Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Silvan Shalom: Fayyad Obstacle to Peace, Wants to Replace Abbas
Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom told the Herzliya Conference on Monday that Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Fayyad’s about-face is "an obstacle to peace," and occured because he is currying favor with Fatah with the goal of replacing Mahmoud Abbas.
“Fayyad would like to replace Abbas and wants the support of activists in Fatah," Shalom said, "and that is why he is not willing to engage with Israel even though he knows this would help the PA economy."
Fayyad began his term as Prime Minister eager to cooperate with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s plan for “economic peace” that would provide the PA with stability to support an independent state in the future. But, Shalom said, Fayyad’s attitude has recently changed for the worse. “I have met with him many times, and he was willing to make moves for peace," Shalom told the annual conference on national affairs. "He has changed his attitude because he is under pressure for not being part of Fatah and for being suspected of being an American agent.”
The Vice Prime Minister pointed out that Fayyad (at left in ) recently appeared at a bonfire where he helped burn tens of thousands of dollars ophotof Jewish goods from Judea and Samaria, stating that the PA is boycotting them. “He knows that 25,000 Arabs work in Judea and Samaria, so something else is behind this move,” Shalom explained.
He also revealed that he recently met with a PA trade minister, who was immediately forced to quit, indicating a general refusal by Fayyad as well as Abbas to resume talks with Israel.
Shalom charged that the PA is “putting on a front of making concessions without making any real ones. What needs to be done is for the Americans to say to them, ‘Do you want peace or just the process?’
“I think it is too late. The PA does not want anything positive.”