during the Fatah party convention in Bethlehem, Saturday
Fatah's sixth General Assembly has shown that the 44-year-old faction is still not ready to transform itself from a revolutionary movement into a governing body - one that cares about establishing institutions and infrastructure for the future Palestinian state.
Instead, Fatah seems determined more than ever to maintain its status as a "national liberation movement."
In light of the conference, many Palestinians are beginning to draw parallels between Fatah and Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party. As far as they are concerned, Fatah remains part of the problem and not part of any solution.
The fiery rhetoric of the delegates and the signs and graffiti on the walls of the conference hall in Bethlehem are testimony that Fatah continues to live in the past and not in the present.
Moreover, most of the resolutions that were adopted by the 2,000 Fatah delegates appear as if they were taken directly out of the fifth General Assembly that was held in Tunis two decades ago.
The conference is about to conclude its meeting by endorsing almost the same political platform that has been accompanying Fatah since its founding.
Delegates spent more time talking about the past than the present or future. They chose to blame Israel and Hamas for almost all the miseries that have hit Fatah and the Palestinians in recent years.
The delegates spent more time attacking Israel and Hamas than discussing the reasons behind Fatah's defeat in the January 2006 parliamentary election and its expulsion from the Gaza Strip a year later.
For some time during the conference, one got the impression that Israel and Hamas were responsible for Fatah's financial corruption and incompetence.
Had it not been for the security fence and the construction in settlements, Fatah would be less corrupt. And had it not been for Hamas's violent takeover of the Gaza Strip, Fatah would have succeeded in turning the Palestinian territories into the Middle East's Hong Kong.
In short, everyone is to blame for the miseries of the Palestinians and Fatah except for Fatah. Read more here ...