It is as if the aim of the blood shed in Gaza and the tears shed by its people was to tell the Arabs and the world: Hamas is who you must talk to!
The head of Hamas politburo Khalid Mishal excelled in declaring the “divine victory” on January 21 during his “divine speech” televised from Damascus, the capital of Hamas. He said, “The time has come for you to deal with Hamas,” (Asharq Al-Awsat, 22 January 2009).
Khalid Mishal, and this declaration of his, was echoed in neighbouring Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Essam el Erian, a prominent figure and theorist in the MB, wrote an article celebrating the victory and exploring the different ways it can achieve regional gains for both Hamas and the Arab resistance camp. He listed the gains that Hamas had achieved (or rather what Hamas failed to achieve vis-à-vis the Israeli military’s brutal indiscrimination), which Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood sought to transform into self-gain to be used against the Egyptian government and all Arab governments that fail to comply with Islamic Shariaa and carry out Jihad in line with its own vision.
El Erian said that Hamas is a “regional player that must be taken into consideration.”
He advised his brothers around the world to invest in this victory. Furthermore, what is even more dangerous about el Erian’s comments is that he explicitly said that the recent events in Gaza must be used to mount pressure internally and be transformed “to have a political impact upon government,” (Al Hayat, 26 January, 2009).
Hamas and its supporters in the Islamic world – Iran, Syria and other “lost” countries – were in need of Israel’s crime in Gaza. Israel did not hold back and has not shown one ounce of humanitarianism or responsibility for what it has done. It does not care about the magnitude of damage that it has caused or that it has sabotaged the peace process. However, I do believe that now is the right time, more so than ever before, to start a serious process to settle the dispute. Those who are keen to exploit the Gaza issue are doing so in their own interests.
Blood is a liquid full of life; in fact, it is life itself, and the blood of the people of Gaza is being bottled by individuals who feed off it like vampires. As long as Palestinian blood is cheap for those who claim to be defending it, there is nothing wrong with shedding Palestinian blood, whether it is shed by Israel or by those who benefit from the bloodshed that Israel has caused.
This blood is certainly cheap to some Hamas leaders. Wasn’t it the Deputy Chairman of the Hamas Politburo [Abu Marzook] who said during a lecture he gave in Damascus, “We lost 1500 martyrs but our strong women and our hard-working sisters gave birth to over 3500 Palestinian babies during the [Israeli] attacks,” (Asharq al-Awsat, 26 January)?
Was he speaking about mothers, young men and old men who have feelings and dreams and who probably do not care about Hamas’s delusions and projects? It sounds like he was speaking about chicken production!
How very strange…
Didn’t Abu Obeida, the spokesman for the Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, announce a victory for Hamas, according to the SANA news agency, whilst destroyed buildings were still on fire and bodies under the debris were yet to be pulled out? He indicated that Qassam Brigade fighters killed at least 80 Israeli troops during Israel’s onslaught on Gaza. In a press conference that was held after the ceasefire was announced, Abu Obeida said that as a result of Israel’s military attacks, the Qassam Brigades lost 48 martyrs (only). Therefore, he assessed losses according to the casualties of Hamas’ fighters with no consideration whatsoever for the 1315 Palestinian civilians who were killed and the 90,000 refugees within the narrow Gaza Strip and the thousands of homes that have been destroyed. Approximately US $2 billion worth of damages has been caused and bodies are still being pulled out of the debris.
However the indirect victim of this war has been Hamas’s reputation as it is considered politically irresponsible, reckless and an organisation that gambles with people’s lives in compliance with impure agendas whether Iranian or non-Iranian.
But who can convince the masses in our Arab world of the truth vis-à-vis the alluring speeches?
Discussions on Iran and Syria’s roles, and their exploitation of the Gaza issue, which will be discussed very soon by the new US administration, and how Hamas benefited from pressuring Arab governments that it considers hostile to its project (Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt) and on their real goals, are now clear for those who cannot be cheated by slogans and are not fooled easily.
A number of writers commented on the recent Gaza onslaught. They presented themselves as respectable analysts rather than as people speaking at rallies, as they commented on Gaza in a moral way and discussed the lack of humanitarianism of Hamas and its position in the fight for power and interests in the Middle East. It is as if writers and commentators are expected to fill their columns with calls for demonstrations and condemnation of Israel based on the pretext of “humanitarianism,” which has no place in the discourse of conflict and interest. Even if we set aside serious political talk and hold up banners and chant slogans against Israel, which deserves to be taken to court for the crimes that it committed, the question remains: is humanitarianism a one-way issue? Where is the humanitarianism of Iran and its allies that exploit the blood of Gaza’s people for their own political projects? Where is the humanitarianism in the speeches delivered by Khalid Mishal, Abu Marzook, and Abu Obeida who undervalue the blood of Gaza’s innocent children and women as long as Hamas is “fine”?
Where is humanitarianism if Mishal, following the Gaza tragedy, came out only to demand that Hamas is recognised?
I believe that the new party to invest in the Palestinian blood stock exchange this time is the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere. The MB attempted to ride the Gaza blood wave, which it believes will help it achieve its political dream of establishing a Muslim Brotherhood state. If this dream became a reality, its current revolutionary, jihadist and opposition tone would turn into a more practical and pragmatic tone when addressing the West simply because its goal (to gain power) would have been achieved.
This time, the Muslim Brotherhood was clear about some of its objectives; to destroy the existing regime and to establish the Brotherhood state on the debris. The pretext of a wounded Palestine is always ready to be used. Therefore, any attempts to establish peace would not be in the Brotherhood’s interest. Perhaps it accepted the truce and showed tolerance, just as el Erian had advised Hamas leaders to accept the temporary truce and then “gradually” discuss the 1967 borders. However, the Palestinian Cause, in essence – which will take great strength to solve and is exploited emotionally through Hamas and Brotherhood discourse about liberating Palestine from the river to the sea and the solution being in the hands of Arabs and Muslims – is a political and ideological goldmine for the Muslim Brotherhood.
If the Palestinian ideological goldmine remains then destruction will continue and we will have another Hamas, another Gaza, more demonstrations, more cases of one-upmanship, more turmoil, more ideological lies and more bloodsuckers until either Palestinian blood runs dry or the Iranian and the Brotherhood vampires are satisfied, unless Arabs and Muslims put their minds to use to stop the bloodshed. Israel would then be the first victim of the awakening of the Arab mind because opinion is stronger than physical strength.