update - 08/11/2009 source : reports indicated that Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has reached a secret understanding with the Obama administration over U.S. recognition of an independent Palestinian state. Such recognition would likely transform any Israeli presence across the Green Line, even in Jerusalem, into an illegal incursion to which the Palestinians would be entitled to engage in measures of self-defense.
In late August Fayyad presented the international community with a detailed plan for building up Palestinian Authority institutions and set a timetable of up to two years for its implementation. Senior Israeli officials said Fayyad's plan initially met with positive reaction in Jerusalem for its emphasis on institution-building and making security services more efficient.
This is the spirit, Palestine need to be built by Palestinian for Palestinians.
we need not to negotiate our future, we need to create it, and while Israel put pressure it caanot stop the building of Palestine - it is not the question of territory, it is a question of human organizing their life and for that the Palestinians need not permission, they need to start create it.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to present plans for institutions, infrastructure of future state including new international airport, rail links, generous tax regime for foreign investors, securing water, energy sources in hopes of 'building free, democratic and stable Palestine'
Reuters Published: 08.24.09, 21:23 / Israel News
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will on Tuesday unveil his plan for building the institutions and infrastructure of the state of Palestine, which he says can be readied in the next two years.
Not so much a blueprint as a wish-list, the 65-page plan calls for a new international airport in the Jordan Valley and new rail links to neighboring states, and proposes a generous tax regime for foreign investors.
The Palestinian Authority which Fayyad heads is dependent on foreign assistance for most of its budget. A copy of the plan was obtained by Reuters ahead of publication.
The plan is short on detail, but setting out these objectives is a departure from Palestinian policy over the past 15 years, which focused exclusively on negotiations with Israel rather than building institutions.
Western-backed Fayyad says Palestinians must not wait for a final peace settlement with Israel but get on with creating their state.
"We call upon all our people to work together on the basis of full partnership in the process of completing and building the institutions of a free, democratic and stable state of Palestine," the plan states.
"The world should hear the clear and united position from all walks of Palestinian society ... that the Israeli occupation is the only obstacle that hinders the stability, prosperity and the progress of our people and their right to freedom, independence and a decent life."
Fayyad, a technocrat with no significant political base, heads a newly aligned cabinet with more ministers than before from the dominant Fatah faction of President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Islamist Hamas rivals refuse to recognize the premier.
On the political level, the plan is in harmony with the position of Abbas, who wants to establish a state on all territories that Israel occupied after the 1967 war, with Arab east Jerusalem as its capital.
The document says the government will focus on improving the performance of Palestinian security services, as part of its commitment to crack down on militants as stipulated in the internationally backed peace plan or "Road Map".
It speaks of building infrastructure, securing energy sources and water, and improving housing, education, and agriculture. But no detailed prescriptions are included.
"The government will work on encouraging investment in Palestine through offering tax cuts to local and foreign investors (and) will review investment regulations and remove obstacles that hinder investment," says the document.
"Our national duty stipulates that we should do whatever we can to get our economy out of the cycle of dependency and alienation."
April 30, 2010 OP-ED COLUMNIST Fayyad's Road to Palestine
By ROGER COHEN
RAMALLAH, WEST BANK — I spoke to the Palestinian prime minister, Salam Fayyad, for 90 minutes, and the word he uttered most often, by far, was “security.” As in, “The absence of security has been our undoing.”
When Palestinian leaders are talking about their self-inflicted undoing, as well as the undoing inflicted on them by Israel, things may be starting to move.
His aim, Fayyad told me, was an end to the “security pluralism” that produced a “state of chaos and militias.” It was this chaos, he said, that fueled the violent schism between Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza, undermining past Palestinian attempts to build the rudiments of statehood.
Fayyad, 58, is a small, precise, U.S.-educated man with a very ordered mind. He builds long, intricate sentences with an academic bent and is given to words like “axiomatic” or “purview.” For almost a decade his home was the World Bank; he’s hardly a political firebrand. Armed struggle has never been his thing. But right now he is a man with a mission.
That mission is a two-year program, begun last August, to ready Palestine for statehood by the second half of 2011. It represents a break with past Palestinian failure in that it espouses nonviolence — “an ironclad commitment, not a seasonal thing,” he said — and is focused on prosaic stuff like building institutions (police, schools, a justice system, roads and an economy) rather than exalted proclamations.
The program has secured explicit backing from the “Quartet” of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations, the group that last month called for “a settlement, negotiated between the parties within 24 months, that ends the occupation which began in 1967 and results in the emergence of an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel.”
The world’s 24 months and Fayyad’s timetable do no exactly overlap, but they are close enough for the intent to be clear. Fayyad has strong backing from President Barack Obama.
Next year, before the U.S. presidential campaign kicks in, will be crunch time. Can Fayyad’s program, which is advancing, and political negotiations, which are not, be made to coincide?
I don’t know, but I’m sure Fayyad is the best hope for Palestine in a very long time. He’s building it rather than ballyhooing it.
The easy argument against him is that he’s isolated politically — opposed by Hamas in Gaza and regarded with suspicion by the Fatah old guard in the West Bank. The argument for him is that he’s getting things done, improving people’s lives, and Palestinians are tired of going nowhere.
“This is about our right to life as a free people with dignity on this land — meaning, so that I’m not misunderstood, the land occupied by Israel in 1967,” Fayyad told me. “Every day we do work consistent with that to create the sense of a state growing. Bad things happen every day but you’re bound to have a lucky bounce and we have to be ready for it.”
Outside his office in Ramallah, and elsewhere in the West Bank, the fruits of that work are apparent. Stores and restaurants are full, Palestinian Authority police are everywhere in their crisp uniforms, tension is low and the economy, fueled by massive injections of aid, grew 7 percent last year. Israel’s presence remains overwhelming — the checkpoints, the snaking wall-fence, the settler-only highways — but Fayyad’s state-building is pushing into whatever space is available.
Would Palestinians, if talks fail, unilaterally declare independence in 2011 — an idea Fayyad has on occasion seemed to intimate?
“This is not about declarations of statehood,” he said. “This is not about proclamations of a state. It is about getting ready for one. Ours is a healthy unilateralism. Contrast that, if you will, with Israeli settlement activity.”
He continued: “This is not about going it alone; this is about going together holding hands with everybody, including Israelis.”
Fayyad is tired of the paralyzing claims of the past. “Let us not allow ourselves the luxury of acting as victims forever,” he said. “This is a case of two opposed historical narratives. And if this is going to direct traffic in the future, we are not going too far. It’s time to get on with it and end this conflict. Let’s move on. Let’s really look forward.”
But what about Hamas, representing some 40 percent of Palestinians, those in Gaza, whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction and whose opposition to Fayyad is fierce? A “major problem,” an “Achilles’ heel,” the prime minister conceded, but insisted that statehood, as it took form, could prove a unifying theme.
“Is it possible,” he told me, “given past experience, that we may find ourselves in spring of next year without progress being made?
“It is possible. But I believe, instead of sitting on our hands and waiting to get a perfect alignment of the stars, if we get busy helping ourselves, in realizing our dream of having strong and effective institutions of state, we make this outcome less likely. That’s a good enough bet for me.”
'Fayyad is a partner for peace'
By DAVID HOROVITZ
Alan Dershowitz says PA prime minister wants two-state solution.
Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard law professor who has become one of Israel’s most committed and articulate advocates, on Wednesday emphatically hailed Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as a potential partner for peace, calling him “the best that Israel has, and probably the best that Israel has ever had.”
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post immediately after a 90-minute meeting with Fayyad in Ramallah, their first meeting, Dershowitz said Fayyad “genuinely would like to bring peace and a two-state solution, based on his conception of what a two-state solution would look like.”
This, he stressed, was “very different” from Israel’s conception, in matters relating to security, among others. But overall, said Dershowitz, Fayyad’s differences with Israel fell into the realm of “reasonable disagreement.”
“I didn’t hear a single argument that seemed unreasonable,” said Dershowitz, adding, “The same goes for my recent meetings with Israeli leaders.”
Thus, he said, “you have reasonable people [on both sides] disagreeing over reasonable issues.
“Whether that gulf can be bridged is a hard question,” he said. “But we’re in the realm of reasonable disagreement, and that’s a big step forward.”
It was very different from the Arafat era, he said, to encounter “reason and civil disobedience” on the Palestinian side, compared to the previous “unreason and terror.”
Nonetheless, he stressed that his glowing assessment of Fayyad did not necessarily encompass the PA leadership as a whole.
“I don’t think you can generalize from him to others,” he said. “It’s not clear to me that he speaks for the [PA] government, even though he’s the prime minister. But [it is significant] that he’s entrusted with so important a position.”
Dershowitz said he had asked Fayyad “hard questions” about PA support for the Goldstone Report, about Fayyad’s campaign against Israel’s joining the OECD, about PA incitement against Israel, and about his campaign to boycott settlement goods.
The professor, author of The Case for Israel and The Case Against Israel’s Enemies, said Fayyad did not attempt to claim that the Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead was accurate, that “he didn’t seem too unhappy” to have lost the OECD battle, and that he condemned incitement.
Himself a critic of the settlement enterprise, Dershowitz said that Fayyad had “a very good point in using nonviolent means” to show opposition to the settlements.
As far as other final-status issues were concerned, Dershowitz said he did not believe Fayyad, “as a pragmatist,” would make “the same fatal mistake that Arafat did and give up on peace over a fake right of return.”
On security, he went on, “Fayyad argued against IDF troops periodically entering Ramallah and in favor of bolstering the internal PA security forces. He makes a persuasive case,” said Dershowitz, adding the caveat: “These aren’t areas I’m expert in.”
Allowing that “maybe I’m too optimistic,” Dershowitz said, “I’m prepared to err on that side. I’m not saying Israel should err on that side... I’m so used to hearing from Palestinian leaders who give me nothing to hold onto.”
‘We want to live': Salam Fayyad's plans for Palestine and the Palestinians are nought but a contrived folk festival where the occupied bow to their oppressors, writes Azmi Bishara http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2010/998/op3.htm
I think that Azmi Bishara is confusing his hate to Israel and occupation with the practical need to recognize Israel as element in the middle east.
A lot of pain the ZIonist project brought to this region and we should not ignore it, but also it brought some very good practices. this practices worked for the Israelis and enable them to be stronger in war, but now when the Palestinians state is emerging should we continue practice hate and blame?
What Azmi Bishara propose? continue of the fight to remove Israel from the map? mybe he think that Palestinian do not have the capacity to run their own state ... I do not see a practical suggestion that will not lead to violance in all what he write.
just see this: "The former World Bank official, who boasts of being pragmatic, is offering day-to-day life solutions instead of a national cause." Azmi Bishara want the Palestinian to be as national as the settlers, same pride, same only our nation matter and send the other guys out of our land.
this is not easy transformation we are heading, and Azmi Bishara voice is not the only radical voices we hear but we need to stay focus in what is important, to make our lives, Palestinians and Israelis, normal we must recognize both nations needs for statehood. pushing out the TZABAS, the israeli born israelis who are millions now is not trivial and its costs may be grater from what the ZIonist did 60 years ago.
the time now is for this pragmatic view of fayyad, this aggressor victim talk do not serve us who wish to create a future that include all of us, that serve all of us and secure a better future for all our children, the arabs and jews.
The anger, fear and hatred of both sides must be overcome by both the politicians and the public if a workable two-state solution is to come and last. To do this the leaders must meet and be empowered by their peoples to negotiate a final status agreement. To get the vast majorty of the Israeli and Palestinian publics to believe in an agreement they must be prepared to live with each other. To do that I believe means developing and implementing a national educational program for both peoples that places the status of both governments as well as the leadership of the US and the Quaret squarely behind a peace process that increasingly involves the public who must in turn support it. Fayyad has the full support of the US and is working to create economic and security facts on the ground that will make a real peace agreement more likely. As Yusuf Islam wrote many year ago; "everyone jump on he peace train."
May it be so......
Pssssst. I’ve got a stock tip. Ready? The Al-Quds Index.
What’s that? It’s the P.S.E., or Palestine Securities Exchange. Based in Nablus, in the West Bank, the Al-Quds Index has actually been having a solid year — and therein lies a tale.
“It has outperformed the stock exchanges of most Arab countries,” said Samir Hulileh, the C.E.O. of Palestine Development and Investment, which owns the exchange. The P.S.E. was established in 1996 with 19 companies and now has 41 — and 8 more will join this year. The companies listed there include the Commercial Bank of Palestine, Nablus Surgical Center, Palestine Electric Company and Arab Palestinian Shopping Centers. “Most are underpriced because of the political risk component,” said Hulileh. So if you don’t mind a little volatility, there is a lot of potential upside here. Indeed, there will soon be an E.T.F. — an exchange-traded fund — that tracks the Al-Quds Index so you can sit in America and go long or short peace in Palestine.
The expansion of the Al-Quds Index is part of a broader set of changes initiated in the West Bank in the last few years under the leadership of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, the former World Bank economist who has unleashed a real Palestinian “revolution.” It is a revolution based on building Palestinian capacity and institutions not just resisting Israeli occupation, on the theory that if the Palestinians can build a real economy, a professional security force and an effective, transparent government bureaucracy it will eventually become impossible for Israel to deny the Palestinians a state in the West Bank and Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.
“I have to admit, we, the private sector, have changed,” said Hulileh. “The mood used to be all the time to complain and say there is nothing we can do. And then the politicians were trying to create this atmosphere of resistance — resistance meant no development under occupation.”
Fayyad and his boss, President Mahmoud Abbas, changed that. Now the mood, said Hulileh, is that improving the Palestinian economy “is what will enable you to resist and be steadfast. Fayyad said to us: ‘You, the business community, are not responsible for ending occupation. You are responsible for employing people and getting ready for the state. And that means you have to be part of the global world, to export and import, so when the state will come you will not have a garbage yard. You will be ready.’ ”
Meeting in his Ramallah office two weeks ago, I found Fayyad upbeat. The economist-turned-politician seems more comfortable mixing with his constituents in the West Bank, where he has quietly built his popularity by delivering water wells, new schools — so there are no more double shifts — and a waste-water treatment facility. The most senior Israeli military people told me the new security force that Fayyad has built is the real deal — real enough that Israel has taken down most of the checkpoints inside the West Bank. So internal commerce and investment are starting to flow, and even some Gazans are moving there. “We may not be too far from a point of inflection,” Fayyad said to me.
The Abbas-Fayyad state-building effort is still fragile, and it rests on a small team of technocrats, Palestinian business elites and a new professional security force. The stronger this team grows, the more it challenges and will be challenged by some of the old-line Fatah Palestinian cadres in the West Bank, not to mention Hamas in Gaza. It is the only hope left, though, for a two-state solution, so it needs to be quietly supported.
The most important thing President Obama can do when he meets Israel’s prime minister, Bibi Netanyahu, on July 6 is to nudge him to begin gradually ceding control of major West Bank Palestinian cities to the Palestinian Authority so that Fayyad can show his people, as he puts it, that what he is building is an independent state “not an exercise in adapting to the permanence of occupation” — and so that Israel can test if the new Palestinian security forces really can keep the peace without Israel making nighttime raids. Nothing would strengthen Fayyadism more than that.
I am struck, though, at how much Fayyadism makes some Arabs and Israelis uncomfortable. For those Arabs who have fallen in love with the idea of Palestinians as permanent victims, forever engaged in a heroic “armed struggle” to recover Palestine and Arab dignity, Fayyad’s methodical state-building is inauthentic. Some Arabs — shamefully — dump on it, and only the United Arab Emirates has offered real financial help.
And for Israelis on the right, particularly West Bank settlers, who love the notion that there are no responsible Palestinians to talk to so the status quo will never change, Fayyadism is a real threat. Akiva Eldar, a columnist for the Israeli daily Haaretz, described this group perfectly the other day when he wrote how they “won’t relinquish the Arabs’ ‘no’s. Or, as the poet Constantine Cavafy wrote in ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’ ... : ‘And now, what’s going to happen to us without barbarians? / They were, those people, a kind of solution.’ ”
I am pleased to hear this. One of my life missions is to rebuild the Gaza Strip for all Palestinian children like Israeli children to have the ability to play, grow up and enjoy life.
How about making Jerusalem a city state?
Actually Basil the Arab population of East Jerusalem is about 220,000, and the Jewish population about 230,000, if we are defining Jerusalem according to the present realities. Thus the issue has become much more complex than a simple division between 'Arab' east Jerusalem and 'Jewish' West Jerusalem.
Rather than Jerusalem becoming a 'city state' as suggested by Pamela, I think it needs to be a shared city by Israel and the new Palestinian state, perhaps managed by a joint government entity. Possibly a confederation of Palestine and Israel might assign Jerusalem as a Federal territory, similar to Washington DC which is not a US state but a territory with a municipal council but overseen by the federal government.
Fayyad: PA will be prepared to establish state in a year
Palestinian PM says second year of his plan will focus on separation of powers, transparency, strengthening rule of law, fighting corruption; calls on public to back necessary measures before establishment of 'our own state'
Ali Waked Published: 08.30.10, 16:55 / Israel News
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Monday presented his plan for the second year of the establishment of Palestinian Authority institutions.
According to Fayyad's document, the Palestinians will have completed the bulk of the changes deemed necessary for the establishment of an independent state within a year.
List of Demands
Fayyad to Barak: Cease all unilateral steps in Jerusalem / Ali Waked
Palestinian PM says presented defense minister with list of demands, including ending 'settlement' construction in capital, overturning decision to expel Palestinian lawmakers
The document, titled "Towards Liberty," was presented a year after Fayyad drafted his previous paper, in which he declared that a Palestinian state would be founded within two years. That document stressed the importance of the "popular resistance" against Israel.
The Palestinian PM stressed that the plan's second year will focus on such issues as separation of powers, transparency, bolstering the rule of law and completing the establishment of government bodies.
Speaking in Ramallah, Fayyad admitted that the PA is in dire financial straits and said the leadership will work towards reducing its dependency on foreign aid.
Fayyad said he envisions a Palestinian state in all of the West Bank, Gaza, and east Jerusalem. "We will encourage civil society and various social elements to file complaints against corruption, as the goal is to preserve the rule of law," he said, adding that the PA will work towards rehabilitating convicts.
Fayyad said the fight against corruption will top the PA's list of priorities, followed by modernizing the education system and improving the status of women.
He called on the Palestinian public to lend its support to the second and "final year" of his plan in order to complete the necessary steps before the establishment of "our own state."