The infighting within Fatah continues at the conference. The young guard versus the old, the ones who want Fatah to take responsibility for losing Gaza versus the PA leaders, Dahlan vs Jibril, Gaza vs. West Bank, Ramallah vs. the "diaspora," and Abbas vs. Kaddoumi (the major hawkish Fatah leader who is boycotting the conference and planning his own alternative!) has resulted in a disorganized joke.
The only thing that the delegates could agree on is that Israel assassinated Arafat. In other words, the Fatah movement that the world considers a viable peace partner with Israel can only agree to lies.
This disarray has not gone unnoticed in the Arab world, both within the territories and far beyond. The UAE National writes:
Fatah has become a party of strongmen and mandarins whose vested interests are often at odds with the wellbeing of the population. Its most popular figure, Marwan Barghouti, sits in an Israeli jail, while its current leader, Mahmoud Abbas, has had to fend off challenges to his authority – although he has been the president of the PA for four years and should be defending a record of achievement.Another National article interviewed Palestinian Arabs about the conference:
“I didn’t see this happening,” said Khader Khader, an analyst with the Jerusalem Media and Communications Centre. “I thought things would be calmer.”
The idea had been, said Mr Khader, for Fatah to close ranks around Mr Abbas and appease the younger generation of leaders by including them, along with the current leadership, on the Central Committee and Revolutionary Council. The fact that that hasn’t happened showed “something is wrong with [the Fatah leadership’s] calculations”.
While that may have surprised analysts and organisers, it elicited no raised eyebrows from three customers at a coffee shop not far from the conference in Bethlehem yesterday.One, Adnan Mohammad, 27, went so far as to say that Fatah “is finished and has been for a while”.
Another, Eyad Radwan, 28, said he was a Fatah supporter, but he too accepted that the movement was “in a mess”.
The Arab world applauded a letter that Saudi King Abdullah wrote to the conference, decrying Palestinian Arab divisions. Even though he was mostly referring to the Fatah/Hamas split, it applies doubly so to Fatah's own divisions:
King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia summed up the sentiments of the entire Arab and Muslim worlds well when he said that Palestinian divisions constitute a greater danger to the Palestinians and their cause than all the threats and acts of aggression committed by Israel.The Arab world's impatience with Palestinian Arabs has been growing, and the PalArab leadership is thoroughly clueless as to the fact that they have made themselves irrelevant. They see the US pressuring Israel and think that they can just sit back and do nothing. The West Bank and Gaza split widens every day, the Hamas/Fatah divisions are deepening, more than half of the PalArab people themselves still support terror against Israel, and the number of opportunities for peace that the PalArab leadership has ignored or insulted prove that their platitudes are simply lies and that the wellbeing of their people is their least concern.
In a letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas marking Fateh’s first congress in 20 years, the Saudi king stressed that all Palestinian factions need to come together to make an independent Palestinian state possible.
The Saudi monarch went on to say that Israel was not able, during years of continued aggression, to damage the Palestinian cause as much as the Palestinians did themselves in the past few months. The Saudi king concluded that if the international community agrees to establish an independent Palestinian state, this will not happen as long as the Palestinian house is deeply divided.
This is why Arab nations aren't paying up on their pledges of monetary support to the PA. They have to support the PalArabs verbally but their patience has gone a long time ago.
The West remains clueless as to how incompetent and counterproductive Israel's "peace partners" have been. They still place their blind faith in Fatah and in a nonexistent "peace process," acting as if it is a good luck charm that will magically solve all problems.
The world should have woken up decades ago to the fact that Palestinian Arabs have no ability to make peace and that the mess they are in today is wholly their fault.