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Tag: Salam Fayyad

Stanley Fischer, Supported by Fayyad, Turned Down by IMF as Leader Candidate

Governor of the Bank of Israel, Stanley Fischer, is credited with assisting Israel through the 2008 global financial crisis; he is criticized for funding Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Recently, Mr. Fischer formally announced his candidacy to lead the International Monetary Fund. While the selection process is a political one, Mr. Fischer has received support from Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, who said:

“Were it purely professional it would be hard-pressed to find a better person than Fischer.”

Salam Fayyad disputed Palestinian Authority Prime Minister supported Mr. Fischer, saying the Israeli would make a ”great managing director” for the IMF and is:

“A superb human being…He is supremely qualified for the job. Indeed, it’s difficult to see how one can be more qualified…”

On a side note, Hamas has refused to recognize Fayyad, a political independent, as Prime Minister. Fayyad received his PhD in economics from the University of Texas, as well as working for the IMF in the 1980s; so he is a good man to ask.

As mentioned, the recently announced “reconciliation” between the government in the West Bank, led by Fatah and the terrorist group Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip is threatening Fayyad’s political status.

But Monday night Fischer was notified that his candidacy was disqualified because of his age, 67. IMF rules state the Managing Director must be under 65 when taking office for the five-year position. Fischer was hoping the IMF board would waive the restriction, saying it is “not relevant today.”

Fischer is in the second year of his second five-year term as the chariman of Israel’s bank. He was hoping to take over at the IMF for Dominique Strauss-Kahn of France, who resigned on May 14 after his arrest on charges of attempted rape of a maid in a New York hotel.

Fischer had this to say:

“I will proudly and happily continue in my role as Governor of the Bank of Israel, to deal with the challenges facing the Bank of Israel and the Israeli economy. I would like to thank the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance for their unconditional support when I decided to submit my candidacy, and for their expressed hope that I will continue to serve as the Governor of the Bank of Israel – as I shall happily do…”

The finance minister of France, Christine Lagarde, is considered to be the front-runner in the IMF race. The final decision will be made toward the end of the month.

Fischer was the thesis adviser to Ben Bernanke, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, when he was pursuing his doctorate in economics from MIT and is a former deputy managing director of the IMF.

Heart of a Lion!

Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Salam Fayyad, suffered a heart attack while visiting the United States for his son’s college graduation. An independent, Fatah recently joined forced with Hamas, who on April 28th had insisted on Fayyad’s departure.

Palestinian Prime MinisterThe Palestinians are demanding an end to Israeli occupation. The creation of a state recognized by the UN and the EU. The Palestinians are inspired by the Arab Spring. The Arab Spring is inspired by the need and desire of a middle class in Arab countries. Fayyad wants this for his own people, who live under occupation, whose economy is in shambles, yet he sends his son to university in the United States instead of one of the many Palestinian places of higher education.

The choices for a Palestinian with such opportunities to study in their own country are as follows:

In the Gaza Strip there is Al-Aqsa University, University College of Applied Sciences, Al-Azhar University, Al-Quds Open University, Islamic University of Gaza, Universal Studies Academy, Palestine Technical College, University of Palestine, Gaza University.

In the West Bank there is, Arab American University, Al-Quds Open University, Al-Quds University, An-Najah National University, Bethlehem Bible College, Bethlehem University, Birzeit University, Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, Hebron University, Ibrahimieh College, Khodori Institute and Tulkarm Palestine Polytechnic University.

Meanwhile, Fayyad is recovering and is expected to leave the Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas, later this week.

His spokesman says:

“Fayyad felt strong chest pain on Sunday and went to the hospital to be tested. He says Fayyad suffered a heart attack while in the hospital. Zakout says tests showed a blockage in a coronary artery. Doctors performed a catheterization to open the artery.”

Fayyad, a heavy smoker, has been prime minister since 2007. The political independent could lose his job as a result of a recent reconciliation agreement between political rivals Hamas and Fatah.

Fayyad studied at the American University in Beirut, Saint Edward’s University, and the University of Texas in Austin, where his son goes.

Cry Baby Cry

Now would be a great time for Israel to declare peace with the Palestinians. And a good enough time as any for Palestinians to declare statehood.

So I’ll do my part: “Peace with the Palestinians.” This does not change anything. As if extending a settlement freeze by two-months would ensure peace in the region. What would Fatah do with two-months? How about ten months? Time enough to plant more olive trees? Print more flags? Jews started construction on 600 new homes in the West Bank since the moratorium was jettisoned last month (with the help of Palestinian workers, ignoring the PA’s boycott). That is Jewish integrity.

Nevertheless, PA PM Salam Fayyad is headstrong. He sees Jewish integrity and it sparks a flame on his tongue; his game of semantics is putting words in the world’s mouth. He said:

“The deadline is next summer, when the Israeli occupation of the West Bank must end…In 2011, we will celebrate 66 years of the United Nations and the United Nations will celebrate the birth of our nation.”

He said that Palestinians

“need to build national institutions in the West Bank and prepare for an independent Palestinian state…The people of Gaza must be involved in our national project…There are gaps between us, it’s true, but the real gap is the wall that closes off the Strip. Next week, I will try to enter Gaza.”

He may enter Gaza; it will not protect Palestinians under Fatah from Hamas. It would not stop the flow of Iranian military-grade armaments from Nigeria to Hamas in Gaza. Or any similar activity.
Fayyad said that he will give Israel “one more year of grace…but these colonies can no longer be there. They are illegal everywhere; here and Jerusalem…If it is true that Israel is interested in peace, it must block the settlers.”

If it is true that the Palestinians want peace they will make more of an effort to condemn Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah. They will see Jewish integrity and it will inspire them. Thomas Friedman recently said on an interview with Channel 2 in Israel something like: Netanyahu expects the PA to learn the words to “HaTikvah” in perfect Yiddish. Well, Mr. Friedman, what would be wrong with that?

Someone said recently that Israel views UN advice, such as extending the moratorium as mere recommendations. Are they, in actuality, anything but mere recommendations? And ones which show a lack of understanding and empathy for Zionism at that!

The best thing Israel can do for the Palestinians, at this point, is to set an example by its ingenuity and integrity. When the Palestinians learn these positive traits, they will see progress towards real statehood. Until then, Fayyad is a crybaby.

See you in 2011…

The Test

construction of new apartments in the West BankPalestinian construction workers should be finding new work soon, as Bibi has authorized the construction of new apartments in the West Bank.

Is it:

a) To put Palestinian construction workers back to work

b) To house more Jews in Samaria…resuscitating the injured Zionist dream

c) To tell the Obama administration that Israel is NOT a territory of a Middle-Eastern American empire, and therefore under Uncle Sam’s jurisdiction, despite any amount of welcome donations, as Vice President Joe Biden arrives in the Holy Land for a piece of the Peace Talks with our Bibi and Mahmoud Abbas.

d) To deny Palestinians of their human rights

Only G-D knows!

There will be 112 new apartments in the Beitar Illit ultra-Orthodox settlement, known as the “The Torah city of the Judean Hills.”

In this action, the Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused Israel of trying to undermine the peace talks even before they began:

“If the Israeli government wants to sabotage Mitchell’s efforts by taking such steps, let’s talk to Mitchell about maybe not doing this (indirect talks) if the price is so high… put a big question mark on what it is that we came to do.”

The Palestinians presented the U.S. envoy with a document outlining their desired agreement: a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank, with minor border adjustments.
This is what Bibi said after speaking to Biden:

“I believe we will succeed in advancing the diplomatic process…But the diplomatic process is not a game, it is real, and rooted first and foremost in (Israel’s) security.”

Peace Now settlement expert, Hagit Ofran said:

“The Israeli government is welcoming the vice president by demonstrating, to our regret, that it has no genuine intention to advance the peace process.”

Hamas and other known trouble-makers, have condemned Abbas’ decision to renew talks, accusing moderate Palestinians of caving in to U.S. pressure.

On Monday Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad unveiled a $3.13 billion budget for 2010, about $80 million more than last year, funded by the international community. He said that after years of a conflict-driven downturn, Palestinian government revenues are up, partly due to economic growth projected at 7% this year. Fayyad also said he will more than triple spending on development projects to $667 million, in accordance with donor countries desiring to see more money earmarked for infrastructure, health and education.

Getting Ready for the Winter Freeze

On Wednesday Bibi, expecting that he will get cabinet approval, will announce a 10-month settlement construction freeze for the West Bank. A statement this week from the Prime Minister’s office said:

As part of our efforts to give impetus to peace talks with the Palestinian Authority and promote Israel’s comprehensive national interests, the prime minister will ask the security cabinet to approve a temporary suspension on construction permits for new residences and the [actual] start of new residential construction for a period of ten months.

Binyamin NetanyahuJewish settlement Construction in the West Bank, as most know, began in 1967 after defeating a Jordanian attack during the Six-Day War. Today there are more than a quarter of a million Israelis who live in these West Bank settlements.

The freeze will not include East Jerusalem – which is a thorny issue. Jews do not consider the area part of the West Bank settlements, whereas Palestinians say that it is exactly that. The freeze will also not apply to construction that has already been authorized, or to do work on public buildings which is deemed to conducive to normal life.

The Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told reporters in response to the statement by the Israeli camp, that a settlement freeze without halt in construction in Jerusalem is unacceptable. The Palestinians dream of having Jerusalem as the capital of their state.

Fayyad told reporters:

“What has changed to make something that what was not acceptable a week or 10 days ago [acceptable now]? The exclusion of Jerusalem is a very serious problem for us.”

Palestinian State within Two Years? Bibi: ‘No Comment’

This’ll be a tough one to swallow. As soon as I finished reading the report on Haaretz, I started laughing. Here’s why. The report began with a blanket statement that negotiations over a Palestinian state will begin next month on the basis of an understanding that a state will be established in two years’ time. The next sentence I read was “Palestinian and European Union sources told Haaretz that talks will initially focus on determining the permanent border…” Then I thought, “well, what about Israel? What did they tell Haaretz?”
 
Apparently…nothing. And then this sentence: “It is understood that this will be accompanied by a public American and European declaration that the permanent border will be based on the border of June 4, 1967.”
 
Public American and European declaration…what about Israel? I guess she just slipped their minds.

They finally get to Netanyahu and Israel somewhere in the next paragraph. Here’s what they say: “Likewise, Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, and that the Arab world embark on normalizing ties with Israel, will not constitute preconditions to an “early recognition” of Palestine.”
 
In other words, Israel is actually irrelevant, and her demands may as well be perfectly ignored. That’s what about Israel.
 
Shimon Peres, who by some amazingly weird miracle is somehow still involved in politics after losing every single election he ran for since the mid 80’s, called Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s plan to announce a de facto Palestinian State within two years, something worthy of a “Palestinian Ben Gurion”. 

As for Netanyahu’s opinion of Fayyad, Haaretz had this to say: “Netanyahu has not yet commented on Fayyad’s plan.”
 
With such overwhelming consensus, we can definitely afford to say, “Well, uh…sure, maybe this time it’ll work.”

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