Friday, August 14, 2009

Fatah Election: The Myths Unravel. Most moderate Fatah guy says election fraud is an Israeli conspiracy!

By Barry Rubin

As I predicted, the fact that only one out of 18 members of the Fatah Central Committee came from the Gaza Strip caused trouble. The Western media is generally celebrating the Fatah conference—on the basis of false conclusions—but people in the organization are charging fraud.

Ahmad Qurei (better known as Abu Ala) missed out on election by two votes. He said, albeit with exaggeration, that the Fatah elections were more dishonest than the recent ones in Iran.

But even he, perhaps the most moderate individual in the higher ranks of the organization, showed the extremely sick culture of Fatah by—wait for it—accusing Israel of fixing the election and those who won as being Israeli agents!

The victory of people like Jibril Rajoub, Muhammad Dahlan, and Tawik Tirawi—all security force commanders—showed, he claimed that "someone wants to see rubber stamps" in Fatah’s leadership. He implied that these people were too soft on Israel and were actually willing to make concessions as part of a comprehensive peace agreement.

No need to wonder why this conflict continues when you look at thinking and behavior like this.

At the same time, Gaza Strip leaders of Fatah have resigned. Even aside from vote-fixing they do have a case. After all, since Hamas prevented many from attending the meeting they couldn’t vote for candidates from Gaza.

Oh, and guess what? The Fatah leadership has announced that Tayyib Abd al-Rahman won a seat after an original announcement had him out by one vote, one vote ahead of Qurei.

And who is Abd al-Rahman: former spokesman and office director for Yasir Arafat, one of his most faithful lieutenants and a traditionalist whose views haven’t changed in decades. So much for the claims about the triumph of youth, new faces, moderation, and progress.

Also complaining is Hatem Abd al-Qader, an ally of Marwan Barghouti and perhaps the loudest critic of the Fatah leadership of all.

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