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Support for Fatah on the Decline

For the Independent, Alex Cockburn reports that Fatah appears to have suffered a sharp decline in support in the occupied territories. This should come as no surprise as Fatah has had few successes – if any – during their decades-long reign over the Palestinian national movement. In recent times, Fatah has produced a string of traitors (or as some would call them, “moderates”), a failed attempt at civil war, and a cancellation of Palestinian democracy. Current dictator (and former President) Mahmoud Abbas is seen by many as an Israeli puppet – an accusation that has become increasingly difficult to contest as Abbas has turned up his attacks on Palestinian society and on Palestine solidarity activism while giddily blaming Hamas (and refusing to condemn Israel) during Israel’s slaughter of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Unfortunately, though, Fatah’s decline appears to be matched with an upswing in support for the rival Hamas party (as a side note, I dream of a day when Palestinians realize the general futility of a government under occupation, and disband the Palestinian Authority):

“We have moved into the era of Hamas which is now much stronger than it was,” said Husam Kadr, a veteran Fatah leader in the West Bank city of Nablus, recently released after five-and-a-half years in Israeli prisons… “We in Fatah have failed to remove a single Israeli checkpoint,” admits Mr Kadr. “It takes me as long to reach Ramallah 50 kilometres away as it would to fly from Jordan to Ankara.”

Support for Fatah hasn’t just suffered in the territories. The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), viewed as an extension of Fatah in the U.S., has never really enjoyed much support from the Palestinian-American community. Notwithstanding, after ATFP president Ziad Asali offered himself as an Israeli spokesperson to U.S. media during the Gaza assault, the little support ATFP did have took a hit. The following are excerpts from resignation letters of a number of ATFP board members:

By email dated December 27, 2008, I resigned from the ATFP Board. The reasons I resigned are similar to the reasons articulated by… in his email of last week in which he also resigned. Although I did not want to publically discuss my dissatisfaction and disappointment with ATFP and its misguided direction, after I watched several interviews Ziad gave to CNN this past week (pasted below), I decided to send this email to the Board.

I am secular to the bone and agnostic. I do not support Hamas. But they are not the reason for the occupation and the continued displacement of our people. If ATFP is objective and focuses on working to build Palestinian unity to facilitate a move toward peace, then ATFP should fight the corruption, treason and lawlessness of the PA. Had the PA and Abu Mazen’s cronies stopped the looting of aid, the gangs, bribes, put the people and transparency first, Hamas would never have won the elections. Rather than work to make the PA clean and accountable, we toe the PA line. This is reckless and damaging. Hamas and the PA failed our people. ATFP has failed our people.

I Resign…Today’s inappropriate, ineffective and weak ATFP statement was the last straw. ATFP should be representing and advocating for the just Palestinian cause rather than blaming the victim and giving excuses for Israel’s continued occupation and devastation of the Palestinian people. ATFP over time has become nothing more than a mouth piece for the current Administration’s position on Palestine as opposed to attempting to impact policy changes through communicating the true suffering and devastation from Israeli policies that are supported by the US. We must demonstrate to the US government that its unconditional support of Israel violates American notions of justice, equity and liberty. American interests are not served by such unconditional support. ATFP has failed to do that. ATFP has failed our community.

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No Responses to “Support for Fatah on the Decline”

  1. Is this news? Or are you just stating the obvious, for your particularly ignorant readers?

    Posted by programmer craig | February 4, 2009, 5:44 am
  2. The takeover of West Bank by Hamas will begin a new era in the IP conflict. One in which rockets, mortars and snipers murder Jews in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Petah Tikvah. The response will be overwhelming, the bombardment and bulldozing of entire Palestinian villages and finally the expulsion of Palestinians from the land. That’s the sad and it seems inevitable reality.

    Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2009, 9:07 am
  3. thanks for the links,

    well, Hamas is not perfect, god knows,but a part of me really believes and thinks that a Hamas led-goverment would have done a good job 2 years ago, before Dahlan and the USA came over and successfully incited a very sad palestinian division which caused death and hatred between palestinians.

    but what happened happened…all very sad. if people truly respected democracy back then, we wouldn’t be were we are right now.

    I agree with you 100%, all this talk about a palestinian authority in the OCCUPATION is useless right now. even Ramadan shallah(islamic jihad) said we are better off with a resistance authority right now.

    I cant say I care much about whether Fatah/Hamas is gone for good or not.

    what matters for me is one thing, resistance and resistance only.
    I dont care if you happened to be secular, islamist,agonist, arabist,christian, atheist…or gothic or whatever the hell one’s define him or herself. dismissing resistance after what happened in Gaza is the catastrophic consequence…its not really about palestinians factions(hamas/fatah/whatever) anymore.

    well, to anon comment, I cant say I am optimistic about the future, if you asked me, I think a war is brewing and things are heading to an esaclation. really its not about hamas/fatah anymore for me. things are far bigger than these divisions.


    Posted by yasse | February 4, 2009, 10:32 am
  4. As you yourself admit, yasser, you desire this escalation, yet you accept that in any serious escalation, Palestinians will overwhelmingly lose their lives and property.

    So what purpose does this resistance serve, except to cleanse your own people from the land?

    Are you self-aware of the degree to which you have been radicalized? I am asking honestly. We’re not talking about a few dunhams of land here. If there is a real war the Palestinians will be completely expelled.

    Why would you actively work in this direction?

    Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2009, 2:22 pm
  5. fatah has restored law and order in the west bank and brought an economic upsurge in the territories it controls as well as raising insane amounts of donations from the world and restoring some normality to palestinian life in the face of the restrictions that we israelis place on palestinians (and also israelis mind you) that live in the west bank..

    they have brought dignity to the palestinian cause and created a body that can talk to israel.. this didnt exist before.. i think the palestinians are sending mixed messages.. on the one hand they say we are here forever and wont be discouraged and have patience and on the other hand they say things need to change now so fight fight fight..

    if you study israeli peace making u will notice that the central ingredient is trust and not might.. egypt received 100% of its land claims even thought it took stages..

    palestinians would do well to do the same.. its possible.

    Posted by Lirun | February 4, 2009, 2:47 pm
  6. That last post was quite hilarious.

    Posted by Arayus | February 4, 2009, 4:22 pm
  7. I am not looking for war nor am I wishing for it. Far from it, I actually support the one state solution. I am not saying that because I love israelis, because by then I would be lieing.(this is only my personal feelings, I am not talking here on behalf of anyone, other palestinins can be more forgiving I assume).

    I just wish the palestinians living inside to have a peace of mind in their lives and a stop of the continuous bloodshed.

    however, all i was saying I am not having an optimistic outlook of the future. its not because of Hamas or Fatah actions. The palestinian problem, disposession, settlements, killings have been going on since 61 years. Fatah/Hamas/whatever (name) faction is for me just a consequential emergent political resistance movements in the palestinian arena. they come and go. they can be weakened and strengthened. The palestinian situation was never really defined solely by their mere existence.
    They can vanish for all “we care”, and that wont even solve the problem.

    besides, its hard to ignore the realities on ground here. 1300 palestinians were killed, and more than half of the 6000 or 5000(not sure of the exact number?) injured are permanently disabled. seeing how callously israeli treat palestinian lives. Its hard to think about the just peace process.

    I dont think a war will occur “soon”, but its hard to dismiss any esaclations that may happen on ground. I do think palestinians might get some sorta of “break” per se. having said that, its not only israeli situation I am talking about. I “predict” and god forbids, assasinations on palestinian figures. maybe more palestinian faction unrest. afterall, when known palestinian figures wish for hamas’s removal or hamas is openly distrustful of Dahlan and co, who can talk about real “palestinian unity” with no “unrests” occuring
    …who knows?

    I Hope i am wrong, I am not wishing for this.

    but can you blame me for being pessmistic about this?

    Posted by yasse | February 4, 2009, 4:29 pm
  8. Lirun does a nice job of showing us the mentality of the occupier. In his mind Quisling = Good.

    Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2009, 6:15 pm
  9. Lirun,

    No offense, but you really make me laugh. Fateh has restored law and order?? They’re a bunch of thugs with guns. Not only are they corrupt regime, but they imprison and torture their fellow Palestinians. They don’t even allow peaceful demonstrations to take place. Let’s be honest with ourselves as Palestinians because if we’re not, we’re never going to improve our situation. We have to call a spade a spade. That’s the first step.

    Posted by Lina | February 4, 2009, 6:31 pm
  10. “”They’re a bunch of thugs with guns. Not only are they corrupt regime, but they imprison and torture their fellow Palestinians. They don’t even allow peaceful demonstrations to take place.”"

    If this is true about Fatah, it is true about Hamas in spades.

    The difference with Fatah is that they’re WORKING TOWARD A DECENT FUTURE FOR THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE, even if they’re nonetheless corrupt and incompetent.

    Posted by Joe | February 4, 2009, 6:48 pm
  11. This is absolutely naive & imaginary wishful selective article
    here a glimpse on the big gun to you to read & research in the (time out):
    former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton, Middle East Forum president Daniel Pipes, and Efraim Inbar, director of Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies – publish articles over the past month rejecting the two-state solution
    The US already pressuring Egypt & Jordan to accept the new three state solution by integrating Gaza in Egypt & what left behind the wall of the west bank with Jordan; they both refuse (strengthen the Muslim brother hood cause instability for both), but the persuasion still on
    The second solution: full Israeli sovereignty with the Gaza border with Egypt & a wide security zone with Gaza on Gaza land
    Abass unity under PLO is the best on the table although it's just a start to repair the damage
    Hamas won the power show over Fateh ; but what Hamas had?!

    Posted by riskability | February 4, 2009, 9:58 pm
  12. I give it at least one more Gaza-style war before Palestinians settle down, two at most. Then Netanyahu will push his “economic peace”.

    One state will not even be considered unless two million Palis emigrate. Right now they’re leaving at the rate of 100,000/year. I’m sure if gates of Gaza opened at least 250,000 would flee to Europe.

    Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2009, 12:17 am
  13. Isn’t there a decent alternative to Fatah and Hamas? They seem to be the two extremes.

    Posted by Shafiq | February 5, 2009, 3:01 am
  14. between Hamas and the authority,
    I definitely express sympathy for Hamas more(even though they are flawed and not perfect themselves). The amount of challenges and rejection they faced from the international community ever since they were elected is simply sad, they were really never given the chance to prove their worth or lack of it even.

    its hard to believe they can even function afterall that, oh well.

    Posted by yasse | February 5, 2009, 3:40 am
  15. the amount of challenges and rejection they faced from the international community ever since they were elected is simply sad

    Yes, its so sad that the “international community” didn’t give a terror group with dozens if not hundreds of suicide bombings under its belt a fair chance.

    Yasse (yasser?) why is it that there are no other options besides Fatah and Hamas? You give the world a “lesser of two evils” choice, and act surprised when they choose the lesser of two evils? Why not elect people who aren’t evil? You ever think of that?

    Posted by programmer craig | February 5, 2009, 4:29 am
  16. Craig, to be fair, Israel integrated terrorists into its government and armed forces as well.

    Read up on the Irgun, and especially the Stern Gang.

    Posted by Joe | February 5, 2009, 12:09 pm
  17. That would be “collaborating”, PC. Anything less of outright war mongering Islamofascists just plays into the hands of the occupiers and infidels.

    Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2009, 12:09 pm
  18. Joe, I’m aware of that but I don’t see how it’s relevant to the game Palestinians are playing? The early Jewish terror groups were fringe elements that were condemned and even acted against a couple times by the mainstream, for one thing. The terror groups have BEEN the mainstream, amongst Palestinians, for at least 40 years. And for another, well… I forgot my other thing… but it had something to do with playing on international sympathies.

    Posted by programmer craig | February 5, 2009, 12:34 pm
  19. Consider the IRA, Black September in the golden age of Fateh & AlQassam Brigades at the golden age of Hamas (Hamas had a good start, not for long)
    Any resistance movement had (& must had)a militant arm than function outside the rules & the membership of the political
    Hamas won in the election two years ago was Israel nightmare(I view many interviews with Fateh active members in the street they all applause Hamas ACCOMPLISHMENTS & call for criticism & correction)
    Israel take a note & move quickly & effectively (If Dahlan look in the mirror he will see Nazal), the (hero-traitor) is a dual in the falling discourse(Israel need no agents!)
    One day before the GENOCIDE Nazal was ENJOYING for an hour at Aljazeera opening the PA secret files (trucks of papers & exclusive Jihad in research & classification) begging every regime on earth to demolish the PA, he refuse to be interrupted by a question about the not any more secret Israeli plans??!!
    how we got there?
    you tell me
    how we get out?
    that's the question
    Ali BL-Haj (Algerea) whom we look at him to be an Islamic state man in the 1980's end up in detention for few days for leading few hundred demonstrors for Gaza (breaking a law than pan demonstration); even image wise he didn't accomplish what the Morrocan kids did?
    Political Islam is completely contained & function backwards (what's with these Du'a weapons with fantastic sound effects, not to mention labeling NasserAllah as Shiat!)
    Lets be honest with our selfs : Hamas rockets & resistance was an effective Israeli propaganda weapon to cover the massacre (the first report in the invasion day "Gazans are abandoned & terrified") the same Hamas VICTORY & shooting "traitors" legs later…8 out 12 Israeli killed in friendly fire!..Israel withdraw quickly because they learn from their experience in south Lebanon
    Khaled Mashal rise as a true leader during hardship, Ashrawi still a live,Abas is not evil
    In every corner on earth people rally for the Victim against the Criminal calling for Justice
    That's an agenda in need to leaders cross & outside the political lines

    Posted by riskability | February 5, 2009, 1:26 pm
  20. I’ll answer this:

    what nazal did was wrong on aljazeera, but he is only a spokesperson and (a rude one at that).out of all hamas spokesperson, he is the worst lol(he is really rude and provoactive). its not a statement against all Hamas, just him(lol). they have way better speakers like Osama hamadan and Salah al bardwil. oh well

    but their hatred for Dahlan was well justified, the guy was willing to INCITE a coup for God’s sake. what Dahlan did was absloutely horrible.
    he basically made palestinians have a go against eachother, made Fatah-Hamas divisions way wider. he is an awful person, who had a big question mark about him way before Hamas was EVEN elected. Dahlan simply does not have the palestinian interests at heart.

    anyway, back again, they should have given the chance as I said (but sadly they were never given)

    what happened happened. and there is no turning back.

    About the future, I rather have both Hamas/Fatah not go to the elections strongly….all this talk about elections is stupid while we are under occupation(I agree 100% with the poster of the thread), I rather they focus on resistance. if I have to choose, I’ll go with independents mostly and have some of those PA faces change and vanish forever.


    Posted by yasse | February 5, 2009, 5:20 pm
  21. I rather they focus on resistance

    When will fools like Joe learn…

    Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2009, 10:46 pm
  22. ISRAEL founded and continue to exist by Massacring a Palstinian, Demolish his home, Steal his land, Exile his family, Build a settlement & Eliminate the survivals any chance "War" Israel got(the civilian in the camps in Lebanon 1980's, Jeneen camp in the same week (9/11) happen & no wonder they target UN refugee schools in the last Genocide; although Gaza in general is a camp)..these people still had the still UN right to Return to their Homeland
    Any ACT to expose, slow, stop & reverse this Criminal Agenda is RESISTANCE
    Militant activity is a tool to elevate this Act (Stop the world distraction in the time of devastation)
    The first INTIFADA (Uprising) was the highest point in the Palstinian resistance (Not only elevate the Palstinian gains on the ground with the least Victims, also shake Israel deeply "Rabeen assassination"), it need Newton second law of motion to understand that; not an imaginary wishful thinking (considering the self produce training camps video as a "resistance"/ whom expose your training is a spy?!)

    Posted by riskability | February 6, 2009, 7:34 am
  23. Hamas has now stolen another 10 trucks of food from the UN!

    According to the [UNRWA] agency’s press release the recent looting involved hundreds of tons of food. “During the night of February fifth 10 truckloads of flour and rice were taken from the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom Crossing into Gaza,” the statement from spokesman Christopher Gunness said.

    This is resistance?

    Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2009, 12:10 pm
  24. Israel continues to NOT allow aid into the Gaza strip.

    Posted by Arayus | February 6, 2009, 4:30 pm
  25. Complete silence and complicity by Kabob for Hamas crimes. I overheard Will say, referring to the Gazans, “Resistance forever. And the people? Let them eat dirt”.

    Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2009, 12:09 am
  26. Anonymous: Hamas did not steal anything , unfortuantely the media did not give them a chance to explain the misunderstere anding . Hamas also continues to get AID send to them which they distribute from Jordan and Charities in Egypt that day 10 trucks were unloaded and there was no representative to hams nor the uNRWA , so the aid went straight to the Hamas warehouses and later Hamas said it was a simple mistake and they returned the items . the UN is not doing its job , it is mostly giving aid to refugiees only and those who know someone from fatah and they are not giving to those in gaza who were not refugiees but lost everything in the Dec 2008 war . the UN is not giving to hamas supporters either . (those working at the UN offices were chosen by fatah officials when they were in charge ) the UN should be neutral and work with all people and should not differentiate

    Posted by leyla | February 8, 2009, 7:29 am

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