Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Fayyad Says PA Is Helpless Due to Israeli
By Khalid Amayreh
in occupied Jerusalem
PIC, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, February 6, 2012
Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has
admitted that his government was being crippled by Israeli restrictions .
Speaking during a Nablus celebration marking the Prophet Muhammed's birthday
on 4 January, Fayyad said "it is no secret that we are functioning under the
most difficult situation due to Israeli restrictions and debilitating
"We are under Israeli military occupation. We are not free
to do what we want."
Fayyad appealed to an unhearing international
community to pressure Israel to comply with United Nations resolutions,
including freezing settlement expansion, stopping land seizure as well as
putting an end to the systematic ethnic cleansing pursued by Israel against
the Palestinian people.
The appointed Prime Minister who enjoys
western backing has been forecasting pessimistic news with regard to
economic conditions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This includes the
need to impose more taxes, growing poverty, and a widening gap between rich
and poor layers of society.
The overall living conditions in Occupied
Palestine have deteriorated markedly in recent months, forcing many
Palestinian families to slash their spending significantly due to high
prices, hyper inflation, shrinking income and an unrelenting increase in the
prices of basic commodities, including food, fuel and housing.
families have been forced to take their children out of college because they
can no longer afford to pay tuitions.
Unfortunately, many of the
students forced out of college due to their inability to pay tuitions head
for Jewish settlements for employment. A few years ago, oil-rich Arab
nations, such as Kuwait , Saudi Arabia , and the United Arab Emirates used
to generously subsidize Palestinian universities, enabling poor students to
stay in college and complete their courses.
Now, however, it seems
that college education is available only for those who can pay. It is
unclear if this trend is part of the austerity measures the PA regime is
asked to carry out in deference to International Bank's instructions or
symptoms of the harsh worldwide economic and financial crisis which is
crippling economies around the globe.
Needless to say, in other
countries economic and financial measures may rectify the crisis. However,
in occupied Palestine , the fact of Israeli occupation makes it virtually
impossible for the PA to pursue any genuine economic activity unhindered by
Indeed, free economic activities and a foreign military
occupation are an oxymoron, since Israel , not the PA, controls the border
crossings, the export-import movement as well as the most basic operations
such as traffic and access. Some experts in macro economics describe as
"original sin" PA efforts to bring in investments and build various projects
while the Palestinians were agonizing under Israeli military occupation.
A few years ago, the PA seemed to have underestimated and downplayed the
crippling Israeli factor, preferring to pursue economic planning as if the
occupation didn't exist nor had only minimal effect on Palestinian economic
The PA thought then that a combination of
artificially-induced economic momentum and international pressure would
eventually force Israel to allow for a semblance of normal economic
activities in the West Bank.
Some naïve and short-sighted PA
operatives even began speaking of high percentages of growth, ignoring the
fact that the growth they were talking bout was disingenuous and highly
artificial since it was subject to Israeli whims and mood.
the point, the PA officialdom overlooked the fact that their entire fiscal
policy was subservient to Israel if only because the PA had no Palestinian
currency of its own and had to use the Israeli currency, the Shekel.
Fayyad, a secular-minded politician, warned against endangering PA
achievements, including in the security fields, saying that Palestinians
ought to seek inspiration from the Prophet of Islam.
He said he
didn't conceive of sound economic policies without internalizing the
prophetic values in the economic process, including social justice, just
distribution of the burdens of occupation.
While Fayyad spoke
elaborately about steadfastness in the face of the occupation, much of what
he said didn't go beyond the realm of rhetoric.
For example, he
ignored the fact that despite verbal support for Palestinian statehood by
the United States and European Union, the international community remained
more or less silent vis-à-vis the eradication by Israel of all remaining
realistic prospects for the creation of viable and territorially contiguous
Many serious Palestinian intellectuals argued
rather convincingly a few years ago against pursuing grand economic plans
while the country was still completely dominated by the Israeli occupation.
They argued that in the final analysis, the Palestinians would neither
obtain a prosperous economy nor achieve political freedom due to the stupid
policy of placing the cart in front of the horse.
leaders, including Mr. Fayyad, allowed their economic and financial vagaries
to have a priority over political realities. They argued that one ought to
look at the full half of the proverbial glass.
numerous Palestinians gave Fayyad, et al, the benefit of the doubt, thinking
that the U.S. , whose policies and politics, are tightly controlled by
Jewish pressure groups, would shower the occupied territories with dollar to
the point of transforming Palestine into Dubai or Qatar .
gullible Palestinians didn't have to be economic geniuses to realize the
extent of their delusions. They could only watch the nearest Israeli
roadblock or checkpoint to realize that the final say pertaining to all
matters in occupied Palestine didn't really belong to the PA, but to Israel
Fayyad may not be an evil man, or a traitor, or ignoramus. But I
sincerely think that he had underestimated the mendaciousness, nefariousness
and maliciousness of Israel in claiming that it would grant the Palestinian
people the liberty they deserve. Well, since when liberty is granted on a
silver platter? Even the Americans, Israel's guardian allies, say in their
folklore "give me freedom or give me death."
Moreover, there is no
doubt that Mr. Fayyad had also overestimated the goodwill and resolve of the
international community to put an end to decades of Nazi-like oppression
meted out to the Palestinians on no account other than the fact that Jews
were mistreated and persecuted in Europe and someone, somewhere had to pay
the price for whatever befell them.