As you ought to know by now, George Bush has decided to free up $86 million in US aid to help shore up Mahmoud Abass' corrupt and dysfunctional government now bravely cowering in the West Bank. Eighty-six million dollars is a nice chunk of change, and as a concerned taxpayer I wanted to know exactly what that's gonna buy me. I'm sure all the parties involved would tell me something something stupid like I'm ensuring the successful continuation of the Middle East "Peace Process", whatever the hell that is. I suppose it's supposed to result in peace. So, in my naiveté I wondered whether or not al-Presidenté Abbas is interested in peace. Seeing as he's also the titular leader of Fatah, I went and found their constitution. The introduction to said document didn't exactly inspire me with confidence in my "investment"; let me show you why:
Dear brother, comrade of the struggle . . .
The significance of this constitution stems from its being an application of the principles of our struggle, the pedestal of the Movement . . . With those opening words, Fatah declares that it's entire reason for being is their "struggle", i.e. their never-ending war against Israel. This isn't exactly a ringing endorsement for our supposed partners in peace; if they're interested in living peaceably with Israel, why not say so? Moreover, the opening paragraph goes on to say that Fatah's constitution "is the diciplinary framework . . . that maintains [the Movement's] path and the revolution's future"(emphasis mine). Maintaining a revolution's future isn't exactly compatable with insuring domestic tranquility.
This constitution revolves around the following principles . . .
1. The armed revolution we are waging has been set into orbit by the principle that it is a public revolution, and not one of a distinguished class, and that the public is capable of practising struggle efficiently and conscientiously. The public is also the true protector of the revolutionary organisation. This organisation has satisfied the intimate relationship between the revolution and the public via the hierarchical structure of the Movement in which the public constitutes its solid, wide base.To arms, downtrodden and oppressed memebrs of the proletar . . . um, Palestinians! Thou art efficient and conscientious patriots, therefore we are fit to rule over you in an overtly intimate fashion. Why? Because this piece of paper says so!
With this view of the public's role in mind, the role of the organised base in the Movement is crystallised. The Movement is in close contact with the public, sharing their cares and worries and inspired by their aspirations. The public is, therefore, the sole source of authorities and the sole, honest guardian of the Movement. It is also the only party authorised to take decisive decisions, and to elect the leadership at all levels . . .. . . except, of course, for those of our brothers over in the Gaza Strip who voted into power a completely different movement. What the hell do they know, anyway?
2. The elected leadership assumes its responsibilities on the basis of the democratic centrality principle which warrants commitment of the lower ranks to the higher ranks' decisions. The leadership is, in turn, held accountable to its conferences and councils. Higher leaderships assume a pivotal responsibility which embodies the utter unity of the organisation in different districts and institutions.Vote for us and we promise to form committees to hold ourselves accountable to. Really. We will. We're totally serious.
3. The Movement encourages freedom of expression and criticism within the disciplinary frameworks. This is a sacred right for all members, and no authority can deny them it. Any view or criticism within the disciplinary principles should not be taken as an indictment against a member afterwards. Free expression is the only guarantee to prevent the leaderships from committing mistakes or going astray, and it is the only effective method to convey the public opinion via the different bases to the Movement's leaderships.Please feel free to criticise us. No, really, we encourage criticism. It is only then that we'll be able offer you the experience of our clear and fully developed diciplinary frameworks.
4. The Movement firmly believes in self-criticism by all members in general and by those in authority in particular. This is important in order to attain the goal of free criticism and expression, to put an end to continual erring, and to spell out readiness to benefit from public and self criticism. By so doing, the Movement's experience will be very much developed and its path will be made much clearer.
5. In its determination on liberation and bringing about historical social changes, the Movement attempts to launch the revolutionary moral values which are on a bar with our struggle, and to create the feeling of human dignity. To this effect, the Movement tries to liberate the individual from all social ills, especially the discrimination women face, the thing that hinders their potentials and effective contributions at all disciplinary levels. This entails that the relationships among members be objective and based on the Movement's principles and constitutions. Relationships based on personal interests have no place whatsoever. The Movement, consequently, treats all members on equal footing as far as their essential obligations are concerned, and it offers equal opportunity to all faithful and active members to occupy leading positions. And while it is keen on maintaining its path, it is keen as well to get an utmost benefit from its experiences to enrich its ideology and develop its infrastructure.Fear not, for the Movement is your sole source of moral values and dignity and can fix all your problems. Oh, by the way, women and diversity are good things, therefore the Movement is an equal-opportunity employer, so long as your intentions are pure.
6. Through its struggle, the Movement endeavours to mobilise the public in order to gain the necessary support. This task should be handled by its members. It, therefore, spares no effort to make its members set examples for others to attract the public and consolidate their faith in and loyalty to the revolutionary organisation. As a result, the member has to lead a revolutionary and exemplary life which is based on loyalty, discipline, credibility, modesty, self-denial and altruism. At the same time, he must demonstrate the highest degree of pride, rejection of reality and conformity to the Movement's principles.Every member of the Movement is its ambassador, so y'all need to be veritable paradigms of revolutionary virtue. Otherwise, we'll never be able to get people to believe any of this crap. And don't forget to reject reality and conform totally to what we say: remember, we have "diciplinary frameworks".
Money Poorly Spent
So, this is what I'm buying? A bunch of vague overtures to democracy, freedom of expression, and the implied consent of the governed? I don't want to maintain Fatah's path: the end of that path is the destruction of Israel and the annihilation of its people, or at least so sayeth Article the Twelfth:
Article (12) Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.Now, in the past the US has supported some unsavory characters; Chaing Kai-Shek and Syngman Rhee come to mind. But at least they were interested in working with us to fight communism. Fatah won't even bother to go that far, as far as cooperation goes:
Article (22) Opposing any political solution offered as an alternative to demolishing the Zionist occupation in Palestine, as well as any project intended to liquidate the Palestinian case or impose any international mandate on its people.What Fatah wants is genocide, and they've pledged themselves to getting it, no matter the cost; somehow I doubt a mere $86 million will suffice.