Departure of Palestinian prime minister leaves Obama peacemaking in tatters

Leo Rennert
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has called it quits.  His resignation has been accepted by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.  And with Fayyad gone, the Obama administration has suffered a huge setback in its peace-making efforts -- a quixotic undertaking to begin with.  Now there definitely is no serious or even halfway dependable Palestinian leader left with whom to kick-start negotiations.

Fayyad, with his Western finance credentials, was the latest Washington hope for resumption of peace talks. Twenty-four hours before Fayyad and Abbas officially parted ways, Secretary of State John Kerry telephoned Fayyad in a last-ditch effort to get him to rescind his resignation.  Kerry implored Fayyad not to go.  It proved futile.

This is a bitter pill for Kerry to swallow.  But he only has himself to blame.  Self-delusion never has been a promising foundation for genuine peace-making

Following up on President Obama's recent trip to Jerusalem and Ramallah, Kerry had started his own shuttle diplomacy, seeking to build a modicum of halfway-stable relations between Israel and the Palestinians -- with the lure of a Kerry bag of economic aid to the Palestinian Authority.  Now, there's nobody left on the Palestinian side to use such dollars for their intended purpose.  Abbas presides over a corrupt kleptocracy.

Fayyad had ingratiated himself with the Obama administration by building a small semblance of governmental institutions in pursuit of statehood.  Fayyad out of the picture leaves the Palestinians with proto-emperors without clothes.

The Fayyad-Abbas feud was an open secret for a long time.  Even as a Western-revered prime minister, Fayyad had few, if any, domestic cards to play.  His problem was that he lacked any real political base.  Leaders of Abbas's Fatah movement hated him, and the Hamas regime in Gaza called him a Western stooge.

He was a thin reed on which to base efficacious peace talks.  And now he's gone, leaving the Obama administration's gung-ho push for a two-state solution without a political/diplomatic leg to stand on.

Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief if McClatchy Newspapers.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has called it quits.  His resignation has been accepted by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.  And with Fayyad gone, the Obama administration has suffered a huge setback in its peace-making efforts -- a quixotic undertaking to begin with.  Now there definitely is no serious or even halfway dependable Palestinian leader left with whom to kick-start negotiations.

Fayyad, with his Western finance credentials, was the latest Washington hope for resumption of peace talks. Twenty-four hours before Fayyad and Abbas officially parted ways, Secretary of State John Kerry telephoned Fayyad in a last-ditch effort to get him to rescind his resignation.  Kerry implored Fayyad not to go.  It proved futile.

This is a bitter pill for Kerry to swallow.  But he only has himself to blame.  Self-delusion never has been a promising foundation for genuine peace-making

Following up on President Obama's recent trip to Jerusalem and Ramallah, Kerry had started his own shuttle diplomacy, seeking to build a modicum of halfway-stable relations between Israel and the Palestinians -- with the lure of a Kerry bag of economic aid to the Palestinian Authority.  Now, there's nobody left on the Palestinian side to use such dollars for their intended purpose.  Abbas presides over a corrupt kleptocracy.

Fayyad had ingratiated himself with the Obama administration by building a small semblance of governmental institutions in pursuit of statehood.  Fayyad out of the picture leaves the Palestinians with proto-emperors without clothes.

The Fayyad-Abbas feud was an open secret for a long time.  Even as a Western-revered prime minister, Fayyad had few, if any, domestic cards to play.  His problem was that he lacked any real political base.  Leaders of Abbas's Fatah movement hated him, and the Hamas regime in Gaza called him a Western stooge.

He was a thin reed on which to base efficacious peace talks.  And now he's gone, leaving the Obama administration's gung-ho push for a two-state solution without a political/diplomatic leg to stand on.

Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief if McClatchy Newspapers.