Aug 5, 2009

News: Fateh Conference Continues; World Reacts

Reactions to Fateh Conference

Around the world, analysts have begun to react to the Fateh conference being held in Bethlehem. The conference is the first one for Fateh in 20 years and includes 2,000 delegates.

Lamis Andoni, writing for Al Jazeera, calls Fateh the "mother of the post-Nakba liberation movement." Andoni summarizes the importance that Arafat played in the Palestinian liberation movement, saying that:
Arafat himself personified the soul of Fatah and in broader terms the spirit of the Palestinian struggle.
Now, in the post-Arafat era, Andoni notes difficulties that the party faces, which in part stem from the inclusion of Fateh in the Palestinian Authority and by working with Israeli security forces. Andoni sums up the congress with his opinion that:
The one-time backbone of the PLO and embodiment of Palestinian national rights has been reduced to a ruling party largely, but not solely, dependent on proving itself as a 'peace partner' in a process that has so far consolidated Israeli occupation and expansionism.
A second opinion piece has been written by Thomas Friedman, in his column in the New York Times. Friedman is currently in Ramallah, and he begins his piece by noting that the most recent Arab Human Development Report is even worse than the 2002 edition, though Arab governments refuse to acknolwedge their societies' lack of development. However, Friedman's central point is that Palestine can serve as a testing ground for new development strategies in the Arab world. Specifically, he contrasts what he calls "Fayyadism" with "Arafatism." Named after the Palestinian prime minister and former foreign minister, Fayyadism is:
based on the simple but all-too-rare notion that an Arab leader’s legitimacy should be based not on slogans or rejectionism or personality cults or security services, but on delivering transparent, accountable administration and services.
Friedman notes that the Palestinian economy has improved under Fayyad's leadership, in large part because of a new emphasis on finance, police and social services, which Fayyad believes will bring about the creation of a Palestinian state more quickly.

A final opinion piece on the conference can be found in the Khaleej Times. The editorial argues that Mahmoud Abbas "clearly has an opportunity to redefine his faction’s political agenda..." for the first time in many years. However, the author notes that until reconciliation occurs between Fateh and Hamas, no degree of intra-Fateh unity can possibly bring about true unity among the Palestinian people. Finally, writing on the debate about whether to revise Fateh's charter, the author says:
It is not as if there is any imperative to radically revise the party’s original charter. But to ensure that the Palestinians get what they so deserve – an independent homeland and a sovereign state – now is the time for Fatah to consolidate its political credentials and reaffirm the fact that the mandate of the people will not be allowed to fracture by any political prejudice or pettiness.
HEADLINES

Arguments erupt at Fatah conference (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli police deliver East Jerusalem demolition orders (Ma'an)

Israel urged to commit to Arab plan (Al Jazeera)

Evicted Palestinians stand their ground – on thin mattresses (Christian Science Monitor)

Palestine and the Palestinians

Israel Approves Sale of 1948 Palestinian Land (Media Line)

Co-founder accuses Fatah of graft (Al Jazeera)

Can Fatah reinvent itself? (BBC)

Palestinian man electrocuted in tunnel in Gaza (International Middle East Media Center)

Trapped in Gaza, Fatah delegates to vote by phone and email (Ma'an)

Former fighter Zubeidi excluded, then returned to Fatah conference (Ma'an)

Palestinians Evicted From Homes (MSNBC)

‘He Paid, Now He Must be Rewarded’ (Media Line)

Israel

Ghajar residents: Over our dead bodies will Lieberman divide us (Ha'aretz)

Lieberman: Disputed town Ghajar belongs to Israel (Ma'an)

Barak: Beirut responsible for security of border (The Daily Star)

Soldier killed in training accident (Jerusalem Post)

Lieberman: MK Tibi endangers Israel more than Hamas, Jihad (Ha'aretz)

The Neighbors

Hezbollah said stockpiling 40,000 rockets (Ha'aretz)

Palestinian split stalling move toward statehood: Saudi king (Times of India)

Ahmadinejad urges unity after sworn in as Iran president (Ha'aretz)

Iran's Ahmadinejad sworn in as president (Reuters)

US Foreign Policy

Washington summons Israel envoy over East Jerusalem eviction (Ha'aretz)

Barack Obama is close to revealing plan for Middle East peace (Times Online)

International Relations/Law

Peace group: Ban of foreign aid to NGOs will harm hospitals, universities (Ha'aretz)

Britain urges Syria to help push Mideast peace (AFP)

UN’s Ban to ask for extension of UNIFIL mandate (The Daily Star)

Arts and Activism

Israeli writer, artist Amos Kenan dead at 82 (Guardian)

Young Palestinian-American musician's world travels work their way into his first CD (Institute for Middle East Understanding)

Commentary

Khouri: Zionism Must Lose Its Colonialism (Agence Global)

Dajani: Who speaks for Palestine? (Huffington Post)

Inbari: Will Fatah give up the "armed struggle"? (Jerusalem Post)

Seele: Mahmoud in Danger, and Iran (Agence Global)

McGirk: Will the police take down Israel's foreign minister? (Time)

Hijab: Playing from Strength in the Middle East (Agence Global)

Israel must allow evicted Arab families to return home (Ha'aretz)

Wallerstein: The World Left and the Iranian Elections (Agence Global)

Views expressed on this post or on linked web pages do not represent the Palestine Center, the educational program of the Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development. All content is for educational purposes only.