Anyone can start their own country! That doesn’t mean that people will recognize it, but hey, they generally won’t stop you from trying–as long as they don’t see it as a threat. So if you’d like to do your own thing in your own country, here’s how to establish a micronation.
Wikihow: How To Start Your Own Country
It looks like Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad could give Wikihow a tip or two on creating a country. Just yesterday, the ArabNews was reporting that Fayyad felt he was close to meeting the International Monetary Fund’s highest standards:
Palestinian Authority Prime Minster Salam Fayyad said on Tuesday he is confident his government will have the institutional framework in place by the end of the summer necessary to win global support for an independent Palestinian state.
“It is our goal and our expectation that as a result of what we are doing – getting ready for statehood, developing institutions that delivery services competently and (developing) core values – that our state of Palestine will be founded,” Fayyad said. “I am very happy to tell you that in many areas of governance we are already there.”
Fayyad, the Palestinian Authority’s No. 2, has been cracking down on corruption and inefficiency as part of a two-year-old campaign to gain recognition for a Palestinians state from the United Nations General Assembly, probably in September. Israel is opposed to the plan, saying a state should be achieved through negotiations, even though they have been deadlocked for months.
Fayyad said the PA’s economic bodies, including the Palestine Monetary Authority and Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), were already up to the standards he had set. He cited the Palestinian CBS for special praise, saying it was close to meeting the International Monetary Fund’s IMF’s) highest benchmarks.
And all in just 4 years–not bad considering the corruption and incompetency that has marked the Palestinian Authority over the years. Of course, the fact that the term of President Abbas–who still periodically threatens to resign–ended 2 years ago, with no elections in sight.
Be that as it may, while yesterday the ArabNews was talking about Fayyad saying they were ready for statehood–today, the IMF itself says the West Bank is ready to be a state::
Palestinian financial institutions are ready for statehood, an International Monetary Fund report praising Palestinian fiscal reform said Tuesday.
“The PA is now able to conduct the sound economic policies expected of a future well-functioning Palestinian state,” the report said.
So: what is the secret of Fayyad’s success?
Maybe it’s because:
Since taking over a barely functioning administration four years ago, Fayyad has deployed a Western-trained security force to restore law and order and spent billions of dollars in foreign aid to build infrastructure and boost the economy.
Or maybe Fayyad just knows the right people:
In contrast to most Palestinian leaders, Fayyad spent much of his adult life in the West, getting a doctorate in economics from the University of Texas and enjoying a career at the World Bank and IMF.
Of course, back in 2009, when the New York Times noted that Signs of Hope Emerge in the West Bank, there was not one mention of Fayyad–though there was a mention of Netanyahu, who had made economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority a key plank in his campaign:
The Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says it shares the goal of helping Mr. Abbas, which is why it is seeking to improve West Bank economic conditions as a platform for moving to a political discussion. The Palestinians worry that the political discussion will never arrive and say the Israelis are doing far too little to ease the occupation. Still, they point with pride to the many changes in the West Bank.
Among Netanyahu’s proposals for the West Bank back in March 2009:
Netanyahu’s 100-day plan pledges to work with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, envoy of the so-called Quartet that supports Israeli-Palestinian talks, to advance the Palestinian economy. The Quartet is composed of the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the U.S.
…Israel has already approved electricity and water supplies for the park in the district of Jenin, where a bloody battle between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen took place seven years ago.
…Of the at least four industrial parks on the drawing board, Jenin is the most advanced, boosted by cooperation between Mousa and his Israeli counterpart, Danny Atar, and supported by a U.S.-trained Palestinian police force. Also working in Jenin’s favor: The two Jewish settlements that once existed inside the district boundaries were evacuated in 2006.
But no one is going to give credit for helping turn around the West Bank economy to the person most credit for turning around the Israeli economy.
Besides, back in 2008, there was already a turnaround noticed in Ramallah–and there was no mention of either Netanyahu or Fayyad:
It’s easy to notice a huge variety of languages, cultures, and Western faces among the crowded tables of Cafe de la Paix, next to Ramallah’s city hall. Pilgrims, foreign NGOs’ personnel, journalists, and Palestinians from other West Bank cities have found a perfect place to spend some quality leisure time. The peace is broken only when nearby mosques play the muazzin calls for prayers.
Palestinian analyst and businessman Sam Bahou says the city is definitely going through a “five-star occupation,” pushed by the resumption of hundreds of millions of dollars received by the Palestinian Authority by international donors. Besides that, the recent high oil prices have created additional revenues for oil-rich countries like Qatar and other Gulf nations, which are investing: music festivals and other cultural activities haven’t been so lively in the past few years, says Mohammad B, a shop owner.
Bottom line, the turnaround in Ramallah–and the rest of the West Bank–is undeniable.
However, whether that qualifies the West Bank as being capable of existing as a standalone independent state is another question entirely. Now add to that the continuous incitement of hatred in the West Bank towards Israel, and Israel’s security concerns about limiting the military and airspace of such a proposed state.
What will actually end up happening come September is anybody’s guess.