Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Why Do They Vote for Hamas? | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Hamas is the most prominent movement on both military and public levels in Palestine and represent the greatest challenge for both Palestinian and Israeli authorities. If we want to understand why, we simply should look at the Hamas posters that have flooded the Palestinian cities that read, “Our history is bright, our hands are clean and our path is virtuous.”

If we put ourselves in the position of the public who view these posters, we can interpret these few lines as the following; the history of Fatah is dark, their hands are stained by blood and they follow a meandrous path. This is how the ordinary Palestinian will perceive the propaganda of Hamas using his surroundings to understand such words.

Those who belong to the Fatah movement had completely distorted the movement’s image and with them appeared figures who had once exploited their authority. Moreover, military groups had transformed into coercive militias and news of corruption amongst government members was widespread. The image deteriorated even more when internal disputes between Hamas members had surfaced reflecting conflicting political positions.

It has never been difficult for Hamas, the Islamic political party, to sell its slogan and convince even, for example, Ramallah’s Palestinian Christians with it. This is not due to the efficiency of the movement, but rather because Fatah has become more like a cheating husband of whom his wife is fed up and from whom cannot accept any more lies.

Fatah may not be able to secure votes even from its own security officers who inaugurated the elections and number approximately sixty thousand. Fatah is threatened by defeat in the upcoming days which may lead to its complete failure in the future despite its history throughout the Palestinian struggle and the fact that it had been an invincible party throughout.

Considering the movement’s long history, Fatah does not lack tricks but rather popularity, and pushes Hamas to take into consideration public views in order to embarrass it nationally and internationally.

Hamas stated that it would never recognize the state of Israel and would not accept a Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders and further called for the complete liberation of Palestine. Such statements would surely deprive Hamas of votes of the more sensible parties in Palestine that learnt the hard way that such statements are no more than propaganda, in addition to the fact that such statements will be considered extremist by the international community, and used against Hamas. The more Hamas moves towards extremism, the more parties will assemble to work against Hamas gaining votes and forbid it from gaining important political positions in the future.

The Palestinian crisis can be summarized by saying that the most sensible of parties with the most experience and history in the Palestinian struggle is void of the most important factor that is sound and coherent leadership. The competing movement, Hamas, is more likely to win due to the popularity of its political speech and the clarity of its local endeavors; however, it lacks a practical political plan that may serve in the best interest of the Palestinian people.

In conclusion, if Hamas wins, it will follow the long and detested path of Fatah. If Fatah wins the battle, it will require the assistance of Hamas to be able to resume its negotiation attempts with Israel.