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The Fayyad Enigma

What is the Palestinian prime minister driving at?

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Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.(Foreign Policy)

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is back in the news, pledging that the Palestinians remain on the schedule first set over a year ago and will be ready for statehood by August 2011. Fayyad is on the record opposing unilateral statehood, but that doesn’t mean statebuilding isn’t effective leverage when it comes to peace negotiations.
Actually, the public relations might be intended most of all for the United States, if Fayyad’s new Foreign Policy article is any indication. “Building a Palestinian state was never intended to replace the political process, but to reinforce, and benefit, from it,” he insists. And yet: “We want to have lasting peace with Israel. But you can’t get to that point if everything you do is unidirectionally negative; we must create positive facts on the ground, and a sense of real mutual respect must begin to develop.”

On the flip-side, relations between Fatah, which rules in the West Bank, and Hamas, which rules in Gaza, have hardly ever been worse (Fatah officials are now barred from entering Gaza, for instance). And of course there remain the concerns that Fayyad’s state-building is being imposed in an authoritarian, even violent manner.

Anyway, the Associated Press provides the kicker: “His motorcade was led by an Israeli police cruiser, and Israeli settlements and unauthorized hilltop outposts on either side of a main West Bank highway.”

Fayyad Says Palestinians Ready for Statehood by August [JPost]
Why I’m Building Palestine [Foreign Policy]
Earlier: Too Good To Be True?

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Ken Besig, Israel says:

There is no Fayyad enigma, Fayyad is a hard line, uncompromising, and tendentious Palestinian leader, steeped for years in hating Israel, and desiring nothing less than the destruction of Israel and the extermination of all the Jews living here. Fayyad’s vision of a solution to the Palestinian Israeli conflict is a one state solution, replacing Israel with a Palestinian state.
All of Fayyad’s pompous declarations of building a Palestinian state is to get the UN and the US to recognize the Palestinian state, without even negotiating with Israel. Fayyad expects to then begin demanding that Palestinian refugees be brought to his “state” from Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, and using that newly declared Palestine to flood Israel with Palestinian refugees from those states. And if Israel uses force to protect herself from this human wave, he expects to go to the International Criminal Court to get another condemnation of Israel for crimes against humanity. Fayyad is a liar who poses as a “moderate” but is no less radical than the worst of Hamas, Fayyad just tries to his hatred of Israel and the Jewish People behind a nice smile and smooth talk, but he is just as great an enemy of Israel and the Jewish People as was Adolf Hitler. Trust this creature Fayyad at your own risk! But don’t expect Israel to as well.

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The Fayyad Enigma

What is the Palestinian prime minister driving at?

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