Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Carnegie Endowment on Fayyad and Fatah:
"Are Palestinians Building a State?"
Key Conclusions

-Government circumventing democracy. The unaccountable governing process that Fayyad has had to invent is not just postponing a democratic system—it is actively denying it.

-Isolated successes do not create rule of law. The increasing number of cases seen and submitted to the courts indicates growing efficiency and confidence, but security services continue to act outside the law under the guise of cracking down on Hamas.

-Lack of institution building. While Fayyad’s cabinet has managed to make a few existing institutions more effective and less corrupt, there has been regression in other governing bodies. Palestinian civil society is showing signs of decay as well. Ironically, there was more institution building and civil society development under Yasser Arafat than there has been since the West Bank-Gaza split in 2007.

-Disillusionment increasing among Palestinians. Popular support for Fayyad is growing but he still has no organized base. And Palestinians are increasingly cynical about the prospects for long-term development.

-Fatah is in disarray. The party remains bitterly divided. Party leaders recently forced Fayyad’s cabinet to cancel local elections when Fatah could not organize itself on time.

"Abbas eyes Nobel Peace Prize"

also, Foreign Policy
Taking the unusual step of actively campaigning for the award, Abbas has reportedly sent mediators to persuade the committee to award him the honor and seems to be circumventing the most direct (and much harder) route toward the prize -- creating peace.
[Links from Arabist, and AA]

And again for comparison, from The Crown Center at Brandeis:
Hamas Rule in Gaza: Three Years On
More from Helena Cobban
The author the the report, Yezid Sayigh of Kings College London, from earlier this year.

update wed: Ethan Bronner on Gaza, today and one month ago. Very different tone but needless to say, he wasn't there himself in either case.
More on Bronner and the Times

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