Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Hamas First and Foremost | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Hamas has turned the political situation in Gaza into something that is far more significant than Palestine itself. Today, Hamas is actually acting in a way that has made it more important than Gaza itself.

How can we explain Hamas’s political floundering at the expense of the more vital cause, that is, at the expense of Palestine itself? How can we not read the recent events in Gaza as nothing but a clear and honest proof of consolidation of the idea of isolating Gaza followed by its “independence”? Today, Hamas’s declared intention to move toward economic disengagement from all the occupied territories and rely on the Egyptian side represents new isolation of the Gaza Strip and a reinforcement of the concept of establishing a “state” in a region that is part of a larger entity.

Has the issue of Hamas controlling Gaza and staying in power become more important than the greater cause? It is a tough question and the answer to it is filled with evident pain. One cannot deny the Israeli Army’s practices against an entire people and the prefabricated accusations that are ready to be directed against all Gaza Strip residents, thus permitting the spilling of their blood and encroaching on their lives in a criminal and unethical way. These actions are backed by a group of neo-conservatives in the US Administration, which continues to adopt double moral standards in dealing with all the issues related to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The US Administration considers the rough practices against the residents of the Sudanese Darfur region as genocides carried out by armed gangs supported by government parties, yet it completely overlooks and ignores the destructive Israeli tanks and planes and the heavily-armed armies that kill everyone and anyone in Gaza in cold blood, showing no mercy for old people, women, and children, thus flagrantly violating all religious and civil rules, regulations, laws, and norms.

Is it logical that through its conceited stances, Hamas is supporting Israel and giving it a pretext for more lowly practices? Is it logical that through its “invasion” of Rafah, Hamas has played a role in shaking up Egyptian security and in causing feelings of fear and worry that saboteur movements may have infiltrated into Egypt to carry outs acts of sabotage in Egyptian territory, thus losing the support of the Egyptian street with all the shades of its spectrum? This is taking into consideration that the Egyptian street is the old, traditional, and important ally of Hamas and the Palestine question. It is as if no one learned from the lessons of Black September [in 1970] and the events that took place between the PLO and the Jordanian Government. History repeated itself to show Hamas’s recklessness and foolishness in dealing with Egypt and its government.

The tragic humanitarian situation in Gaza is above all considerations. Arab silence is a cause for shame. However, there is a state of mistrust between Hamas and many parties in the region, and according to the popular [Arabic] proverb, Hamas “no longer has friends.” Nevertheless, this situation should not prevent us from taking action and from offering financial aid to the residents of Gaza, because Israeli crimes continue wildly and incessantly.

It appears that Hamas has raised a truthful slogan, and that is, “Hamas comes first and foremost.” Many desperate Arab regimes had raised this slogan before Hamas and departed together with their symbols. No matter how beautifully it is presented to make it look ideal and exemplary, tumult does not make miracles. Those who deny [this truth] must learn a lesson from past events.