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.
Filed Under abbasshole, Fadi, fatah, Gaza, HAMAS, palestine
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.