OSC Translates the 2009 Fatah Charter

Last year, the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah in the Arabic acronym) led by Palestinian National Authority president Mahmoud Abbas gathered in Bethlehem and approved a revision of its charter for the first time since the 1960s.  That revised charter (pdf) has recently been translated into English by the DNI Open Source Center.

The document is not particularly conciliatory in tone or content.  It is a call to revolution, confrontation with the enemy, and the liberation of Palestine, “free and Arab.”  Interestingly, it stresses the role of women in the movement.  “The leading bodies will work to arrive at 20 percent participation for women, provided this does not conflict with organizational standards or the Internal Charter.”  And it insists repeatedly on the need to safeguard the movement’s “secrets.”

But what is perhaps most significant is what is not in the document.  The original Fatah charter (or constitution) from the 1960s embraced “the world-wide struggle against Zionism,” denied Jewish historical or religious ties to the land, and called for the “eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.”  None of that language is carried over into the new charter, which manages not to mention Israel, Zionism, or Jews at all.

The English translation of the new Charter, which does not seem to be available elsewhere, has not been approved for public release by the DNI Open Source Center.  A copy was obtained by Secrecy News.

No Responses to “OSC Translates the 2009 Fatah Charter”

  1. Ben F January 31, 2010 at 4:22 PM #

    With all due respect, I believe that you are missing the point here.

    This document identifies itself as an “Internal Charter” adopted within the framework of the “Basic Charter.” A simple search in the new document for the word “basic” makes evident that the principles of the Basic Charter continue to govern. This Internal Charter deals with issues of organization and governance within the movement.

    In the current political and diplomatic environment it would have been tactically foolish for Fatah to reiterate the movement’s antipathy to Zionism and its rejection of the existence of legitimate national rights of the Jewish people, or indeed of the very notion of a Jewish people, but the references to the Basic Charter confirm that Fatah’s foundational principles remain in force.

  2. J.M.Jordan September 9, 2011 at 3:27 AM #

    Ben F is 200% correct! This is just the comedian’s cosmetic, cf. last year’s reaffirmation of the -in fact basic- 1968 PLO/Fatah Charter which just as 1988 Hamas Charter wants not more not less than the non-existence of Israel. Only the means leading up to the goal differing (for Fatah also as 2-stage-process thinkable, e.g. interim “2-state-peace solution”). Arafat himself gave the best proof that nobody can trust their “Charter changes” when he seemingly granted the Israel-destruction-article’s elimination at peace negs with then-first-time-PM Netanyahu. When a pleased Netanyahu then said now there no longer was any peace obstacle the article having been eliminated Arafat contered “Error, everything’s like it always has been. To REALLY having been eliminated the lifted hands would have had to be counted and have given a 2/3 majority!!!” There’s a word for this in Arabic. It’s called “taqqiya” (cunning/deceit) and is always allowed versus non-muslims!