But if Fatah did not create its own predicament, it has been remarkably uninspired in seeking to overcome it. The movement allowed its institutions to wither and rank-and-file militants to drift, as its elite sought perks and privileges of government positions. It sought hegemony over the PA even as it paid lip service to pluralism. It did not bring its political agenda up to date or adapt it to a shifting environment. It resisted renewal of its leadership, marginalising generations of activists and depriving the movement of necessary lifeblood. Worst of all, it failed to respond to or learn from a long list of devastating setbacks: the second intifada and the ensuing devastation of the PA; Hamas’s electoral victories, beginning with municipal elections in 2004 and 2005 and culminating with the parliamentary elections of 2006; the Islamists’ takeover of Gaza in 2007; and the bankruptcy of the peace process.
A harsh assessment of Fatah.