It Is All Because of Hamas!
A new mantra has been thrust upon the world stage by the Jewish State in recent years: it’s all because of Hamas! Hamas is a blood thirsty terrorist organization that does not recognize Israel, therefore there is no peace! Hamas is the reason Palestinians don’t have a state! If only they hadn’t elected Hamas there would already be a flourishing Palestinian state!
And as it is usually the case when poor little Israel bangs its fists on the table, its spoiling parents, the United States and the EU, oblige to the child’s request. “ok”, they yield, “it’s all because of Hamas”. They then support any draconian punitive measure imposed by Israel on the hapless Palestinians. Like remote controlled puppets, a network of talking head pundits across the Western press repeat ad infinitum the latest Israeli invention as gospel.
People who are old enough like myself can only chuckle at this new mantra. After all, I remember well the days before Hamas even existed as a force in Palestinian society. Back then the mantra was “it’s all because of the PLO”, “we do not negotiate with terrorists”, “they do not recognize Israel” etc. Sounds familiar?
But you really don’t have to go that far or have decades old memory. A miraculous transformation has occurred in recent years: the PLO, led by Mahmoud Abbas, has been transformed into Israel’s security contractors in the leftover bantustans in the West Bank. Short of singing Hatikva (the Jewish national anthem), Abbas has disavowed violent resistance, jailed Hamas activists and has turned into a Zionist apologist as indicated by AlJazeera leaked memos (“if the right of return is granted, there will be no Jewish State” he explained to Zipi Livni, thus forgoing the refugees’ universal rights granted by the Geneva Convention, in favor of maintaining the edifice known as the Jewish State).
Mr. Abbas is the Israel / America approved future king of the Paltustans. He is nothing short of a Palestinian Ghandi. He is everything that Israel claimed was needed to bring about peace. After all, they claim, terrorism is not a legitimate means of fighting occupation. It is something which is allowed only to Jews (pre-Israel Jewish militants engaged extensively in terrorism both against the British and the native Arab civilian population).
So the question is asked: is the kumbaya-singing Palestinian president-to-be any closer to achieving Palestinian statehood? Did his non-violent approach soften the heart of the Israeli public? Of course not. In fact, Israel is rapidly expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as these lines are written and the Israeli public and its elected leaders have shifted even further to the right. Not only a Palestinian state is as far as it has ever been from coming into existence, the Israeli government has even dropped all pretenses of “negotiating for peace”, that farce stage show that they used to produce for the world in an effort to prove that peace loving Israel is willing to negotiate even with the lowest of human forms, i.e. those who do not possess military power.
Now let’s shift back to Hamas and debunk some of the silly mantras that are repeated day and night by Israel and its apologists around the world:
“Hamas does not recognize Israel” – and why should they? Israel has not recognized a Palestinian state either and is laboriously toiling on undermining such a possibility, both geographically and diplomatically. We can also look at this simple analogy: a person comes to your house in which you and your family have lived for countless generations, claims that the house belongs to him, then kicks you and locks you in the basement and declares the house his own. Next he demands that you recognize his ownership rights on the house as a pre-condition to any dialogue that he promises will lead to you being able to install electricity and running water in the basement while at the same time he keeps shrinking the basement. Such is the demand by Israel for a Palestinian recognition of a Jewish State while they at the same time are working to undermine a Palestinian State from ever coming into existence. It is nothing more than a ruse used by Israel to avoid a negotiated settlement and any sort of agreement that will allow Palestinians to live in dignity.
“Hamas is a terrorist organization” – and so was Mandela’s African National Congress that fought Apartheid and so were Jewish militant groups such as Etzel and Lehi which later were incorporated into the Jewish State in 1948. It definitely seems that Israel has a bad eye for irony as two of its Prime Ministers, Begin and Shamir, had been terrorist masterminds who organized and executed terrorist attacks on civilians. It is also worthy to remember that the State of Israel was created through a giant act of terrorism: the terrorizing of the Palestinian civilian population through bombardments and massacres conducted by Jewish troops in 1947-1948 which resulted in the Palestinian Nakba, the implications of which we still see today. Therefore, while terrorism is something which we all condemn, it is unrealistic to expect a dispossessed population to gather in a circle and sing hippie peace songs and magically make Israeli apartheid/occupation disappear. The violence is a result of the violence of occupation and oppression, not the other way around.
“Hamas wants the destruction of Israel” – There have been numerous statements by Hamas leaders that they are willing to accept a resolution along the 1967 borders but that doesn’t matter. Israel needs an intransigent Hamas to justify its own intransigence. We already know – the Israeli policy has always been to let Palestinians choose between the stick and the bigger stick. In the grand Zionist plan there is no room for them. At best they can hope to live in improved prison conditions under Israel’s rule, in what historian Ilan Pappe describes as the “mega-prison concept”. Do Palestinians crave the destruction of Israel? I am sure many of them do. In the greater context, Israel is the state which has reduced them to stateless, dispossessed and oppressed population. I am not sure many people would wish roses and caviar on their oppressor.