Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The New Fatah Congress - a mixed bag

Barry Rubin has an excellent analysis of the Fatah Congress Election Results.
He points out that the new congress includes some moderates, some hardliners, and almost everything in between.

I would highly recommend his column, which can be summarized in the following extract:

On balance, I would say it [The Fatah Congress] is slightly more moderate than its predecessor but the difference should not be exaggerated. For example, there are at least four members of the 18 who are capable of leading a war on Israel. Another four--including Fatah's probable future leaders--are extremely hardline. At the same time, though, there are also a number of individuals who have many Israeli contacts and who can pick up a phone and call or be called by counterparts.

There are a wide range of views from hardline to relatively dovish. Nevertheless, this is neither a group that will make peace with Israel nor one which will ally with Hamas. In other words, this is a group which Israel can work with on status quo issues but not on a comprehensive agreement.
What I though was interesting was the way it was covered in the media, looking at the following headlines you would think that these publications were all covering different events:
Now the next question is, will the new council FINALLY update the Palestinian Charter as they promised to do in the original Oslo agreement in the early 90s (don't hold your breath)


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