Salam Fayyad speech in Washington D.C.

The New America Foundation has posted a Youtube video [found via a story by Matt Duss on The Wonk Room blog] of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad speaking to the group in Washington recently: .

Matt Duss’ piece here concentrates on Fayyad’s views on the issue of recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Duss includes a brief transcript of the relevant remarks, in which Fayyad mentions only the exchange of recognition between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, which was formally exchanged on the eve of the live event, broadcast worldwide from the White House lawn on 13 September 1993, when the U.S. then- President Bill Clinton hosted the late Yasser Arafat and the late Yitzhak Rabin for the formal signing the Declaration of Principles Olso Accords.

The transcript notes that Fayyad said (in response to a question — asked by Matt Duss himself, as it happens — at 49:25) that: “Actually we did a lot more than recognize Israel’s existence in 1993”:

    “It was a lot more profound than just recognizing Israel’s existence. We had recognized then Israel’s “right to exist in peace and security.” It’s a very high form of recognition, if you will. Mutual recognition among nations is typically not that way. Countries recognize each other, members of the United Nations, and life goes on. In this particular case, we Palestinians, through the PLO, acting on behalf of all Palestinian people, in the occupied Palestinian territory and everywhere, recognized Israel’s right to exist in peace and security.

    “In passing, let me tell you what we got in return at the time. You’d think that in return for this recognition, we’d have gotten recognition on the part of Israel, the government of Israel, of our right to statehood, as Palestinian people. I think it’s only logical to think that way. That wasn’t the case. If you actually review the so-called declaration…of mutual recognition, you will find that actually, on the Israeli side, it involved Israel recognizing the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people, that’s all. That is all. You recognize a country’s right to exist in peace and security, and the way that country chooses to define itself as a product of that country’s own internal political processes, I mean, that’s more than any country can be expected — we’re not even yet a country, and we’re not promised to be one in the context of that declaration — more than any country can be expected to offer”.

But there is much more…

For example:
*Fayyad said that he senses a sense of empowerment among the Palestinians which he is trying to encourage, after a long period of what he called “submissiveness”, hopelessness, passivity, and “defeatism”…
*Fayyad calls the Hamas rout of Fatah/Palestinian Preventive Security forces in Gaza, in mid-June 2007, a “terror event”…
*Fayyad speaks a lot about the goal being Palestinian “freedom”, and says at one point that his two-year state-implementation program will “not bring us our freedom but rather will bolster our chances of getting freedom, instead of just sitting on our hands and complaining…or crying”…
*Fayyad also speaks a lot about the “transformative power” of his two-year state-implementation program, and says things like “the transformative power of this program lies in its implementation”…
*Fayyad says, using a very American expression with apparent affection, that “a declaration of statehood is above my paygrade”, but says that his program is, instead, “about getting reading for statehood”, and adds that “I believe in the transformative powers of this project”…
*Fayyad says at one point that “one of our policies is dealing violence out of the picture entirely”…
*Fayyad says, near the end, that he wants to have “a significant Palestinian presence outside of the cities”, and adds that “this is necessary to bringing us to freedom and justice, peace and security — but not sufficient”…

[more coming later]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *