Fayyad Won't Lead Palestinian Government

By Haaretz

Published December 02, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Thursday that he would not serve as the prime minister of a Fatah-Hamas unity government, nor would he run for president.

“I don’t intend to run for the presidency or anything else for that matter,” Fayyad said in an interview to Haaretz. “I cannot accept being an obstacle, never was and never will be … I made a very explicit call on the factions … to go ahead and agree on a new prime minister. That’s my position and nothing has happened since then to change my mind … So the short answer is no.”

Asked why there isn’t a unity government, assuming he won’t be prime minister, Fayyad said “that is a question you should ask those who actually claimed I was the obstacle. I told you I never thought of myself as an obstacle, I never was an obstacle and I never will accept being an obstacle, but … it is my hope the talks will lead to something practical … in reuniting the country, and that long-awaited process will actually begin the process of reunification. But this question really should be addressed to those who have maintained that I was an obstacle.”

Asked why Hamas and some people in Fatah were so afraid of the possibility he would be appointed prime minister, Fayyad said, “you know in politics it’s not the norm to have everyone’s support. I mean it’s only natural … different people have different reasons for [supporting you] or being against [you].”

“All I can tell you is I was appointed, selected by the president [Mahmoud Abbas] for prime minister back in 2007 under difficult circumstances [following the Hamas revolution in Gaza]. The conditions in the Palestinian Authority were critical, not only in Gaza, but also in the West Bank … in terms of chaos and lawlessness and the PA was on the verge of complete disintegration, given those conditions of lawlessness and chaos. I tried the best I could with my colleagues then, and after that I tendered my resignation at the beginning of [reconciliation] talks. This was back in 2009, but these rounds of talks did not produce results. But the view that unity takes preference over anything else goes back to the talks in early 2009 when I tendered my resignation to President Abbas.

“All along we consistently made it very clear that we would step aside at a moment’s notice. I have always maintained that my own role is not … an issue. This whole effort in obtaining unity is far too important to be bogged down over the choice of prime minister. I’m doing the best I can until someone is ready to step in as a new government, and I will work with them and be as much help to the new government as possible, and will definitely be ready to step aside.”

The reason for the hostility toward Fayyad both in Hamas and Fatah may be found in a survey released last week in the West Bank, conducted by a research institute in Ramallah. The survey shows that more than half (57 percent ) of the people want Fayyad to serve as head of the unity government. Fayyad is popular even among some Hamas supporters, 20 percent of whom said they would like to see him as prime minister. Fayyad is the favorite candidate for prime minister of the transitional government among 78 percent of Fatah supporters.

For more, go to Haaretz.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • Will you accept the challenge?
  • In the six years since Dothan launched its relocation program, 8 families have made the jump — but will they stay? We went there to find out:
  • "Jewish Israelis and West Bank Palestinians are witnessing — and living — two very different wars." Naomi Zeveloff's first on-the-ground dispatch from Israel:
  • This deserves a whistle: Lauren Bacall's stylish wardrobe is getting its own museum exhibit at Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • How do you make people laugh when they're fighting on the front lines or ducking bombs?
  • "Hamas and others have dredged up passages form the Quran that demonize Jews horribly. Some imams rail about international Jewish conspiracies. But they’d have a much smaller audience for their ravings if Israel could find a way to lower the flames in the conflict." Do you agree with J.J. Goldberg?
  • How did Tariq Abu Khdeir go from fun-loving Palestinian-American teen to international icon in just a few short weeks? http://jd.fo/d4kkV
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.