Salam Fayyad

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Salam Fayyad
سلام فياض
Salam Fayyad (cropped).jpg
Prime Minister of PNA
Disputed
In office
15 June 2007 – 6 June 2013
President Mahmoud Abbas
Preceded by Ismail Haniyeh*
Succeeded by Rami Hamdallah
Personal details
Born (1951-04-02) 2 April 1951 (age 65)
Deir al-Ghusun, West Bank
Political party Third Way
Alma mater American University of Beirut
St Edward's University
University of Texas, Austin
Religion Islam

Salam Fayyad (Arabic: سلام فياض‎‎, Salām Fayāḍ; born 2 April 1951) is a Palestinian politician and former Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority and Finance Minister.

He was Finance Minister from June 2002 to November 2005 and from March 2007 to May 2012. Fayyad was Prime Minister between June 2007 and June 2013.

Fayyad resigned from the cabinet in November 2005 to run as founder and leader of the new Third Way party for the legislative elections of 2006. The party was not successful, and Fayyad returned as Finance Minister in the March 2007 Unity Government. Fayyad's first appointment as Prime Minister on 15 June 2007, which was justified by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on the basis of "national emergency", was not confirmed by the Palestinian Legislative Council.[1] His successor, Rami Hamdallah, was named on 2 June 2013.[2]

Fayyad was popular in the West for his reform of the financial system within the Palestinian Authority.

Early life and education[edit]

Salam Fayyad was born in Deir al-Ghusun in northern West Bank on 2 April 1951. He graduated from the American University of Beirut in 1975[3] and received his MBA from St. Edward's University in 1980.[4] Fayyad has a PhD in economics, which he received from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a student of William Barnett and did early research on the American Divisia Monetary Aggregates, which he continued on the staff of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Career[edit]

Meeting George W. Bush, 2008

Fayyad began his teaching career at Yarmouk University in Jordan. He then worked at the World Bank in Washington from 1987-1995 and from 1996 to 2001 as the International Monetary Fund's representative to Palestine based in Jerusalem.[5]

Fayyad served as the regional manager of the Arab Bank in the West Bank and Gaza until he accepted an offer to become Yasser Arafat's Finance Minister in the Palestinian Authority Government of June 2002. He held this post until November 2005, when he resigned from the cabinet to run as founder and leader of the new Third Way party in the legislative elections of 2006 alongside Hanan Ashrawi and Yasser Abd Rabbo.[6] The party yielded little success and only Fayyad and Ashrawi won their seats with only 2.41% of the popular vote. On 17 March 2007, Fayyad was again appointed Finance Minister, this time in the Fatah-Hamas unity government.

On 15 June 2007, following Hamas' takeover of Gaza, Fayyad was appointed Prime Minister of a disputed emergency government, appointed by President Abbas. It was a government without any Fatah or Hamas members, supported by Fatah, Israel and the West. This appointment was challenged as illegal, because it was not approved by the Legislative Council as required by the Palestinian Basic Law.[7][8]

End February 2009, Hamas and Fatah started a new round of talks in Cairo. On 7 March 2009, Salam Fayyad submitted his resignation to pave the way for the formation of a national unity government.[9] Eventually, the negotiations broke down. On 19 May 2009, Fayyad was reappointed as PM in a new government without Hamas.[10]

On 14 February 2011, Fayyad tendered his government's resignation, two days after PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat had resigned over the leakage of the Palestine Papers, and one day after Abbas had unilaterally called for elections before September, without approval by Hamas.[11] Abbas immediately asked Fayyad to form a new cabinet.[12] Both, Fatah and Hamas declared themselves against the plan of Fayyad to form a unity government.[13] On 4 May, however, Abbas and Khaled Meshal signed the Cairo agreement to form a transitional government of technocrats to prepare for legislative and presidential elections. In June, the negotiations were postponed indefinitely and Abbas changed the focus on a bid for UN recognition for Palestinian statehood in September 2011, instead of forming a unity government.[14] Abbas expressed his concern over a government with any Hamas involvement because of the international opposition to such a government.[15] Pending further Fatah–Hamas negotiations, Fayyad remained PM of the caretaker government.

Following the February 2012 Doha agreement and the successive May 2012 Cairo accord, which also failed to be implemented, Mahmoud Abbas asked Fayyad to form a new Cabinet, without Hamas’ involvement.[16] On 16 May 2012, a reshuffled Cabinet saw the light.[17] Fayyad gave up his post as Finance Minister in favour of Nabeel Kassis. The PA faced an estimated financing gap of about $500 million. Eight new ministers were added to the new 21-member cabinet, while two ministers were replaced.[17]

On 3 March 2013, Finance Minister Kassis resigned amid deepening economic malaise in the West Bank. The PA faced a huge budget deficit due to insufficient donor funds and financial sanctions regularly imposed by Israel to punish them, and salary payments for some 150,000 PA employees were delayed. Kassis also questioned the state-building agenda adopted by the PA under Fayyad's leadership.[18] On 13 April 2013, PM Fayyad resigned again. Abbas accepted his resignation but asked him to remain as interim prime minister of the Palestinian Authority until a new government could be formed.[19] He resigned because of political differences between him and Abbas over economic policy.[20] On 6 June 2013, Fayyad was replaced by Rami Hamdallah, who became PM of the Palestinian Authority Governments of 2013.

Reform plans, Fayyadism[edit]

Between 2007 and 2013, Fayyad introduced as Prime Minister some national reform plans, in media sometimes referred to as "Fayyadism".[21] In 2008, he launched his "Palestinian Reform and Development Plan 2008–2010", a West Bank First strategy, aimed to isolate and weaken Hamas in Gaza by developing the West Bank over Gaza, in compliance with American and Israeli desires. It was based on both firm control by the PA security and a market-based (some would say neoliberal) economic agenda. In 2009 followed the Reform and Development Plan, called "Palestine: Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State". In 2011, he introduced the subsequent National Development Plan 2011–2013: Establishing the State, Building our Future.[22]

A major component of Fayyad's plans was modernizing and professionalizing of the Palestinian Security Services under the banner of ‘One Homeland, One Flag, and One Law’.[22]

2009–2010 reform plans[edit]

On 23 August 2009, Fayyad came out with a plan to reform of the fundamental infrastructures of a Palestinian State, called "Palestine: Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State", in which he detailed a two-year working plan for reinforcing the institutions of the future Palestinian State.[23] This included, among other elements, a separation of powers, a free market, the development of existing infrastructure, and the building of new infrastructure such as government offices, a stock market, and an airport, all with the purpose of establishing a "de facto Palestinian State," based on the premise that the peace talks with Israel were faltering.[24][25]

In October 2010, The New York Review of Books published an article by Nathan Thrall on Fayyad’s security strategy. At the center are “special battalions” of the National Security Forces (NSF), referred to by Hamas as “the Dayton forces”. The officer in charge of the vetting, training, equipping, and strategic planning of these special battalions was Lieutenant General Keith Dayton, the United States security coordinator (USSC) for Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Security cooperation between Israel and Palestine reached unprecedented levels in the West Bank. Together they have largely disbanded Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, attacked Islamic Jihad groups, and all but eliminated Hamas’s social institutions, financial arrangements, and military activities in the West Bank.[26]

Views of Salam Fayyad[edit]

Views on Palestinian statehood

Fayyad has rejected calls for a binational state and unilateral declaration of statehood:

"[Statehood] is not something that is going to happen to the Israelis, nor something that is going to happen to the Palestinians.... is something that will grow on both sides as a reality... creating a belief that this was inevitable through the process, a convergence of two paths, the political and the process, from the bottom up and the top down."[27]

On 29 June 2011, in contravention of the Palestinian Authority's official position, and that of president Mahmoud Abbas, Fayyad expressed skepticism about its approach to the United Nations for a vote on statehood, saying it would be only a symbolic victory.[28]

Views on religion

In 2007, Fayyad was quoted by Forbes:[29]

"It's the responsibility of men of religion to ... present religion as a way of tolerance, not as a cover for bloodshed."

Opinions about Salam Fayyad[edit]

Fayyad won international and domestic approval for his management of the West Bank. The World Bank credited him with making substantial improvements in Palestinian state institutions.[30]

Thomas Friedman, an American columnist, praised Fayyad for trying to build functioning institutions of a Palestinian state, and not focusing on Israel. Unlike Yasser Arafat, Fayyad "calls for the opposite — for a nonviolent struggle, for building non corrupt transparent institutions and effective police and paramilitary units, which even the Israeli Army says are doing a good job; and then, once they are all up and running, declare a Palestinian state in the West Bank by 2011."[31]

Fayyad was popular in the West and in Israel for his reform of the financial system within the Palestinian Authority, his moderate attitude and his loyal[citation needed] cooperation with Israel. He has been much less popular among the Palestinians, precisely for his collaboration with Israel, the occupying power of Palestine. He has condemned violence against Israel as detrimental to Palestinian national aspirations, stated that Palestinian refugees could be resettled not in Israel but in a future Palestinian state, and suggested that this state would offer citizenship to Jews.[26]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Palestinian PM: Ready to leave post once new premier is chosen". Global Times. 20 November 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Abbas Tasks Rami Hamdallah to Form New Palestinian Govt.". Naharnet. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Kershner, Isabel. "Salam Fayyad". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ 1980 MBA Graduate of St. Edward's University
  5. ^ Profile: Salam Fayyad. BBC, 17 June 2007
  6. ^ Palestinian third way rises. Ilene R. Prusher, CS Monitor, 13 December 2005
  7. ^ Whose Coup Exactly?, The Electronic Intifada, 18 June 2007
  8. ^ TEXT-Opinion of lawyer who drafted Palestinian law. Reuters, 8 July 2007
  9. ^ Palestinian PM Fayyad steps down. BBC NEWS, 7 March 2009
  10. ^ Palestinians Reappoint Prime Minister Who Had Quit. New York Times, 19 May 2009
  11. ^ Abbas calls for Palestinian polls. Al Jazeera, 13 February 2011
  12. ^ Abbas asks Fayyad to form new government. Ma’an/AFP, 14 February 2011
  13. ^ Fatah says no to unity government with Hamas. Khaled Abu Toamah, Jerusalem Post, 27 February 2011
  14. ^ Mahmoud Abbas signals intent to bid for UN recognition for Palestinian statehood. Telegraph, 26 June 2011
  15. ^ Abbas might delay Palestinian unity government. Associated Press, 30 June 2011
  16. ^ Palestinian Authority premier Salam Fayyad gives up finance post. Las Angeles Times, 16 May 2012
  17. ^ a b Fayyad replaced as finance minister in reshuffle. JMCC, 16 May 2012
  18. ^ PA's finance minister quits as West Bank economy worsens. Hugh Naylor, The National, 3 March 2013
  19. ^ Kershner, Isabel (13 April 2013). "Palestinian Prime Minister Resigns, Adding Uncertainty to Government". The New York Times. 
  20. ^ Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad resigns. BBC, 13 April 2013
  21. ^ Comment: Fayyad boosts Palestinian cause. Tobias Buck, The Financial Times, 12 April 2010
  22. ^ a b The Evolution and Reform of Palestinian Security Forces 1993-2013, see p. 11, notes 8, 9 and PA references. Alaa Tartir, Stability: International Journal of Security & Development, 4(1): 46, pp. 1–20, 2015. HTML version
  23. ^ Fayyad fears for economic achievements. Al Bawaba, 5 September 2011
  24. ^ Ali Waked, תוכנית פיאד: פלסטין דמוקרטית וקפיטליסטית, Yediot Ahronot, 25 August 2009
  25. ^ Avi Yisasharof, ראש הממשלה הפלסטיני, סלאם פיאד: מדינה דה-פקטו בתוך שנתיים, Haaretz, August 2009
  26. ^ a b Our Man in Palestine. Nathan Thrall, The New York Review of Books, 14 October 2010
  27. ^ Friedson, Felice. "Fayyad rejects bi-natio..". JPost. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  28. ^ Ravid, Barak (28 June 2011). "Palestinian PM: UN recognition of state will just be symbolic victory". Haaretz. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  29. ^ Fayyad Warns Islamic Preachers. Forbes, 29 June 2007
  30. ^ "Reports See Fiscal Woes Undermining Palestinians". New York Times. 12 September 2009. 
  31. ^ Friedman, Thomas L. (17 March 2010). "Let's Fight Over a Big Plan". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]

Articles


Political offices
Preceded by
Ismail Haniyeh
Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority
Prime Minister of the State of Palestine

2007–2013
Succeeded by
Rami Hamdallah