Monday, August 24, 2009

Reflections on the Sixth Fatah General Congress

"Reflections on the Sixth Fatah General Congress" Europe News, By Daniel Pipes (18/8/2009): As Khaled Abu Toameh summed it up, "Fatah is sending a message both to the Palestinians and the world that it's still not ready for any form of compromise or reforms." "Fatah Members: The Principle of Resistance and Armed Struggle Must Not Be Relinquished"MEMRI, By C. Jacob (6/8/2009) "Palestinian Politics and The Peace Process: The Looming Gigantic Danger" GLORIA Center, By Barry Rubin (12/8/2009): What happened at the Fatah Congress? It was pretty successful as far as maintaining the status quo goes, but very bad for any chance at making progress toward a comprehensive peace. And there’s one terribly dangerous issue—the next Fatah leader—which could blow up everything...
Once Abbas appoints four more to make a Fatah Central Committee of 22 people, at least two-thirds will be old-style Fatah bureaucrats, with almost all the rest younger Fatah bureaucrats. Of the 18 elected, at least 5 are hardliners who don’t even accept the peace process and Oslo agreement and the rest are Abbas’s allies or lieutenants. "Fatah's Sixth Convention: An Initial Assessment" INSS, By Shlomo Brom (17/8/2009) "A Critique: Jewish Telegraphic Agency coverage of Fatah Congress in Bethlehem" Israel Resource Review, By David Bedein (4/8/2009) "Sixth Fatah Congress: The Myth of Moderation" CAMERA (12/8/2009): The media has long promoted Fatah — in contrast to Hamas — as the party of Palestinian political moderates seeking peace with Israel, while glossing over evidence to the contrary. (See "Is Fatah Moderate?") "Nobody Here but Us Moderates" Commentary Magazine, By Noah Pollack (13/8/2009):

Who to believe in reportage of the Fatah conference: the New York Times’s Isabel Kershner or Khaled Abu Toameh, the Jerusalem Post’s veteran reporter on the Palestinians, himself an Arab Muslim?


The new leaders [elected at the conference] are considered more pragmatic than their predecessors and grew up locally, in contrast to the exile-dominated leadership they are replacing. . . . By the end, many of the participants seemed buoyant. They said that Fatah, led by the Palestinian Authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, had emerged from the conference energized and more unified than it had been in years.

The rest of her report is a litany of mostly self-serving quotes from Fatah leaders, interspersed with Kershner’s own credulous analysis.

Reading Toameh, one wonders if they attended the same event:

The assumption that [the newly-elected] Muhammad Dahlan, Jibril Rajoub, Marwan Barghouti and Tawfik Tirawi are more moderate than old-timers like Ahmed Qurei, Nabil Sha’ath and Hani al-Hassan is completely mistaken. . . .

In fact, all the newly-elected Central Committee members voted during the Fatah convention in Bethlehem last week in favor of a political platform that does not rule out the armed struggle option against Israel.