Thursday, April 11, 2013

Obama's Man in the Palestinian Authority

Salam Fayyad Stands No Chance Against Fatah
- Khaled Abu Toameh

  • Fatah leaders are yearning for the days of Yasser Arafat, when they were able to steal international aid earmarked for helping Palestinians.
  • The Palestinians' problem with [Salam] Fayyad [pictured] is that he did not sit even one day in an Israeli prison. For them, graduating from an Israeli prison is even more important that going to any university.
  • PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah leaders see U.S.-educated Salam Fayyad, who was appointed PA prime minister in 2007 at the request of the U.S. and EU countries, as a threat to their control over the Palestinian Authority and its finances.
  • Some Fatah leaders, such as Tawfik Tirawi and Najat Abu Baker, are even convinced that Fayyad is plotting, together with the U.S. and other Western countries, to replace Abbas. Were it not for U.S. and EU intervention, Abbas and Fatah would have removed Fayyad from his job several years ago.
  • Each time Abbas considered sacking Fayyad, U.S. and EU government officials stepped in to warn that such a move would seriously affect foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority.
  • Yet these efforts have been counterproductive and have further discredited Fayyad in the eyes of many Palestinians. Fayyad's enemies have cited these efforts as "proof" that he is a "foreign agent."
  • Fatah's main problem with Fayyad is that he has almost exclusive control over the PA budget. Fatah does not like the idea that its leaders can no longer steal international aid because of Fayyad's presence.
(Gatestone Institute)


By Their Predictions Shall You Know Them -Barry Rubin, PhD

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has resigned once again. What's news, however, is that PA "President" Mahmoud Abbas has accepted it.

While it's hard to believe that Fayyad will finally be ousted--the Western donors want him in power--the continuing frustrations of the only honest and relatively moderate Palestinian official shows that the PA has made no progress toward moderation, state-building, or real economic success.

This is despite what might be the highest per capita foreign aid in world history. It also sheds new light on what often seems to be the the world's best-kept secret: The Palestinian leadership doesn't want a peaceful solution with Israel.
[The Rubin Report]

Fayyad's Resignation: The Beginning of the End of the PA? - Barak Ravid

The resignation of PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Saturday will affect Israel and the Obama administration's efforts to renew the peace process, as well as EU policy towards the Palestinians. Fayyad, a former IMF economist educated in the U.S., was a symbol of good governance and the war on corruption. But PA President Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah party's old guard saw Fayyad as a political rival who needed to be eliminated.

Fayyad's resignation will place a question mark on the prospect of continued international aid to the PA without Fayyad guarding the public coffers.

Resignation: Bad News - Jonathan S. Tobin

The resignation of PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad lays bare the collapse of the hope that Palestinian nationalism would be refocused on development and coexistence rather than violence. It dooms the Palestinians to a choice between the incompetent cadres of Fatah or the bloody Islamist tyranny of Hamas.

Without Fayyad (or someone like him), there is no pretense of a state living in peace with Israel, rather than a kleptocracy run by terrorists. It is also a guarantee that the terms of any peace deal signed with the Palestinians will not be observed.

Fayyad's tragedy was not just that both Fatah and Hamas wanted to be rid of him, but that he had virtually no support among ordinary Palestinians.
(New York Post)

Fayyad's Departure - Hugh Naylor

The resignation of Salam Fayyad may signal a resurgence of old-style politics in the West Bank, with a focus on backroom deal-making and patronage. Appointed by President Abbas to the premiership in 2007, Fayyad streamlined the PA's bloated budget while reining in corruption and dismantling the militant groups that had roamed the West Bank. The result was more stability and glimmers of economic prosperity.

(The National-UAE)

The Fayad Resignation: Scapegoating a State-Builder - David Makovsky

The departure of PA Prime Minister Salam Fayad could be a blow to the Palestinians, particularly in terms of how much international aid they receive. Fayad became the PA's finance minister in 2002 upon demand by donor countries who were concerned that their contributions were being diverted for corruption. Before he took office, PA security personnel were paid via paper bags full of cash. Fayad insisted that every PA employee have a bank account and be paid on time. After Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, Fayad became prime minister and security cooperation with Israel became the norm.

His tenure has been defined by institution-building, in which the PA built schools, health clinics, hospitals, paved roads and installed water pipes. In particular, Fayad's embrace of economic transparency - which included U.S.-led audits - was instrumental in attracting increased international aid.

Fayad repeatedly warned that Abbas' statehood bids at the UN would spur Washington to cut off aid, and Israel to halt the transfer of Palestinian tax revenues. Nevertheless, he was blamed for the economic downturn that resulted.
The writer is director of The Washington Institute's Project on the Middle East Peace Process.
(Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

A New Challenge for Palestinians - Aaron David Miller

The resignation of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has the potential to inject clarity and honesty into the discussion. Hamas said that Fayyad was a major obstacle to the formation of a unity government in the territories. Fayyad's departure will help reveal that Palestinian unity is an illusion, that what divides the Palestinians are fundamental differences over what Palestine is and even where it should be.

Fayyad's resignation highlights the leadership crisis in the Palestinian national movement. If PA President Mahmoud Abbas were to leave the scene, Fatah itself might split.

There is no obvious, nationally recognized figure who could hold the Palestinian Authority together. The name usually mentioned as a possibility, Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, is currently serving several life sentences in an Israeli prison.

The writer is a distinguished scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
(Los Angeles Times)

Israel: The happy little country that can -Caroline Glick

Fayyad was nothing more than a Western delusion, like Arab peace with Israel.

Fayyad didn't have a chance of leading the Palestinians because he never personally killed a Jew. And the Palestinians only accept murderers as their leaders. But the fact that he never killed a Jew personally didn't render Fayyad a partner for Israel.

Fayyad dutifully used donor funds to pay the salaries of terrorists in Judea, Samaria and Gaza every month. He led the Palestinian branch of the boycott, divestment and sanctions war against Israel. He made working for Israelis and buying Israeli goods criminal offenses. Fayyad personally led raids into private homes to inspect people's refrigerators to see if they had Israeli cottage cheese on their shelves. He organized and attended bonfires where they burned Israeli goods.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is not the sort of behavior you would expect a peace partner to engage in.
[Jewish World Review]

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