The Fatah Congress Spectacle

[Financial Times-UK] Editorial - Fatah today resembles nothing so much as a bloated gerontocracy, a loose aggregate of colliding, ego-driven agendas. More interested in the trappings of statehood-without-a-state than the difficult practice of statecraft, its leaders, mostly over 70 and in their gleaming cars and suits, bear no relation to a young population struggling in poverty. What should have been a historic congress - to rescue Fatah from its further slide into corruption and irrelevance after being trashed by the Islamist Hamas in the 2006 general elections - was largely taken up with arguments about how to elect a new leadership, amid widespread accusations of vote-buying. Fatah, which kept Palestinian hopes alive and put Palestine on the world's agenda, is heading for the dustbin of history unless it quickly re-articulates a national platform and comes up with a credible leadership - respected by Israelis as well as Palestinians.

2009-08-11 06:00:00

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