through USAID alone, and billions more through various other channels, including the UNRWA and a collection of other agencies. The first Bush Administration forced Israel to negotiate directly with the PLO. The Clinton Administration created the Palestinian Authority inside Israel, armed and trained its terrorist militias and funded them from top to bottom. Four Presidents have made creating a Palestinian state a major priority of their administrations. More so than freeing Tibet or creating a country for any particular group, not counting the Clinton Administration's war on behalf of a Muslim Kosovar Albanian state, who rewarded us with slave trafficking, terrorism and burning down every church they could find.
The question now however is whether a Palestinian state is even possible? For one thing there is no longer a single Palestinian state, but two states, one run by Hamas in Gaza, and a second run by Abbas in the West Bank, despite the fact that his term in office legally ended around the time Obama was sworn in. The Obama Administration nevertheless continues to fund Abbas, even though under the rules that the US helped set up, he has no right to hold office without an election.
For another thing, both the West Bank and Gaza are run by dueling militias composed of PLO and Hamas terrorists. Iran and Syria fund the Hamas militias, while the US and the EU fund the PLO militias. While Iran is more open about simply calling them terrorists, the US State Department calls them "police" and provides them with weapons and training. The militias work for whichever faction or sub-faction is paying them at the moment. In between they do "odd jobs" such as drug dealing, kidnapping and the old protection racket-- a major reason why all the plans for outside investment in the PA quickly collapsed into nothing.
As of last year, the PA requested 7 billion dollars to "overhaul" its security forces to a mere 50,000 men at a rate of 23 "police" for each thousand Palestinian Arabs. That is 6 times the ratio of the NYPD. Since Oslo, the numbers have fluctuated from 40,000 to 80,000 under 14 separate police forces, which are individually loyal to different sub-factions within the PLO. And with all that "security", there is no actual law or order to be found. That is because "Palestinian Police" was how the various PLO affiliated terrorist militias were rebranded by the Clinton Administration. Most continued to operate as terrorists carrying out attacks against Israel. The rest function as the private police of various officials within the Palestinian Authority. And much as the State Department might like to pretend otherwise, all the PA police forces are not loyal to any laws, but only to those officials who pay them and give them orders.
There is no constitutional rule of law within the PA. There isn't even a legally elected head of the Palestinian Authority. There isn't even a single government ruling over Gaza and the West Bank. There is no economy. As much as 25 to 50 percent of the Palestinian adult male population is employed by the Palestinian Authority, which is its own biggest employer with as many as 200,000 people out of a population of barely 2 million in the West Bank. That's one PA employee to 10 Palestinian Arab men, women and children. It means that with 42 percent of the population under 14, virtually every Palestinian Arab family has a member who is officially employed by the Palestinian Authority. Some more than one.
And guess who pays for all this? The Palestinian Authority has never been self-supporting, it could not survive for 5 seconds without money from the United States and the European Union. The billions of dollars pumped into the PA's coffers go down the line to various officials and their families, as well as the terrorist militias who keep them in power. Often the money has a way of vanishing, as it did in 1997 when the PA reported that 40 percent of its budget just went "missing". The PA employment racket is not simply a bureaucratic blank check though. Jobs are given in exchange for support. The "employees" may not ever actually show up for work, but they are expected to use their tribal and family influence to back the PA leadership. And the remainder of that money goes to the tens of thousands of terrorists officially described as the police.
But we aren't done yet, because while the largest employer in the PA may be the authority itself, the second largest employer is the UNRWA, with a 95 percent Palestinian Arab staff. The UNRWA is dedicated only to aiding Palestinian Arabs and the vast majority of its budget comes from the US and Europe. Again. The UNRWA's employees not only overlap with those of the PLO and Hamas, but it is rife with waste spending more on Palestinian Arabs than the UNHCR does on other refugees in the world.
As for the rest of the PA economy... you just saw it. With over 50 percent unemployment in a part of the world where single income families are the norm and nearly 50 percent of the population is underage, the Palestinian economy is the American and European taxpayer. The few exceptions for the most part work in the same settlements that the world keeps demanding that Israel tear down, or across the Green Line in Israel, resulting in an unemployment spike every time there is a terrorist attack and Israel has to shut down its inner borders. There is no other economy, despite the billions invested by governments and individuals in everything from industrial parks to ready to use greenhouses, there has been no other economy, and there will be no other economy. Which should be obvious when the Palestinian Authority lists Olive-Wood Carvings and Mother-of-Pearl Souvenirs as two of its major industries. When you're listing not just souvenirs, but a very specific type of souvenir as a major industry, you really have no economic plan except to ask other people for money.
Unlike countries like Egypt, Jordan, Israel or Turkey whom the US provides some assistance that comes out to a fraction of their budget-- the United States and Europe provide all the assistance for the Palestinian Authority. That is because the PA is a sham that has done nothing but carry out terrorist attacks, deposit hundreds of millions of dollars in the Swiss bank accounts of terrorist leaders such as Yasser Arafat, and radically destabilize the region. The Palestinian Authority is not just a failure, it's a bloody and dangerous failure, and it is time for its State Department and EU backers to finally admit the truth.
There can be no Palestinian state. And there is no future for a Palestinian state. The entire idea was created as a fallback position by the USSR after its Arab allies failed to destroy Israel in a series of wars, and transformed into a key player in international Soviet backed terrorism. With the collapse of the USSR, the US and Europe perversely embraced the idea of creating a Palestinian state and amped up the pressure on Israel to make it happen. Huge amounts of amount were spent and many lives were list in the process. Israel's survival has been drastically undermined and the regional balance has been tilted toward the terrorists.
To Hamas, Gaza and the West Bank are what the Rhineland was to Hitler-- territory they want only as a starting point for a much larger expansion. To the PLO, it's a chance to create mischief and profit by it through foreign aid. Both talk a great deal about a Palestinian State, but neither care very much about it except as a propaganda tool to convince gullible Westerners to rubber stamp their demands, and convince their own people to kill themselves to restore their lost honor. The cynical game would long ago have ended if the United States and Europe stopped forcing everyone to keep playing in the hopes that all this impossible mess will somehow rearrange itself into a workable state. After 17 long years of tyranny, terror and death-- maybe it's time to finally put down the pieces and end the game.