The New Fatah
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
(Editorial) August 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Al-Fatah, the Palestinians’ nominal ruling party, presented Israel with both a gift and a challenge on August 12 as it wrapped up its international party congress in Bethlehem. It had been 20 years since the last congress. Party leaders were touting this one, in the face of near-universal skepticism, as a transformative moment in Palestinian politics, a chance to burnish Fatah’s corrupt, fossilized image, restore its credibility on the Palestinian street and reassert its legitimacy as Israel’s negotiating partner.

Fatah Party Election Brings in a New Generation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - August 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Fatah, the mainstream Palestinian nationalist party, elected a mostly new leadership committee, ushering in a younger generation and ousting some prominent veterans, according to preliminary results released here on Tuesday.

Hope from Bethlehem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yariv Oppenheimer - August 12, 2009 - 12:00am

What great disappointment and what a blow to peace-lovers: The Fatah Congress that convened in Bethlehem did not recognize Israel as a Jewish state, did not adopt Hebrew as an official language, and did not end with the singing of Israel’s national anthem. The Palestinians have remained the same; a beaten and persecuted people seeking independence alongside Israel, but without recognizing or endorsing the Zionist idea and the principals of the Jewish State.

A brand new Fatah?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ziad Abu Zayyad - (Opinion) August 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Convening Fatah's Sixth General Conference in Bethlehem represents a new chapter not only in the history of the movement but also in its future deliberations. Fatah was established as an underground resistance movement in exile inspired by the radical liberation movements of the 1950s and '60s in Vietnam, Latin America and elsewhere. The declared goal was to liberate all Mandatory Palestine from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.

Fatah: A new beginning?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Roger Hardy - August 12, 2009 - 12:00am

The party founded by the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat four decades ago is struggling to revive its fortunes. But has its latest congress really made it a more united and credible force? It was the first Fatah congress on Palestinian soil - and that in itself ensured that organising it would be a tall order. The event brought together more than 2,000 delegates, not just from the West Bank but from the Palestinian diaspora. Fatah needed Israel's permission for activists to come from Lebanon and Syria.

Fatah's old guard ousted by election of intifada chief
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Ben Lynfield - August 12, 2009 - 12:00am

The once-dominant Fatah movement took a first step towards reversing its decline among Palestinians yesterday by electing new leaders – including a firebrand jailed for life by Israel. Marwan Barghouthi, the leader of the second intifada uprising who is serving five life sentences for attacks on Israeli targets, was one of a raft of new faces on Fatah's central committee. He is seen as a potential successor to Fatah's leader, Mahmoud Abbas, if he is freed by Israel in a future deal. "This is a great result, a great mix," said Ziyad Abu Ayn, a close associate of Mr Barghouthi.

Will Fatah Regain the Initiative?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Abdullah Iskandar - (Opinion) August 12, 2009 - 12:00am

After the Fatah Movement concluded its conference and elected its leadership committees, it is now expected to regain the initiative at all levels. Over the past years, especially after President Yasser Arafat passed away, the conflicts and personal positions amongst the historic leaders played an obstructing role in making decisions and protecting them. Each of these leaders was a pole in himself, and they all often pulled in every direction. This was mainly reflected on the movement, the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the relations with other factions.

Fatah provides role for youth
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
(Editorial) August 12, 2009 - 12:00am

After a long week of internal controversies, the Fatah Congress came to a conclusion in Bethlehem with the election results for the powerful central committee showing a few signs of progress. The highlight of the meeting was that younger Fatah leaders gained powerful posts, including the influential jailed leader Marwan Barghouti. Mohammad Dahlan, a controversial figure in the Gaza Strip also won - no surprises there. Ahmad Qurei, the first Palestinian prime minister, was among the veterans who lost their seats, signalling that many within Fatah are invested in taking a new direction.

Fatah Turns to Nation Building, Though It Doesn’t Discard the Rifle
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - August 11, 2009 - 12:00am

Hoping to satisfy as wide a constituency as possible, the Palestinian delegates to the Fatah conference, scheduled to conclude here on Tuesday, have tried to broadcast a message both peaceful and militant. It was a delicate balancing act for Fatah, the mainstream Palestinian nationalist party, as it sought to rise above past failures, rejuvenate itself and head off the challenge from Hamas, the Islamic group that is Fatah’s rival. But it remains an open question whether the weeklong conference, Fatah’s first in 20 years, has hastened or slowed the prospect of a Palestinian state.

Fatah: New leaders declare 'revolution'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
August 11, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas' Fatah party elected a new generation of leaders at its first congress in 20 years, including a popular militant jailed in Israel, according to results on Tuesday. Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in Israel, was among those elected to Fatah's governing body at the landmark conference aimed at rejuvenating a party weakened by internal rifts.

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