Well – The expectations of the peace process are back in full force as tonight Israel's Foreign Minister has announced that he expects the so-called proximity talks with the Palestinians to begin in two weeks.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and not the President Mahmud Abbas, seems to be the unsuspecting catalyst perhaps.
Mr. Fayyad has been called by some Israeli's as one who can be counted on. If fact one Israeli media outlet said, “there is a chance that he will achieve for the Palestinians something similar to what Ben-Gurion achieved for the Jews.”
Fayyad, appears deeply convinced that terrorism is not the way forward for Palestinians. This comes from the idea that terrorism, and particularly that which emulates from Palestinians, is the Israelis' most effective weapon.
But Mr. Fayyad is not all ideology. He is out for the photo shots at every opportunity. He grants interviews and has won both international and local praise for the building up of the Palestinian economy, it's institutions, and government.
He has also pushed his vision for peace against the odds by saying he will declare unilaterally a Palestinian State. This puts him at odd with his boss President Abbas. Indeed Fayyad is worrisome to the ruling Fatah Party because of his increasing popularity and growing trust among the Palestinians on the street. And while he has stated he is not interested in becoming President – most would say he does a better job than the current one – and Fatah knows that with no clear successor in site for Mr. Abbas, they could see themselves loose their influenced to the non-aligned Fayyad.
Middle East Correspondent