Monday, August 10, 2009

Fatah Follies, day 6

The Fatah conference continues, having been extended from its intended conclusion on Thursday to this coming Tuesday. And the stories leaking out indicate that Fatah is still a corrupt, terrorist, disorganized mess.

Early in the conference there was controversy about allowing a leader of the supposedly-defunct Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades from attending, probably just a snafu. He told the conference on Thursday that Palestinian unity is important - even if they have to use violence to get it. Of course, he added, Fatah should use terror against Israel as well.

Serious procedural problems emerged, as the printed lists of candidates for the two major committees (the Central Committee and the Revolutionary Council) were inconsistent, sometimes with leading candidates missing and some with candidates listed twice. Marwan Barghouti's name was missing in three of five lists distributed. Slates of candidates who hate each other were presented as if they were in the same sub-party. People spread false rumors that candidates had withdrawn their names hours before voting, affecting their chances. The Lebanese contingent suffered a serious split as two competing leaders ran for major positions. Conspiracy theories abound.

Another Fatah leader accused the conference of "rigging the vote" against the Gaza attendees.

On the other hand, there were moves to heal the rift between Mahmoud Abbas and Farouk Kaddoumi, his Tunisian-based terrorist rival and secretary-general of the PLO, who accused Abbas of conspiring to assassinate Yasir Arafat. It appears that Kaddoumi got some of his candidates running for major positions.

Meanwhile, Hamas not only stopped Fatah leaders there from attending, but they even confiscated their cell phones to stop them from voting! Some articles have assumed that Iran is behind Hamas' actions to try to sabotage the conference.

All in all, Fatah has proven it cannot even govern itself. Why do people still think they can lead anyone else?