Sunday, December 18, 2011
Fayyad Sinking along with Palestinian Future
The End of Fayyadism -Jonathan Schanzer
PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad [pictured], perhaps the only Palestinian leader who earnestly sought to usher in an era of good governance, is now under siege from political rivals. President Mahmoud Abbas has orchestrated a series of trials against the prime minister's top officials to discredit Fayyad. These cases are not designed to rid Palestine of corruption. Rather, by ousting ministers and hobbling Fayyad, Abbas creates an opportunity to replace them with figures more to his liking.
According to officials who work with them, the two figureheads of the Palestinians are barely on speaking terms. Fayyad has become a glorified accountant, leveraging his strong relationship with international donors to collect checks that ensure his government can continue to pay salaries - while Abbas pursues a provocative foreign policy that endangers those sources of funding. Fayyad opposed angling for international recognition of Palestinian statehood at the UN - a finger in Washington's eye.
Washington still pays lip service to the potential of Fayyad's reform agenda, but the White House knows the prime minister's days are numbered. The end of Fayyadism means the end of an era that offered hope for political reform for the Palestinians.
(Foreign Policy) *