In many ways, the Palestinian protest movement that swept the West Bank for nearly seven days before fading out late this week symbolizes the end of an era, the era of the Palestinian Authority.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets, clashing with Palestinian security forces, hurling shoes at photographs of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and defacing other PA symbols. In the process, they revealed the pros and cons of the “economic peace” theory espoused by Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
In truth, the idea of providing measured assistance to the Palestinian economy, for the purpose of fostering quiet in the security realm, has been discredited. The Palestinian economy is enduring a period of stagnation, and concurrently the PA’s status has been weakened - and so too has the stature of its security forces and political leadership.
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