for health and education combined [....].
Given that there are about 150,000 employees who depend on the [Palestinian A]uthority for their salaries, I am under no illusion that closing it down will be easy or painless.