Marwan Arikat: The Death of Fatah?

By Marwan Arikat
Special to

On July 17th, 2007, The Palestinian National Liberation Movement , Fatah, has been declared dead by one of its leaders, Mahmoud Abbas. There will be no funerals, because it is not a Palestinian custom to hold mass funerals, reserved for the honourable deaths of martyrs and fighters, for such a disgraceful death.  

Of course, we wish that the Fatah death was physical, at least it will save every Palestinian the shame and the humiliation of the spiritual death of Fatah, which is complete surrender to Israel and laying down their arms.    

Fatah has refused to lay down its weapons, even when it was wise to do so.   

Since it was founded in 1958, the arms of Fatah have been the most controversial issue to the Arab nations, especially the ones who host overpopulated Palestinian refugee camps; therefore, they have to live with the nightmare of an armed Fatah along with the rest of the PLO.  

Thus, the Kingdom of Jordan, which has the largest Palestinian population outside of Palestine, has set the example of how to deal with an armed Fatah and armed Palestinians in general.  

After Fatah refused to lay down its arms in Jordan, a country where Palestinians make up 60% of the population, moreover, Fatah leadership has unwisely challenged the authority of the late King of Jordan, the late King Hussein has in return made an example of Palestinian fighters and civilians alike, when his forces with the aid of Israel, Iraq and the US, have killed more than 5,000 Palestinians, or 20,000 Palestinians according to the late Yassir Arafat.   

Some of these Palestinians where hiding in the bushes of the Jordanian desert and they were burned alive by the Jordanian Army. Those are the same Palestinian fighters who defended the Jordanian town of Karamah from an Israeli invasion.  

Following the massacre of the Palestinians in Jordan, which was named “Black September”, the rest of Fatah and the PLO redeployed to another country that borders Israel, it was the Republic of Lebanon.  

The southern Lebanon region was completely controlled by the Palestinian fighters, that it was nicknamed “Fatah Land.”  

Aside from being a Palestinian organization, Fatah had no sectarian or religious affiliations and it should’ve stayed that way, but when you have the biggest guns in Lebanon after the Israelis and the Syrians, eventually you will be forced to join destructive alliances, especially if you have challenged the authority of the other two bigger powerbrokers in Lebanon.  

Fatah has brought the wrath of Syria when it refused to play along the Syrian policy of “divide and conquer” to keep its domination over Lebanon.  

On the Israeli side, being a Palestinian is all you need to be despised and pursued by the Israeli occupation forces. 

To destroy Fatah, Syria has allied itself with the devil, in this case the Phalange militias, who hated Syria more than the Palestinians.  

The Palestinians became allies of the natural enemies of the Phalange, the Druze, some of the Shiite militias, with exception of Amal, and the Sunnis, communists and the nationalists’ movements.  

Israel has replaced Syria as the guardian of the Phalange, and it invaded Lebanon in 1982 with the aim of the complete destruction of the Palestinian armed groups.   

While the Palestinian realized that they are alone in their battle with Israel and they have no one on their side, some of them decided to leave Lebanon in a negotiated settlement with the US, France, Syria and other Arab countries, and they headed to Cyprus and from their they dispersed into Tunisia, Algeria and Yemen, in addition to other Arab countries like Libya and Iraq.  

As the fighters left, the cowardly phalange with the aid of Ariel Sharon, committed one of the most horrific massacres in modern history in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, where the killing period took over three days and Palestinian people, young and old were knifed to death and pregnant women were disemboweled.  

The crimes were so horrific that it appalled the Israelis who established a commission that found Ariel Sharon “responsible” for the murders.  

In Tunisia, Arafat established a government in exile, and pressured Jordan to give up its claim for the West Bank, thus stripping the Arab label from the conflict.  

Now it became known as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and allowed Jordan to make peace with Israel, which hurt the Palestinian cause more than anything else.  

As a result, instead of one neighboring country making peace with Israel and becoming a neutral party in the conflict, which was Egypt, now there are two Arab countries who are not part of the conflict, even if only diplomatically, because since the 1973 war, Arabs have raised the flag of surrender and stopped harassing or hassling Israel militarily.  

Arafat and his henchmen were allowed back in Ramallah after fully recognizing Israel’s “right” to exist, which meant the cancellation of the right of return for the four million Palestinian refugees; this huge concession to Israel was named the Oslo accord or the death warrant of Fatah that we are seeing now.  

Abbas has ordered and many Fatah members have obliged to surrender their weapons and sign a declaration of cessation of all attacks on Israel.   

It is strange that Israel did not require them to sign away Jerusalem in addition to their right to resist occupation?  

Even the most patriotic Fatah faction, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which was established to avenge the martyrs who were killed while defending Al-Aqsa from Sharon, who stormed the Holy Sanctuary along with a thousand soldiers back in 2000, and they killed and maimed many Palestinian worshippers.  

The Israeli killers are still on the loose and Al-Aqsa Brigade wants to lay down its arms, I think this is the greatest dishonor to the Palestinian killed while defending Al-Aqsa.  

We should not forget the honorable members of Fatah who refused to surrender their arms, because to them, the minute the resistance ends, the dream of a free Palestine ends with it.

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