The Fatah Movement's: Dilemmas and Challenges

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Raed Neirat/supervisor
Dr. Emad Beshtawi/external examiner
Dr. Hasan Ayoub/internal examiner
Dr. Raed Neirat/supervisor
Omar Rashad Saleem Nasser
This study has addressed, as the title indicates, the implications and challenges that have faced Fateh Movement( 1965-2013) and their impact on it over these years. These big challenges and problematic issues are only seconded by internal and objective changes which the movement has experienced for five decades. The problem of this study lies in the implications and challenges that Fateh movement has faced as a result of changes in the elements of identity and the challenges that have arisen at several stages of its history starting from the mutiny of Sabri Al-Bana( Abu Nidal) and Abu Musa, division and disagreement in opinions between the movement’s leaderships and cadres, over the signing of Oslo Accords, to the crises which had faced the movement after establishment of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and the holding of its Sixth General Conference. These implications and challenges have taken different forms: leadership crisis, ideological structure, political program and discourse crisis and organizational building crisis. In addition to examination of these implications and challenges and extent of their impact on the movement. the researcher also dwelt on how the movement could overcome them and how the sixth general conference has contributed to solving them. On the basis of that, the researcher hypothesized that Fateh Movement suffered from a number of problematic issues and challenges particularly after signing Oslo Accords. These accords have weakened the wide popular support which Fateh had always enjoyed over the years. To test the hypothesis of the study, the researcher employed the historical method as well as the descriptive analytical method. The former was used to tell the story of origin and history of Fateh Movement, most important stations it has stopped at over more than four decades of its struggle. The latter method was used to describe the ideological and political changes the movement has experienced and lived in and their impact on these challenges and implication which it has faced. In order to test his hypothesis, the researcher discussed the course of the movement and the changes it has experienced; he also dwelt on the effects of these changes on the challenges it has met. Chapter one was devoted to terms and concepts cited in the study while chapter two was devoted to providing a summary of the origin and development of the movement. This was done to put the reader in the historical context of the movement’s establishment; it also dwelt on the ideological and political changes the movement has experienced over a long course of armed struggle, as a strategic and sole option for liberations of Palestine, the political settlement option and the impact of these options on the principles and aims of the movement. Chapter four examined the effect of the transformation the movement has witnessed on challenges and problematic issue it has faced and the rise of several crises at the level of leaderships, ideological structure, political program and agendas, organizational building crisis and the role of movement’s Sixth General Conference in solving these crisis. After analysis of data, based on relevant literature review, and observation, the researcher found that the absence of an ideology for Fateh Movement has deprived it of a strength factor which had made her won wide popular support, during the era of armed struggle in the first three decades of its history. The movement has suffered from disintegration and weakness factor after all changes in its principles and aims over its long course, particularly after Oslo Accords and the stumbled negotiations. These have been demonstrated in a crisis at leadership level, ideological structure, political discourse and program as well as organizational building. Moreover, the movement’s Sixth General Conference had failed to solve these problems. In addition, the change of Fateh from a movement to a PNA party has created a kind of political loyalty for the movement governed more by interests and benefits than by conviction and faith in its aims, principles and values. In the light of the study findings, the researcher recommends institutionalization of organizational work inside Fateh Movement’s institutions and frameworks. He also recommends reinvigoration of accountability system and fighting of corruption in order to have a cohesive organization. He also suggests redefinition of Fateh, renewal of its structure and identity elements and ideological foundations. There is also a need for a revision of the movement’s political program and discourse on the basis of its aims and historical record in line with the new political stage and staying away from a discourse that creates a state of schizophrenia or inconsistency between the history of the movements and its reality. Furthermore, there is a necessity to change the organizational structure of the movement in view of the new political developments of the movement after switching from the secret military struggle to popular work with the masses. Finally, the Fateh leadership has also to change membership criteria in order to control organizational work in the various frameworks of the movement.
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