While Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas continues to voice support for a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, condemning the use of violence, his party, Fatah, seems to have a different scenario in mind.
A new logo, issued by Fatah ahead of the party’s 48th anniversary celebrations, is replete with bellicose symbols including the barrel of a rifle and a Palestinian keffiyeh (headscarf) covering the entire territory from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean Sea, eliminating the state of Israel, Palestinian Media Watch revealed Wednesday.
The logo, published in official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah on December 10, also features other loaded images, including the Dome of the Rock on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, a white dove in shackles, and a door key symbolizing the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees and their descendants. The words on the logo read “the state and victory.”
The Palestinian Authority consistently eradicates Israel’s existence in its official maps in government offices, schools and the media, Palestinian Media Watch reported.
Ido Zelkovitz, an expert on Fatah at Haifa University’s department of Middle East history and the Ezri Center, said that Fatah is directing its combative message largely at a domestic audience, in a bid to respond to rival movement Hamas’s fiery rhetoric.
“Armed struggle is an integral part of Fatah’s founding ethos,” Zelkovitz told The Times of Israel. “The message is: if goals can’t be achieved through negotiations, the military option is always there… For Fatah, remaining weaponless is having no identity.”
The number 48 is also highly symbolic, a reference to the 1948 establishment of Israel and the ensuing Palestinian nakba, or disaster. The 48th anniversary marks the day in which Fatah went from clandestine to public activity through firing “the first bullet” at an Israeli water pipe on January 1, 1965.
Zelkovitz considers the white dove in shackles a dual symbol. It represents both the Israeli procrastination in the peace process and a demand to liberate Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.
Fatah representative in Gaza Yahya Rabbah told local media this week that his movement will celebrate its anniversary in Hamas-controlled Gaza “in the right time and place.”
Despite the combative spirit represented in the new logo, Zelkovitz said that Abbas understands that the armed struggle has led Palestinians nowhere, and consistently speaks up against it.
“There are various streams inside Fatah, and not everyone is committed to [Abbas’s] hopes and aspirations,” he said.”The same is true for us here in Israel, where not all politicians conform to the ideas of their party leaders.”