Self-Government, Democracy, and Mismanagement Under the Palestinian Authority
Using as its starting point the May 1997 report by a Palestinian parliamentary committee on the misuse of public funds, this essay looks into the performance of the Palestinian Authority and charges of corruption, patronage, and human rights violations. It argues that most of the excesses result from the legal vacuum created by the occupation and from the absence of institutional counterweights to the PA in all domains. While reactions to the report demonstrated civil society's profound aspiration for the rule of law, the article concludes that the absence of a state necessarily means the absence of a state of law and an ongoing state of emergency.
Ilan Halevi, a writer and analyst of Middle East affairs, is currently Fatah's permanent representative in the Socialist International. This paper is an updated version of an article published in the summer 1997 edition of the Revue d'etudes Palestiniennes, the IPS's French-Language quarterly.