Thursday, August 06, 2009

NO HOPE from Fatah's Sixth General Congress.

From JCPA, Jerusalem Issue Briefs, Vol. 9, No. 6, 4 August 2009, by Pinhas Inbari:

•Many observers are watching to see to what extent Fatah's Sixth General Congress will advance or retard the prospects for re-launching the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. In this regard, the crucial question is: Is Fatah going to waive its historical principle of "armed struggle" and devote itself to peace negotiations based on compromise?

•The two relevant documents to be discussed and approved by the Fatah Congress are the Political Program and Fatah's "Internal Order." The Political Program might be seen as reflecting progress in terms of accepting a political solution and rejecting violence - but it falls short of waiving the principle of armed struggle.

The real problem lies in the Internal Order document, which restores all of the phrases that were omitted in the Political Program. While the Political Program sought to subordinate the struggle to the need for "international legitimacy," the Internal Order is very clear in rejecting all international peace initiatives.

•In the Internal Order document, Fatah retains the armed struggle as a strategy in order to liberate the whole of Palestine and eliminate Israel. Article 12 calls for "the liberation of Palestine completely and the elimination of the state of the Zionist occupation economically, politically, militarily, and culturally."

[Note that these are a verbatim quotes - SL]

•Article 13 calls for "establishing a sovereign democratic Palestinian state on the entire Palestinian territory." While the Political Program lists the "one-state solution" as an option in case the "two-state solution" fails, the Internal Order document mentions the "one-state solution" as the only solution.

•Should there be any question regarding Fatah's objectives, Article 17 states: "The armed popular revolution is the only inevitable way to the liberation of Palestine," while Article 19 notes: "The struggle will not end until the elimination of the Zionist entity and the liberation of Palestine." ...


Two Documents: One for International Consumption and the Other for Internal Use
The two relevant documents to be discussed and approved by the Fatah Congress are the
  1. Political Program and
  2. Fatah's "Internal Order."

The Political Program might be seen by many as reflecting progress in terms of accepting a political solution and rejecting violence - but it falls short of waiving the principle of armed struggle...

Fatah's Internal Order Presents a Different Face
... the real problem lies in the Internal Order document.

...While the Political Program sought to subordinate the struggle to the need for "international legitimacy," the Internal Order is very clear in rejecting all international peace initiatives:

"The projects, agreements, and resolutions that were issued or will be issued by the UN or group of states or any separate state on the Palestinian problem that waives the rights of the Palestinians on their homeland is null and void."

Furthermore, Article 22 calls for:

"objection by force to all political solutions that are offered as an alternative to the extermination of the occupying Zionist entity in Palestine and all the projects that aim for the elimination of the Palestinian problem, or seek to internationalize it or put an outside custodian on its people from any possible party."

This article is in contradiction to the call in the Political Program for greater international involvement in the problem and its welcome for the involvement of international forces in Palestine.

Article 9 states clearly that

"the liberation of the Holy Land and the defense of its holy sites (that are forbidden to infidels) is an Arab, Muslim, and humanitarian duty."

Fatah Retains the Strategy of the Armed Struggle
And here we come to the essence: Fatah retains the armed struggle as a strategy in order to liberate the whole of Palestine and eliminate Israel.

Article 12 calls for

"the liberation of Palestine completely and the elimination of the state of the Zionist occupation economically, politically, militarily, and culturally."

(Indeed, one of the methods mentioned in the Political Program for the "peaceful intifada" is an economic boycott of Israel.)

Article 13 calls for

"establishing a sovereign democratic Palestinian state on the entire Palestinian territory that will preserve the legitimate rights of the citizens on the basis of justice and equality without discrimination on the basis of race, religion and belief, and Jerusalem will be its capital."

While the Political Program lists the "one-state solution" as an option in case the "two-state solution" fails, the Internal Order document mentions the "one-state solution" as the only solution.

Article 17 says:

"The armed popular revolution is the only inevitable way to the liberation of Palestine."

Finally, Article 19 notes:

"The armed struggle is a strategy and not just a tactic and the armed revolution of the Arab Palestinian people is a decisive factor in the war of liberation and the elimination of the Zionist existence, and the struggle will not end until the elimination of the Zionist entity and the liberation of Palestine."

While Fatah's Political Program tries to accommodate international expectations and seems designed to mobilize international legitimacy for the re-launching of a "peaceful intifada," Fatah's "Internal Order" reminds us how deeply ingrained in Fatah is its ideology from the 1960s and 1970s.

Post a Comment