...Is give blood a chance.
The Palestinian Fatah faction is holding a general assembly for the first time in 20 years in Ramallah this week. With a renewed U.S. emphasis on brokering peace between Palestinians and Israelis, you might hope that a conciliatory, hopeful tone might emanate from the meeting.
You'd be wrong. As journalist Khaled Abu Toameh reports at the Hudson Institute, older Fatah officials are trying to cling to power against a younger generation of emerging leaders, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stacking the delegates and bringing Mohammed Ghnaim in from Tunisia.
Toameh describes Ghnaim as "one of a handful of senior Fatah leaders who remain strongly opposed to the Oslo Accords, insisting that the 'armed struggle' against Israel is the only way to 'liberate Palestine.'"
The moves almost guarantee that Fatah's Central Committee "will continue to be controlled by former Arafat cronies" with intransigent attitudes.
Reinforcing this confrontational approach, the Middle East Media Institute (MEMRI) has this video from a Fatah rally in Ramallah July 27. As the translation here shows, speakers referred to Palestine in Israeli cities including "Haifa, Acre, Jaffa, and Our Arab Jerusalem." Fatah Secretary Raed Radwan exhorts the crowd:
"This is the Palestinian people that said and will continue to say that we are all seekers of martyrdom - the student and the worker, the clerk, the father and the mother, the brother and the sister - towards Palestine."
These are the "moderates" who run the Palestinian Authority and on whom the U.S. is hinging hopes for peace.
Toameh reports that a draft of Fatah's political platform shows Fatah is not willing to recognize Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people. He sums up the Fatah message this way:
"By adopting a hard-line approach toward the conflict and blocking reforms, Fatah is sending a message both to the Palestinians and the world that it's still not ready for any form of compromise or reforms. As such, Fatah remains part of the problem, and not part of the solution."
Look for Washington to echo that assessment around the time Fatah gatherings break into John Lennon singalongs.