- MOTION: THIS HOUSE BELIEVES THE PALESTINIANS RISK BECOMING THEIR OWN WORST ENEMY
- RESULT: MOTION CARRIED 70.9% - 29.1%
The latest Doha Debate has sent a powerful warning to Palestinians that they risk supplanting Israel as their own worst enemy.
The motion was passed by more than 70% of the audience.
It followed heated exchanges which focused on allegations of widespread corruption and human rights abuses in the Palestinian territories and the failure of both Hamas and Fatah to settle their differences.
Professor Munther Dajani, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Al Quds University in Jerusalem, said the Palestinian leaders had already become their own worst enemy." The aggressor has become the victim and the victim the aggressor. We must have failed somewhere." Dajani said the Palestinians' inability to build institutions underpinning accountability and the rule of law had "ushered in corruption and nepotism."
His co-speaker for the motion, Palestinian political analyst Akram Baker, said: "We are now at the cusp of full collapse. The PA (Palestinian Authority) should be dissolved today, not tomorrow, as it has no use."
"What Palestinians need is a genuine government, not this 6th class Palestinian Authority that runs the territory for the Israelis," added Sari Makdisi, a Palestinian professor at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) and author of a new book on the Israeli occupation. "Palestinians have a strong sense of unity and justice," he said.
Professor Makdisi was speaking against the motion with Hind Khoury, the Palestinian Delegate General in France. She acknowledged that factional violence in the Occupied Territories had been "shameful" but insisted that only a small minority of Palestinian leaders were corrupt.
Ms Khoury added that Israel was and would remain the Palestinians' principal enemy. "Israel, even after Annapolis, continues with colonisation, making a Palestinian state an illusion. ....We have paid in blood and in the lives of our children. It is not as if we have done nothing."
This Debate will be broadcast on BBC World on April 12th and 13th, 2008