Hassan Al-battal
June 11, 2008 - 5:14pm

A government that intended to advance the Palestinian agenda is actually doing that better than the eleven previous Fatah, unity, or nationalistic governments that preceded it. Fayyad’s government is President Abbas’s government, notwithstanding the implications by Riyad Al-Maliki, the information minister, who attended the 85th meeting of the government alongside the Palestinian Authority President. The meeting of Salam Fayyad’s government was held in the presidential office building (Al-Muqata’a) on the eve of June 5th, the day of the President’s speech calling for the start of a national dialogue between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. 

The first technocrat Prime Minister is also the first universal Prime Minister. He is from Bal’ein when attending the third International Bal’ein Conference Against the Wall, and he is from Jenin at the opening of a series of projects to advance the district of Jenin with the German Foreign Minister Frank Steinmeier. He is also from Nablus (with ten field visits to Nablus), as well as from Bethlehem (Bethlehem’s International Conference). And he is, most importantly, the Fayyad of security, who meets with all the members of the Palestinian police who trained, under American supervision, in the police academy in Jordan.   

As for the international Fayyad, we point to his role in the success of the Paris International Donors Conference to develop Palestine, which formulated a three-year plan of growth and restoration, as well as almost one billion dollars (icing on the cake)… and no Israeli shekels.

Among the many Palestinian Authority governments, this one seems to be the most successful in advancing the Palestinian agenda despite Israeli obstacles, as well in cooperation between the President and the Prime Minister despite some partisan resistance within Fatah, and now, an Israeli challenge to the relationship between this constructive Prime Minister and the European Union. Israel isn’t a fan of this relationship.

The European Union is the biggest sponsor of the project to build and restore the Palestinian Authority and the institutions necessary for a Palestinian state. Obviously, it is a right of the European Union, collectively and as individual countries, to have an influential voice in the political development of a Palestinian state. This is a right that Israel is trying to deny, although it theoretically accepts the principle.

There is no need to go with any depth into the obvious fact that the Abbas – Fayyad partnership is the best Palestinian Authority team, the most successful nationalist team, and the most compatible negotiations team.

This being the case, why did (Shlomi) Israel go back to its old habit, and back on a promise that it made to the Paris International Donors Conference, that it would not continue to withhold the tax revenues of the Palestinian Authority collected by Israel?

Fayyad angered Olmert by using his outstanding personal and political clout to call on Europe to moderate its generosity towards Israel, and to refrain from giving Israel the full rights of a non-active member of the European Union, without forcing it to change its counterproductive policies that are an obstacle to the peace process. These include the separation wall, the building of settlements, checkpoints, and sabotaging the progress on security being made by Fayyad’s government. Politics is like trade: fulfilling one’s obligations in return for the other side fulfilling their own.

What makes Olmert’s government concerned about Fayyad’s government? Is it because Fayyad is introducing a new phase in the European theater by supplying the European envoys and parliament information that allows Europe to balance its commitments to Israel and to building Palestine?

In America, politicians, senators, and candidates for the presidency race to speak at the AIPAC conference, the strongest Jewish-American lobby group. How can America save itself more than it can save Israel?

What Fayyad is doing, which is more honorable than Olmert or his corrupt predecessors, is to give Palestine its own lobby groups in the European Union, that will work to counter the Israeli occupation’s intentional sabotage of the achievements of this progress-centric Palestinian government.

Fayyad, the Palestinian Prime Minister, is an excellent technocrat and manager.  He is a graduate of the University of Texas who behaves like a politician or a Prime Minister from Europe, who cares first about projects, means, security, the economy, and sharing responsibilities. This is not being done even by the Prime Ministers of the independent Arab states.

It seems that the Israeli government will not deal with a “radical, corrupt, terrorist” Palestinian Authority, and neither will deal with a balanced, honest Palestinian Authority that supports a fair peace. And will not deal with a unity government of moderates or radicals.

We deal with every Israeli government, and with every American government that supports every Israeli government. Israel is strong and fragile, and Palestine is fragile and strong!  

(Translation by Mike Husseini from ATFP)


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017