Hey, remember a couple of weeks ago when the Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said that in the absence of negotiations with the Israelis, the Palestinians would just go ahead and declare statehood unilaterally? Well, not so much. Yesterday, a delegation of Americans from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs met in Ramallah with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad (whom Michael Weiss profiled yesterday in this magazine), and he told them he would wait for a negotiated settlement. “He said there should not be a unilateral decision on Palestinian statehood, but that it should be negotiated with Israel, which is different from what we heard before,” Steve Gutow, the JCPA’s executive director, told Tablet Magazine today. According to Gutow, Fayyad expressly said he was modeling his plans on Israel’s pre-1948 institution-building efforts. “He said there are three tracks,” Gutow explained, “and he’s working on two of them unilaterally—building the foundations of a state, and of an economy.” One other item was on the agenda: the University of Texas’s dramatic, come-from-behind victory last weekend over Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship—Gutow, you see, is a native Texan, and Fayyad went to school there. Nice to see that something is important enough to trump politics: namely, football.
Related: The Pragmatist