West Bank riots - and another opportunity is missed

By Alan Johnson, September 13, 2012
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Travelling through the West Bank this week with a Bicom delegation of new media leaders, the backdrop to our meetings has been tyres burning in Hebron, roads blocked in Nablus and hundreds of protesters waving pitta in Ramallah.

The Palestinians are angry about the high cost of living, and the target of that anger is Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

When I was in Ramallah 18 months ago, all the talk was of “Fayyadism” — a new philosophy of nation-building that was backed by a grateful international community.

This time the buzz is about whether he is about to resign. Tawfik Tarawi, a Fatah central committee member, blames Mr Fayyad for the PA’s economic crisis.

Israel’s response has been to rush an advance payment of NIS 250 million to the PA.

One looks at the assault on Mr Fayyad and it is impossible not to be reminded of the quip of former Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban: “The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

Last updated: 4:15pm, September 13 2012