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A New Solution - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Inasmuch as the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories seems bleak as a result of the ongoing barbarism and terrorism practiced by Israel, we should keep hope alive, as this is very important.

It seems that the Palestinian leadership is being held back and is stuck between the “weakness” of President Mahmoud Abbas and deterioration of his political performance and between the stubbornness of Hamas and handing over its administration to other powers that clearly rule over it, which is no longer a secret.

A ray of hope shines from the direction of the administration of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. This man has devoted himself to improving the political performances and efficiency of the Palestinian Authority’s executive apparatus, as well as trying to realize the demands of the state and its citizens with limited sources and means. This is because Salam Fayyad wants to accomplish another idea; the idea of a “developed state.”

Salam Fayyad’s project, which surpasses peace talks and armed resistance, is an idea that relies fundamentally on [the concept that] the Palestinians develop their own executive performances to prove to the world that they are able to run the affairs of their state by themselves. In order to do that, the Palestinians must concentrate on building their own different institutions required by any modern state and to run them with efficiency, honesty, transparency and responsibility. These are the requirements of the modern, democratic, pluralist, city state, as is well known.

Salam Fayad did not stop at this administrative roadmap; he gave himself the difficult and important task of fighting corruption – which has increased significantly – and developing and improving security and generally working to improve the notion of good governance in accordance with international standards and norms. Fayyad believes, (and he is completely right to do so), that if the Palestinians are successful in this regard then they will defeat any view that opposes the idea of an independent Palestinian state.

Salam Fayyad’s project deserves strong support because in it there is a great deal of “good” for the Palestinians themselves and this is the crux of the matter.

What’s strange about this is that this project is nothing new; it is the same project that David Ben Gurion, the founder of the state of Israel, embarked upon when he focused on developing administrations and institutions that came to form the core of the Israeli government. This meant the British Mandate and after that the UN were facing the real thing and they consequently “accepted” recognizing the state of Israel.

However, the major and important difference (and the biggest challenge facing Salam Fayyad in this regard) is that Israel found extraordinary support in major states such as Britain, the United States of America, and then Russia.

Today Salam Fayyad is getting modest support from the European market which can be built upon. But the biggest threat comes from the extremist [Avigdor] Lieberman, the Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs, who “understands” the significance of Salam Fayyad’s plan and promised that he would not allow it to be implemented. He will change the reality on the ground (as he is a foolish and extremist man and will certainly take action based on that). The European market and the Arab League alone will not be able to support the Palestinian Authority and the Prime Minister’s project. They do not have the capability to confront the terrorism of the Israeli government itself. As a result, there is the option of internationalizing Fayyad’s “project” – in the same way as other projects in other parts of the world such as East Timor and Kosovo – to ensure non-interference [from other parties] and to put a stop to abuses.

I believe that there is an international climate that is conducive to supporting such a project that guarantees a dignified life [for the Palestinians] and development of the Palestinian state and deterring Israel even slightly.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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