Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad may be a good man with good intentions, but those who think that he will be able to persuade the Palestinians to make peace with Israel are deluding themselves.Fayyad's problem is a symptom of a deeper issue.
In Palestinian culture, it is more important if one graduates from an Israeli prison than from the University of Texas at Austin.
Fayyad never spent a day in an Israeli jail. Nor did he or any of his sons take an active role in the “struggle” against Israel.
In Prospects for Peace with the Palestinians (PDF), Max Singer writes:
It is useful to think of the Palestinians as engaged in an internal debate between those who favor keeping the goal of eliminating Israel and those who favor giving up that goal to gain peace and prosperity. Peace can be achieved only when the second group is dominant. The debate depends on two issues. Is there any realistic hope that Israel can really be defeated? Would it be honorable to make peace with Israel? The international movement to delegitimize Israel provides Palestinians the hope of eventually destroying Israel, and Palestinian leadership denial of the existence of a Jewish People with an ancient connection to the Land of Israel contradicts the basis of an honorable peace with Israel. If peace is to have a chance, Western leaders need to disabuse the Palestinians of both fallacies.Based on Fayyad's credibility problem with the Palestinians, it would appear we are not there yet.
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