Once again, outside interference in Palestinian affairs caused severe harm to Palestinians, and also set back the very ambitions those outsiders wished to advance.
For at least the past year, Professor Nathan Brown has been putting forth a nuanced view of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad with the goal of trying to break the
Western infatuation with him while trying not to blame the man himself.
It’s an important mission.
Brown sells Fayyad a little short in some ways, but his purpose is to break the mystical aura.
Still, we should note that there have been real accomplishments under Fayyad.
It’s true, for example, that the so-called “economic revival” in Ramallah has been vastly overstated, and even the extent to which it is real is mostly attributable to foreign aid and the lifting of some travel restrictions by Israel. But in the imaginary world where there’s even a possibility of a Palestinian state, its economy is going to require large amounts of external aid for some time, and Fayyad was instrumental in modeling what that early success could look like. Continue reading