Sixth Fatah Congress: The Myth of Moderation
The media has long promoted Fatah — in contrast to Hamas — as the party of Palestinian political moderates seeking peace with Israel, while glossing over evidence to the contrary. (See "Is Fatah Moderate?") An example of this was coverage by some media outlets of the Sixth Fatah General Congress, the first such conference in twenty years, which has just concluded.
The goal of the conference (Aug. 4-10), which drew some 2200 delegates from around the world, was to elect new leaders, reinvigorate its platform and revive Fatah's image as the leading party against its rival Hamas. The Congress demonstrated the deep Palestinian divide between Fatah and Hamas (hundreds of Gazan delegates were barred by the ruling Hamas party from attending the conference), as well as broad internal divisions among Fatah's own delegates who nearly came to blows at the conference. (As a result of numerous disputes, the conference was extended several times from its original three-day schedule).
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