Fatah’s Long March

The rank-and-file of Fatah has long known that Mahmoud Abbas’ habit of jumping through hoops for Condi Rice was political suicide, and that much has been confirmed in recent weeks: Hamas has emerged from the Gaza war stronger than ever politically, and Abbas’ blaming of Hamas for the carnage at the beginning of Israel’s operation cast him as a collaborator in the eyes of many of his own people. Abbas has spent eight years sitting politely in the back seat of the Bush/Condi limo, pretending that endless photo ops with Olmert and Livni were actually part of a process towards ending the occupation. But they couldn’t even give him a “shelf” agreement for a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and sharing Jerusalem. If Olmert couldn’t do even the fetish deal envisaged by Bush, then what could Abbas expect from an Israeli government that will be ten steps to the right?

As I wrote on TIME.com this week,

Many members of Abbas’ Fatah movement, seeing themselves steadily eclipsed by Hamas, are urging a break from their President’s strategy of negotiating with the Israelis and a return to confronting the Israeli occupation in the West Bank. Fatah leaders see the Israeli election as confirming what they already knew: there’s nothing to be gained by continuing the charade of U.S.-sponsored talks about talks with the Israelis. Palestinians could not get what they needed from Olmert, and they know that his successors will take even more of a hard line. From the Palestinian perspective, the past eight years of waiting for negotiations with Israel have left Abbas empty-handed, while the latest Gaza conflict has put Hamas in a stronger position than ever in the court of Palestinian public opinion. Despite the violence by Hamas gunmen against Fatah activists in Gaza since the Israeli offensive, many in Fatah view their movement’s only hope of re-establishing a leading role in Palestinian politics as being to join a unity government with Hamas — and begin to directly challenge the Israeli occupation in the West Bank. The fact that such a sentiment coincides with Israel’s electing a more hawkish government suggests that the Middle East could be in for a long, hot summer.

Fatah is to hold a national congress next month, in Cairo or Amman, and while Abbas might survive as its titular head, the mantle of leadership will pass to the Barghouti generation. The terms of the unity government being brokered by Egypt include planning new elections, and many in Fatah know that their chances of prevailing are slim — and improve somewhat if they oust Abbas and replace him with Barghouti as their presidential candidate. Strategically, Barghouti may have more in common with the Hamas pragmatists than with those who have been toeing Washington’s line for the past eight years.

Even Abbas is making a turn, calling for a Likud-led Israel to face diplomatic isolation. And Fatah officials began petitioning the International Criminal Court in the Hague to investigate war crimes allegations in Gaza.

In other words, Fatah — whether on the diplomatic front, or on the organizational front on the ground in the West Bank — looks set to try and redeem itself by reverting to the path of struggle.

Israel abandoned Oslo eight years ago when Sharon was elected; now, the Palestinian leadership appear to realize that it’s over, and that there’s no diplomatic route in the near term to end Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. For the new Administration in Washington, that means their working assumptions need to be those of 1988, not 1998 or 2008.

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74 Responses to Fatah’s Long March

  1. Arie Brand says:

    Here is another indication: http://www.thepaperboy.com lists 86 papers for Pennsylvania but that Philadelphia Bulletin is not among them. On the other hand what cannot be a very mainstream paper as the Philadelphia Gay News is. So it looks as if that Bulletin is a marginal hate screed – and, truly, what other paper would give space to that Denenberg poison pen.

  2. Clingon says:

    what kind of actions are you proposing? can you be specific?

  3. Joshua says:

    Arie and zealot, I can’t believe you actually took the time to read through YBD’s screed. And how this came to the Nazi connection with the Mufti is beyond me but really the Zionist main counters are usually the same run arounds when they have no relevance to the posted topic at all.

  4. Rami Kaminski, MD says:

    Why I Am a Bad Jew

    For centuries, we lived in Berdichev. In the brutal Ukrainian winter of 1941, SS soldiers arrived there and rounded up eighty-seven members of my family, babies, young adults, octogenarians, stripped them naked, marched them to a nearby ditch, and executed them. Their lifeless bodies fell silently into a mass grave.

    During their two millennia in the Diaspora, Jews were not known to resist. There are few recorded instances in which Jews turned against their host nations or retaliated against their murderers. Instead, the survivors if there were any were expelled or left for another place. The murdered were regarded as good Jews. They accepted their fate helplessly, without resistance.

    This narrative of the Jews has played out on the historical stage with boring monotony: Jews get killed because they are Jews. Nothing novel about it. After the Holocaust, however, the world, disgusted by this particularly ghoulish period of history, accorded some sympathy for the Jews.

    Media commentary about the ongoing Gaza War reveals the world has now reverted to its pre-Holocaust perspective. Today, the only good Jew is a powerless Jew willing to become a dead one. The Zionist Revolution is to “blame”. It changed everything. Jews re-created their own country.

    The Arabs attacked the new Jewish state the day after independence and promised to complete Hitler’s genocide. In succeeding decades, the Arabs attacked again and again Strangely, the Jews, many of them refugees from Arab nations, adopted a surprising, new tactic: they fought back.
    With Zionism, the Jews stubbornly refused to follow the centuries-old script. They refuse to be killed without resistance. As a result, the world has become increasingly enraged at their impertinence.

    The recent events in Gaza and Mumbai make this plain. In 2005, Israel eliminated all Jewish presence in Gaza making it Judenrein and handed it over to the Palestinians. Left behind were synagogues and thriving green houses. The Arabs looted and destroyed them literally the day after Israel ‘s withdrawal was complete. Where these structures once stood, the Palestinians built military bases and installed rocket launchers to shell Israeli civilians. To date, some 7,000 missiles have fallen on Israeli cities and towns, killing and maiming dozens, and sowing widespread terror. Medical studies reveal nearly all Jewish children in the communities bordering Gaza suffer from serious, trauma-induced illness.

    The Gazan Palestinians then elected Hamas to lead them. Hamas proceeded to kill or imprison their political rivals, and its leaders, true to the Hamas charter, were unabashed in clearly stating their aims: they will not stop until they achieve their Final Solution, kill all the Jews, take over the land of Israel , and establish a theocracy governed by Islamic law.

    As killing Jews for being Jews has been a national sport for centuries, Islamic militants are justified in believing they are merely fulfilling historical tradition in Argentina, India and Gaza. Surely the Jews in Mumbai did not occupy Gaza. They were tortured and killed just for being Jews. And predictably, in the eyes of the world, they immediately became good Jews, just like my murdered family in Bertishev.

    Good Jews would wait until Hamas has weapons enabling its members to achieve their ultimate goal of absolute mass murder. Those enraged by Israel’s defensive military action insist Hamas uses only crude rockets, as if Qassams were BB guns, and military inferiority were somehow equivalent with moral superiority. In fact, Hamas now has Iranian-supplied Grad missiles which have landed on Beer Sheva and the outskirts of Tel Aviv.

    Westerners have had only sporadic exposure to the indiscriminant killing in the name of holy war which Israel has lived with for years. Memories of 9-11, Madrid , and London have dimmed. This is not because the Islamic militants made a careful choice of weapons. They simply have not yet acquired nuclear bombs. Once they do, the West will develop a less detached view about the Islamists professed intentions for the infidels.

    The only enlightened people in the civilized world who actually get it are the Israelis. They’ve not had time for detached philosophical ponderings. They’ve been too busy confronting the reality of Islamic fundamentalism.

    Soon, Iran will have nuclear weapons. It will give them to Hezbollah and Hamas. Today, Jews must take a position: either be “good” Jews willing to be slaughtered without resistance, or be bad Jews who defend themselves at the cost of being pariahs of our enlightened world. Good Jews would wait for another six million to be murdered, and pick up to leave for another country to start the cycle again. The bad ones refuse to go calmly into the ditch.

    I confess: I’m a bad Jew!

  5. Y. Ben-David says:

    If you look at the comments, it was Zealot who brought up the “Nazi connections” when he called me a Nazi. I simply pointed out that the ones who supported the Nazis in the Middle East were the Arabs, particularly the Mufti, who worked hand-in-hand with his friend Hitler and the SS.

  6. zealot says:

    @ Joshua
    frankly, I didn’t. I didn’t. The only ones of his that I bother to read are ones under a paragraph or two, longer ones usually contain the cut’n’paste shitty nazi propaganda that doesnt really require reading, just stating the fact that it’s a cut’n’paste shitty nazi propaganda.

    @ YBD
    Nazi is a nazi is a nazi, no matter what nationality. And you are a rabid nazi scum in all it’s stinking, genocidal glory.

    It is any person’s duty, as long as they have eyes to see and a conscience, to call you out on it.

    It was your ideological forbears who brought the shit of nationalism to Palestine when they first started hearding settlers in there, even before the brits left. And now youv’e arrived at the logical conclusion of becoming a bunch of full blown nazis.

    Reap what you sow, nazi.

  7. Y. Ben-David says:

    Ho hum.

  8. zealot says:

    As before.

  9. franc mon says:

    Paribas grosbank BNP in Paris krisis

    von Raivo Pommer-Eesti-raimo1@hot.ee

    Peinlicher Computerfehler bei der französischen Großbank BNP Paribas: Das Finanzinstitut hat von zahlreichen Kundenkonten aus Versehen zu viel Geld abgebucht.

    Fast 600 000 Transaktionen wie Überweisungen wurden wegen eines Softwarefehlers irrtümlich zweimal oder sogar dreimal ausgeführt. Betroffen seien einige zehntausend Konten, bestätigte ein Sprecher der Bank am Freitag.

    Das Institut kündigte an, die Fehlbuchungen innerhalb von 48 Stunden wieder rückgängig zu machen. “Die Kunden werden natürlich nicht die Konsequenzen dieses Vorfalls tragen”, hieß es bei BNP Paribas. Auch wer durch die Abbuchungen in die roten Zahlen gerutscht sei, müsse keine Zusatzkosten durch Zinsen befürchten. Wie viel Geld fälschlicherweise den Besitzer wechselte, wollte die Bank zunächst nicht sagen. Auch zur Ursache des Computerfehlers gab es keine Angaben.

  10. Arie Brand says:

    I don’t know whether the people who are lying here for Israel have been bought but, if so, judging from their performance they must have been cheap.

    Rami Kaminski’s screed constitutes a case in point.

    He calls himself a ‘bad Jew’ because, he says, he is not willing to be killed without putting up a fight. But that’s not it. Kaminski is simply a ‘bad Jew’ because he hasn’t the slightest respect for truth. Let us start with the old canard that “the Arabs started all the wars”. Kaminski wrote:

    “The Arabs attacked the new Jewish state the day after independence and promised to complete Hitler’s genocide. In succeeding decades, the Arabs attacked again and again Strangely, the Jews, many of them refugees from Arab nations, adopted a surprising, new tactic: they fought back.”

    By now this falsehood that liars for Israel got away with for a long time has been thoroughly demolished, for a large part thanks to the efforts of Israel’s own ‘new historians’.

    Let me, from a multitude of sources, pick out the account of the war of 1948 given by Jews who do have a respect for truth, the British group “Jews for Justice in the Middle East”:

    “The UN Partition
    of Palestine

    Why did the UN recommend the plan partitioning Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state?

    “By this time [November 1947] the United States had emerged as the most aggressive proponent of partition…The United States got the General Assembly to delay a vote ‘to gain time to bring certain Latin American republics into line with its own views.’…Some delegates charged U.S. officials with ‘diplomatic intimidation.’ Without ‘terrific pressure’ from the United States on ‘governments which cannot afford to risk American reprisals,’ said an anonymous editorial writer, the resolution ‘would never have passed.'” John Quigley, “Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice.”

    Why was this Truman’s position?

    “I am sorry gentlemen, but I have to answer to hundreds of thousands who are anxious for the success of Zionism. I do not have hundreds of thousands of Arabs among my constituents.” President Harry Truman, quoted in “Anti Zionism”, ed. by Teikener, Abed-Rabbo & Mezvinsky.

    Was the partition plan fair to both Arabs and Jews?

    “Arab rejection was…based on the fact that, while the population of the Jewish state was to be [only half] Jewish with the Jews owning less than 10% of the Jewish state land area, the Jews were to be established as the ruling body – a settlement which no self-respecting people would accept without protest, to say the least…The action of the United Nations conflicted with the basic principles for which the world organization was established, namely, to uphold the right of all peoples to self-determination. By denying the Palestine Arabs, who formed the two-thirds majority of the country, the right to decide for themselves, the United Nations had violated its own charter.” Sami Hadawi, “Bitter Harvest.”

    Were the Zionists prepared to settle for the territory granted in the 1947 partition?

    “While the Yishuv’s leadership formally accepted the 1947 Partition Resolution, large sections of Israel’s society – including…Ben-Gurion – were opposed to or extremely unhappy with partition and from early on viewed the war as an ideal opportunity to expand the new state’s borders beyond the UN earmarked partition boundaries and at the expense of the Palestinians.” Israeli historian, Benny Morris, in “Tikkun”, March/April 1998.

    Public vs private pronouncements on this question.

    “In internal discussion in 1938 [David Ben-Gurion] stated that ‘after we become a strong force, as a result of the creation of a state, we shall abolish partition and expand into the whole of Palestine’…In 1948, Menachem Begin declared that: ‘The partition of the Homeland is illegal. It will never be recognized. The signature of institutions and individuals of the partition agreement is invalid. It will not bind the Jewish people. Jerusalem was and will forever be our capital. Eretz Israel (the land of Israel) will be restored to the people of Israel, All of it. And forever.” Noam Chomsky, “The Fateful Triangle.”

    The war begins

    “In December 1947, the British announced that they would withdraw from Palestine by May 15, 1948. Palestinians in Jerusalem and Jaffa called a general strike against the partition. Fighting broke out in Jerusalem’s streets almost immediately…Violent incidents mushroomed into all-out war…During that fateful April of 1948, eight out of thirteen major Zionist military attacks on Palestinians occurred in the territory granted to the Arab state.” “Our Roots Are Still Alive” by the People Press Palestine Book Project.

    Zionists’ disrespect of partition boundaries

    “Before the end of the mandate and, therefore before any possible intervention by Arab states, the Jews, taking advantage of their superior military preparation and organization, had occupied…most of the Arab cities in Palestine before May 15, 1948. Tiberias was occupied on April 19, 1948, Haifa on April 22, Jaffa on April 28, the Arab quarters in the New City of Jerusalem on April 30, Beisan on May 8, Safad on May 10 and Acre on May 14, 1948…In contrast, the Palestine Arabs did not seize any of the territories reserved for the Jewish state under the partition resolution.” British author, Henry Cattan, “Palestine, The Arabs and Israel.”

    Culpability for escalation of the fighting

    “Menahem Begin, the Leader of the Irgun, tells how ‘in Jerusalem, as elsewhere, we were the first to pass from the defensive to the offensive…Arabs began to flee in terror…Hagana was carrying out successful attacks on other fronts, while all the Jewish forces proceeded to advance through Haifa like a knife through butter’…The Israelis now allege that the Palestine war began with the entry of the Arab armies into Palestine after 15 May 1948. But that was the second phase of the war; they overlook the massacres, expulsions and dispossessions which took place prior to that date and which necessitated Arab states’ intervention.” Sami Hadawi, “Bitter Harvest.”

    The Deir Yassin Massacre of Palestinians by Jewish soldiers

    “For the entire day of April 9, 1948, Irgun and LEHI soldiers carried out the slaughter in a cold and premeditated fashion…The attackers ‘lined men, women and children up against the walls and shot them,’…The ruthlessness of the attack on Deir Yassin shocked Jewish and world opinion alike, drove fear and panic into the Arab population, and led to the flight of unarmed civilians from their homes all over the country.” Israeli author, Simha Flapan, “The Birth of Israel.”

    Was Deir Yassin the only act of its kind?

    “By 1948, the Jew was not only able to ‘defend himself’ but to commit massive atrocities as well. Indeed, according to the former director of the Israeli army archives, ‘in almost every village occupied by us during the War of Independence, acts were committed which are defined as war crimes, such as murders, massacres, and rapes’…Uri Milstein, the authoritative Israeli military historian of the 1948 war, goes one step further, maintaining that ‘every skirmish ended in a massacre of Arabs.'” Norman Finkelstein, “Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict.” ”

    And here are a few quotes from ‘crown witnesses’ I picked up elsewhere:

    David Ben-Gurion: (in an address delivered to American Zionists in Jerusalem on 3 September 1950):

    “Until the British left, no Jewish settlement, however remote, was entered or seized by the Arabs, while the Haganah, under severe and frequent attack, captured many Arab positions and liberated Tiberias and Haifa, Jaffa and Safad” (Ben-Gurion, Rebirth and Destiny of Israel (N.Y.: Philosophical Library, 1954, p. 530).

    The ‘liberation’ of Jaffa is a misnomer – it was in fact in the territory allotted to the Arab.

    Menachem Begin: “In the months preceding the Arab invasion, and while the five Arab states were conducting preparations, we continued to make sallies into
    Arab territory. The conquest of Jaffa stands out as an event of first-rate importance in the struggle for Hebrew independence early in May, on the eve of the invasion by the five Arab states” (Menachem Begin, The Revolt, Nash, 1972, p. 348)

  11. Arie Brand says:

    Kaminsky, the ‘bad Jew’, also lied about the greenhouses left behind in Gaza.

    And so did Peres in his recent altercation with Erdogan – because lying for Israel seems to be a national sport over there.

    Kaminski wrote:

    “Israel eliminated all Jewish presence in Gaza making it Judenrein and handed it over to the Palestinians. Left behind were synagogues and thriving green houses. The Arabs looted and destroyed them literally the day after Israel ’s withdrawal was complete.”

    Peres was also raving on about those greenhouses, making it appear that a generous gift from Israel had been wilfully destroyed by the Palestinians.

    The truth is quite different.
    First of all this was no gift from Israel. The former Jewish settler-farmers were reimbursed from a fund with mainly private international capital. One person who invested in this, apparently to the tune of half a million dollars, was James Wolfensohn, the former President of the World Bank and then special envoy on behalf of the Quartet to Gaza.I will come to Wolfensohn in a moment.

    The greenhouse culture came to nothing. In the first place because Israel turned off the water that had to feed the sprinkler systems. And, secondly, because it closed the border crossings so that the Palestinian farmers could not export their wares to the biggest market on their doorstep:Israel.

    Wolfensohn has made bitter comments on this in an interview that was published in Haaretz on 7/21/07.

    Here are a few excerpts:

    ‘All the dreams we had are now gone’

    By Shahar Smooha

    .Wolfensohn landed in the Middle East in May 2005 in order to monitor the Israeli disengagement from Gaza and to help heal the badly ailing Palestinian economy. In the beginning he was full of hope: He was able to raise $9 billion ($3 billion a year for three years) to bolster the Palestinian economy, and in November 2005, three months after the disengagement, he served as the mediator between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in negotiations on transit routes and on access to and from the Gaza Strip. He also donated money of his own to help the Palestinians buy Israeli-owned greenhouses in Gaza ”

    Wolfensohn referred to the

    .”agreement that Condi [Condoleezza] Rice announced in my presence and in the presence of the European representative Javier Solana,” Wolfensohn continues. “But in the months following, every aspect of the agreement was abrogated. In fact, the sadness of it is that the last remaining aspect – the opening to Egypt [via the border crossing] – has seen the international observers reducing their representation because of non-usage [of the terminal]. So all the dreams that we had then have now gone, ”

    Before all that happened

    “He toured the Gaza Strip with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) immediately after the PA asserted its authority there, and recalls a euphoric atmosphere that dissipated very quickly

    “.I remember seeing the greenhouses with the chairman and looking at the fruits and everything, and there was a joyous atmosphere: ‘Boy, we’re about to get this going and we’re going to have hotels by the beaches and we’re going to have tourism and it’s going to be fantastic, and the Palestinians really know how to be hosts.’ But in the months afterward, first of all Arik [Sharon] became ill and the current prime minister came in, and there was a clear change of view”

    “.At that time, Wolfensohn recalls, powerful forces in the U.S. administration worked behind his back: They did not believe in the border terminals agreement and wanted to undermine his status as the Quartet’s emissary. The official behind this development, he says, was Elliot Abrams, the neoconservative who was appointed deputy national security adviser in charge of disseminating democracy in the Middle East – “and every aspect of that agreement was abrogated

    .The non-implementation of the agreement naturally had serious economic consequences. According to Wolfensohn, the shattering of the great hope of normality, which the Palestinians experienced so deeply when the Israel Defense Forces and the settlers left the Gaza Strip, brought about the rise of Hamas. “Instead of hope, the Palestinians saw that they were put back in prison. And with 50 percent unemployment, you would have conflict. This is not just a Palestinian issue. If you have 50 percent of your people with no work, chances are they will become annoyed. So it’s not, in my opinion, that Palestinians are so terrible; it is that they were in a situation where a modulation of views between one and the other became impossible.

    “.The issue of the greenhouses is especially painful to Wolfensohn because of his personal contribution to them. “Everything was rotting because you couldn’t get the fruit. And if you went to the border, as I did many times, and saw tomatoes and fruit just being dumped on the side of the road, you would have to say that if you were a Palestinian farmer you’d be pretty upset. So my view is to try and not demonize the Palestinians…”

    The Israeli Kaminskis, however, first sabotage them and then demonize them for the results that Israeli sabotage has brought about.

  12. Constatine Gbao says:

    Why couldnt the tomatoes be exported thru Egypt to Europe?

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  14. well long its not easy to comment on it, i will say be a part of long march surly it will make you tired like me hehe

  15. Bill Mark says:

    Fatah is Great !!! Wow.

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    Your views are in accordance with my own for the most component.

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