Sunday, February 05, 2012

The Middle East Media Sampler 2/5/12: Why Fatah Is No Threat To Hamas

From DG:
1) The Almog family
A few years ago Gen. Doron Almog had to sit on a plane in England rather than disembark because an arrest warrant had been issued against him. Rather than risk arrest, he stayed on the plane. Gen Almog was among the first commandos to land in Entebbe to rescue the hostages. He also founded Aleh Negev, a facility for serving severely handicapped adults in southern Israel.

In 2003 5 members of Gen. Almog's family were killed in a terror attack - Admiral (res.) Ze'ev Almog, 71, his wife Ruth, 70, their son Moshe, 43, and grandsons Tomer Almog, 9, and Assaf Staier, 11. Moshe had a son Oren who was injured and blinded in the explosion.

Last week Oren was inducted into the IDF. (h/t Daily Alert) Three days ago, nine years after the atrocity, Oren walked up to the ceremonial stage unassisted by either a walking cane or a seeing-eye dog, and swore an oath to the IDF to the applause and the tears of everyone in attendance.“As someone who was hit pretty hard by terrorism I am proud to serve an organization [the IDF] that aims to protect the security of Israel, to prevent terrorism, and to protect its residents,” he said later with a smile. Oren volunteered to the army as he was not conscripted due to his handicap; however, he has nevertheless been accepted into an undisclosed intelligence unit.“I want my father and grandfather to be proud of me,” he said. “I was raised by them to serve, if I had not enlisted I would feel a very big missed opportunity. I am proud that I’ve decided to undertake this trying task, and contribute back to the state.”
2) How Hamas gains power

Khaled Abu Toameh concludes in Abbas Blocks Young Leadership, Ensuring Hamas Victory:
Abbas is continuing, in fact, the same policy as his predecessor, Chairman Arafat, who systematically suppressed the emergence of the "young guard" in Fatah. 
The Palestinian leadership is dominated by "old guard" leaders who have been in power for decades. These aging leaders have succeeded over the past few decades in preventing younger faces from rising to power. 
Frustration over this "old guard" is why Hamas won in 2006, and why it will win again.
(I wonder if the presence of newer leadership would lead to any moderation. That is a separate discussion.) 
A few months ago, Barry Rubin pointed to another action he took that strengthened Hamas:
Why has Dahlan suddenly fallen so fast and so far? He is accused of corruption, but if that was the standard held to by Fatah its leadership would be meeting in a Volkswagen bug. Not the autombile. An actual bug in the shape of a Volkswagen. It is also said that he was setting up a private militia and tried to assassinate another Fatah official. Like he was the first one to do that! This is all hard to believe as the reason for his fall. Most likely, there is something else and something more important at that: Dahlan hates Hamas and Hamas hates him. It is reasonable to think that he is being forced out because he opposes Fatah’s cooperation with Hamas. Dahlan believes that in any such deal Fatah will eventually be the loser and Hamas will take over the PA. I think he’s right. With all of his faults and failures, throwing Dahlan out of Fatah is one more step to that group’s decline.
Challah Hu Akbar has recently been documenting other actions Abbas has taken that either consolidate his power or isolate himself furhter. Or both.
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