Why the Palestinian Prime Minister Says He Won’t Go Away

Opinions about events beyond our borders.
June 22 2012 6:03 PM

“I'm Not Going To Go Away”

An interview with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

(Continued from Page 2)

L.W.: So you don't see movement toward a two-state solution?

S.F.: It has been very difficult over the past two years. We have been stuck over the issue of continued settlement expansion, with that being a major obstruction to a resumption of talks. In this most recent round of activity, an effort is being exerted to see if there are some possibilities. I think to try is better than not to.

L.W.: Do you worry about Syria?

S.F.: Of course. The tragedy in Syria is the slaughtering of the people and the bloodshed. But there are ramifications that extend beyond Syria.

L.W.: What would you like to see the United States do?


S.F.: Many people think it is a matter of days or weeks for [President Bashar al-]Assad to go. What they don't think about is the world as he himself sees it. You are not looking at someone who thinks his days are numbered, or else he wouldn't be doing what he is doing. You are looking at someone who thinks that he has a shot at survival. And on good days, he thinks that he actually will survive. You ask yourself why, in a regime and a country where all this bloodshed is taking place, is there someone who still thinks they can make it? The answer lies in capitals like Moscow. Russia and China have prevented a consensus from forming at the Security Council. In this case, as in the case of Iran, the United States should spend more time thinking about what it should do to factor in Russia's desire to be treated like the Soviet Union once was. Russia needs to be engaged by the U.S.

The Palestinian Authority has had financial problems this year. There is a shortfall in external assistance from the region—not from the United States or Europe. It's not that we got nothing—there is just a shortfall.

L.W.: I heard you worked out a bridge loan with Stan Fischer, governor of the Bank of Israel?

S.F.: A meeting of the donor community happens twice a year; this time it was in Europe. I was given the floor, and I said, "We came here with a very deep financial crisis, and it is paralyzing us." I said either countries that have lived up to their pledges, like the European Union and the United States, could increase their contributions, which I know is not easy, or the region needs to come up with more money. Or the international community could make it possible for us to borrow money from the [International Monetary Fund] since we are undertaking an adjustment program that, if we were a country, would definitely qualify [us] for that kind of loan. But because we are not a member of the IMF, we don't have access to these funds. There must be something you can do. We are still pursuing it.

L.W.: You will really leave the government in such a dire situation?

S.F.: I am not going to go away. This is a dream for me. I don't have to be in government to pursue it and support it. It extends well beyond being in any position.

L.W.: So you will be back?

S.F.: I'm not going to go away.

L.W.: And maybe the Hamas-Fatah deal will never be made.

S.F.: Speculation now is that there will be difficulties. The problem that is often overlooked is that this on-again, off-again reconciliation produces a sense of transiency about the [Palestinian Authority]. Here's a government that is about to go. How are banks going to extend loans to us if they think we are not going to be in office next week? It produces a state of uncertainty. I am all for resolving this and deciding it in a swift way. This state of separation can be ended in only one way: elections. That's how this should be decided. Whatever the election outcome, it should be respected.

L.W.: You would run in the elections?

S.F.: I am not ruling it out. If I rate my prospects as reasonable, I will try my hand. I think it is doable.


Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Uh-Oh. The World’s Oceans Have Broken Their All-Time Heat Record.

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company


How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

The NFL Should Lose Its Tax-Exempt Status, Which It Never Should Have Had Anyway

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Sept. 18 2014 6:52 PM Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters  Colorado Democrats and Republicans are testing theories for reaching women that will resonate far beyond the Rocky Mountains.  
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
Sept. 18 2014 4:15 PM Reactions to a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Reveal Transmisogyny
  Double X
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.