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Monday, July 27, 2009

Fatah's power structure makes peace impossible

Barry Rubin reports that next week's Fatah convention in Bethlehem, the first in 20 years, will highlight the leadership problems in Fatah. All of the 17 members of Fatah's Central Committee are over the age of 65, and the younger generation is even more radical (no great surprise given what they have been spoon-fed by the 'Palestinian' media) than the current one. But even the current Fatah Central Committee is not one that is going to make peace.
Of the Fatah Central Committee's 17 surviving members, only three can be classified as relative moderates. At least seven can be called radicals - many still oppose the original 1993 Oslo agreement - even in relation to the late PLO, Fatah, and PA leader Yasser Arafat. The remaining seven might be called hardliners whose views are close to those of Arafat, which makes any peace agreement with Israel impossible.

ONE THING that unites them all is a hatred of Hamas and a belief that Fatah is the natural and only conceivable leader of the Palestinian movement. They are eager to make a deal with Hamas, but only if the Islamists accept a subordinate role, which won't happen. Many in the younger Fatah generation, however, are sympathetic to a more equal coalition with their "brothers" to fight Israel.

At present, 14 of 17 members could never make a comprehensive peace treaty with Israel. Even the fifteenth, Abbas himself, is so firm on demanding all Palestinian refugees must be allowed to return to live in Israel, he could be added to this group.

The two genuine moderates on the committee, at least by Palestinian standards, are 71-year-old Nabil Shaath and 72-year-old Ahmad Qurei (Abu Ala). Both have declined in importance in recent years. Shaath reached the peak of his power as Arafat's moderate front-man, though he briefly served as prime minister in 2005. Shaath owns his own successful - though partially through his political connections and with serious accusations of corruption - business.

Qurei was prime minister for most of the 2003-2006 period but quarrelled with Abbas. Neither Shaath nor Qurei has any political base of support. These two might well be willing to make a two-state deal with Israel but their political power today is zero.

In comparison, many of those who are far more extreme hold positions of power and influence in the organization. They and not Prime Minister Salam Fayyad (who is technically an independent) or PA President Abbas are the ones who really control Fatah, the main Palestinian institutions, and the West Bank.
Hope and change same!

Read the whole thing.


At 2:17 PM, Blogger Chrysler 300M said...

very good news, who needs "piece" with "Palistinains" ??

At 6:37 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

As I mentioned, its impossible. Rejectionism in the Middle East is akin to gravity elsewhere in the rest of the world. Its a fact of life.

Hopenchange, any one?


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