Commentary Magazine


Goodbye Fayyad, Hello Hamas

Salam Fayyad, the Harvard-educated Palestinian Prime Minister is apparently on the way out in Ramallah. Fayyad’s departure effectively sinks Americans’ and Israelis’ hopes of the P.A. heading toward peace and reform, especially since it comes in the context of further efforts to reconcile Hamas with the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority.

Almost alone amid all Palestinian politicians, Fayyad was seen as incorruptible, and genuinely interested in developing the Palestinian economy and creating the infrastructure of a rational state. Just about everybody else involved with the 15-year-old P.A. has treated it as an opportunity for theft as well as a platform to promote hatred of Israel and to prepare the Palestinian people for conflict with the Jewish State.

Fayyad never had much of a chance to succeed because he was not actively associated with any of the terror organizations that make up the foundation of Palestinian politics. Palestinian politicians and groups have historically achieved popularity by killing Jews; not by building infrastructure or safeguarding finances.

His exit ought to have an impact on the discussion in the United States about sending $900 million to the Palestinians to aid the rebuilding of Gaza. With Fayyad gone, there is very little chance of the money helping common people rather than going into the hands of terror enablers: e.g. the United Nations Relief Works Agency or the pockets of Palestinian “leaders.”

The argument for spiking the Obama stimulus package for Palestinians just got a lot stronger.