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.