Fayyad’s Last Stand?
1:40 PM, Sep 25, 2012 • By JONATHAN SCHANZER
That’s why some Palestinians speculate that regime loyalists organized anti-Fayyad rallies. While they were not exactly “rent-a-rallies,” pro-Fatah chants were prevalent. And as Hugh Naylor of The National notes, the anti-Fayyad protests seemed to last a lot longer than other demonstrations decrying the PA and its policies.
Senior Palestinian officials have stood by Fayyad in public, including longtime senior PLO figure Nabil Shaath and even Abbas, But Abbas and Fayyad are both public faces of a failed government, which Palestinians rightfully view has having fallen short of its sole mandate -- to negotiate a final status agreement with Israel and create a Palestinian state.
Abbas recently threatened to quit, but quickly stepped back from the brink. Fayyad may be another story. Some insiders believe that he is trying to buy time before he quits on his own terms. With few leaders prepared to continue his important institution-building program, Fayyad’s departure would be a harsh setback for the Palestinian cause.
Jonathan Schanzer is vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and author of Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine (Palgrave 2008).