Is there any reason for a sigh of relief now that Salman Fayad has been assured his position as the head of the Palestinian Authority, where he has earned an undeserved reputation with the press as a man who leads Palestinian Arabs in a moderate direction.

That reputation was earned because reporters hesitate to ask Fayad four basic questions about the regime that he leads:

QUESTION ONE” Renunciation of the PLO state of war with Israel.

The charter of Fatah – the predominant element in the PLO and the PA – to this day continues to call for the destruction ofIsrael. Written in 1964, beforeIsraelcontrolled the West Bank andGaza, it uses the term “Palestine” to refer exclusively toIsraelwithin the Green Line.

The charter declares that “Liberating Palestine is a national obligation,” and that “Armed public revolution is the inevitable method” for doing so. This cannot be dismissed as an irrelevant anachronism.

In August 2009, Fatah held its first General Congress in 20 years. Hope was held out for a charter revision, with violence officially renounced, but it never happened. Instead, Fatah continued to unambiguously embrace “armed resistance” to liberatePalestine.

How could Fayad agree to lead a Fatah dominated regime after such a Fatah war policy was reiterated?

QUESTION TWO: Delegitimation of Israel in PA textbooks.

The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT http://www.impact-se.org ) issued six reports on new PA textbooks issued over the last ten years.

Journalist and scholar Dr. Arnon Groiss, who translated these PA textbooks, and worked at the center for more than ten years, concluded that the new PA texts…

*Deny the historical and religious presence of Jews inPalestine.

*Fail to recognize the State of Israel.

*Demonize Jews andIsrael.

*Assign blame for the conflict exclusively onIsrael, totally absolving Palestinians.

*Stress the idea of a violent struggle of liberation rather than a peaceful settlement.

It was disingenuous for Fayad to profess dedication to peace, while the PA curriculum under his leadership infused such ideas within its pupils. Peace is impossible until that message changes.

Why did journalists not hold Fayad and the PA accountable for the new PA textbooks?.

ISSUE THREE: PA pursuit of Hamas as a coalition partner.

Throughout Fayad’s term of office, the PA inclination to participate in a government that included Hamas remained an “elephant in the room” which reporters, somewhat inexplicably, has chosen to ignore.

Hamas is recognized by theUSand the entire Quartet as a terrorist entity. Pursuing negotiations withIsraeland Hamas at one and the same time is not acceptable.

Why was Fayad not held accountable for continuing such negotiations?

ISSUE FOURThe “Right of return.”

The “right of return,” promoted for more than 60 years by UNRWA and embraced by the PA as a non-negotiable right, remains a recipe for the decimation ofIsraelfrom within.

If Fayad was serious about peace, why was he not asked to accept the principle of perma­nent resettlement of the refugees? Only Palestinian Arab refugees are not resettled, but instead, for purely political reasons, are forced to linger in a (rage-inducing) state of limbo.

Fayad, in his master plan for a Palestinian state, openly stated that he supports the “right of return” – within the 1949 lines, not beyond them.

Shouldn’t reporters hold Fayyad accountable for such an idea, which is directly opposed to any two-state solution?

Fayad’s master plan,  “Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State:Program of the Thirteenth Government – August 2009”  is available on the net at:

http://www.geneva-accord.org/images/Offical%20Paper%20-%20Program%20of%20the%20Thirteenth%20Government,%20August%202009.pdf