No less a failed regime than Malaysia and the Ukraine is the yet to be designated state called Palestine.
One can begin to describe Palestine''s failure with the numerous splits in geography and politics, always on the verge--or over the verge--of bloodshed. Most prominent are the problems between Gaza and the West Bank, but also apparent are chronic disputes based on loyalties to extended families, localities, political ideologies and religiosity within Gaza and among the various communities of the West Bank.
Also to be noted is the tragic comedy of the man calling himself president who has outstayed his term of office by more than five years, and is not recognized as president by the Gazan half of Palestine.
One seldom has to wait more than a few days for indications that neither those claiming to be officials of the West Bank nor Gaza can control--or want to control--those always anxious to prove their mettle by firing a gun or missile in the direction of Israeli civilians.
Unreliable supplies of electricity and water are only two of the Palestinians'' problems with public services, despite their abnormal receipt of outside aid.
Gazans recently went for several days with little or no electricity. Various explanations are that the shut down resulted from a failure to pay for imports of fuel from Israel, a quarrel between Fatah and Hamas with respect to who should pay, or Israel''s response to a barrage of missiles by closing its border and stopping fuel shipments for a few days.
The various problems of what claims to be Palestine, including the questionable legitimacy of the man claiming to be its president, raises the issue of American moralizing, concerns for democracy and legality, along with their insistence that Israel negotiate with Mahmoud Abbas and the people close to him.
It involves a risk of ridicule to suggest that the United States may qualify as a failed state. Yet a ranking of #35 among countries with respect to life expectancy is no great compliment
. And the recent flubbings by President Obama and John Kerry with respect to Syria, Iran, most probably Crimea, and Israel-Palestine might qualify for the designation of a failed foreign policy, or a failed State Department.
According to a Hebrew epigram, A wise person does not enter where a clever person knows to leave.
John Kerry''s deep voice and demands for others to make difficult decisions is not enough to deal with problems that others have wrestled with for 66, 47, 20, or 14 years, depending on whether one starts with the end of the British Mandate, the Six-Day war, Oslo, or the Barak-Clinton proposals.
Among the latest provocations of Israeli distrust of Americans is Kerry''s claim that Netanyahu''s insistence on Abbas'' recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is unnecessary.
That may be true in a narrow sense, but the demand is a test that Abbas continues to fail. Its importance derives from Israelis'' worry (pervading the right, center, and part of the Israeli left) that Palestinians are not ready to recognize Israel in its own terms. Many--perhaps most--Israelis, for their part, are not inclined to withdraw substantial settlements in order to tempt the Palestinians to do what they have repeatedly refused to do.
Should Kerry spend more time on Crimea?
Not if he wants to demonstrate his diplomatic skills.
What about helping the Malaysians direct traffic? Or at least learning along with them something about explaining failure?