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In the Name of the Palestinian Cause - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Question: Who is currently in control of Gaza, or rather who has been in control of Gaza until the recent Israeli raids took place?

The answer: Hamas.

Next question: Who is in charge of the decision making process within Hamas, its funding and its foreign affairs?

The answer: Khalid Mishal, head of the Hamas politburo and he is located in Damascus.

One last question: What or who is the major influence upon Mishal?

The answer: the Syrian regime that hosts Mishal in the Syrian capital as well as Iran from which it receives all kinds of support.

It is Hamas that controls the Gaza Strip and it is responsible for the security decisions that are made and the fate of its people ever since it chose to take over governance.

Would we be adding anything new if we said that Palestine’s archenemy is Israel? This is self-evident and does not require repetition or emphasis since Israel has been Palestine’s historical enemy for almost a complete century now. Do we need to state that Israel is depending upon deterrence, terrorization and military repression? These are facts that have been well known to the entire world since decades before 1948 and until today.

What is new however is the grief that any human being, let alone Arabs or Muslims, would feel about the distress that is caused to women and families as a result of the Israeli oppression in Gaza. The majority of those people are innocents: children, women and elders, who are killed in the streets because, as Israel claims, it is in pursuit of Hamas activists somewhere or other. It is despicable and a seriously distressing reality.

The other new aspect, other than underling the brutality of Israel, is the issue of who set Gaza ablaze in this manner. We know that it was Israel but who invoked the beast in this way and at this time and continues to do so as if with the intention of bringing about such destruction and reaction from Israel? Who continues to fire “anti-tank” rockets towards Israel so that it may fire back using the most advanced missiles, airplanes and bombs?

It is odd since Islam ─ and Hamas claims to be an Islamic movement ─ teaches that there should be evaluation of interest and harm. There is a verse in the Quran that states upon refraining from self-destruction; another Quranic verse states upon the necessity for the correct “preparation” for battle.

Hamas is equally to blame with Israel for this catastrophe. It controls Gaza whereas Mishal is controlled by the Syrian and Iranian regimes.

It is incorrect to give in to this reprehensible game that plays with people’s lives in the name of the Palestinian cause and for the sake of increasing the gains and the positions of another political party.

What is sad and yet funny at the same time is that Hamas declared victory in Gaza! How did that happen and where are the figures that support such claim? There are no answers; it simply claims victory [on no grounds]. This brings to mind Hezbollah’s “divine victory” in Lebanon. The entire southern region was destroyed and the suburb was razed to the ground whilst tens of thousands of people fled their homes; yet it claims that it achieved a divine victory simply because its divine leader is still alive and its fighters have not been annihilated…but what about the victims? What about the destruction? What about the economic ruin that has been overlooked such as the devastation of tourism revenue and the transformation of Lebanon into a ravaged country? What about the major internal division? All of these issues amount to nothing in comparison to the divine victory. Those who are deluded remind us that the Vinograd report acknowledged this victory and that truth has been admitted even by the enemies. They completely disregarded that this report ─ if only they were to view it through human eyes rather than the eyes of Hezbollah ─ was meant to trigger concern rather than rapture since it simply evaluates the first round of the battle with Hezbollah that constantly asserts that it is empowered with eliminating Israel. However, there was no similar report presented on the war from the other perspective. There was no “Lebanese Vinograd” and there never will be.

Hamas is almost identical to Hezbollah though there are some non-influential differences regarding sectarian affiliation. The political and ideological nature is one and the same, the supporting parties are also the same and the political methods and tricks also do not differ significantly such as the seizure of land from the state or the governing authority and the establishment of a small security and military statelet.

In Lebanon, this approach has been adopted by Hezbollah in the suburbs, the south and in Bekaa Valley. Whilst in Palestine, Hamas followed the same example in the Gaza Strip. Another factor that unites the two parties is the milking of political gains out of “honor” of confronting Israel even if this means using “anti-tank” missiles and forcing the people of Gaza or the deluded Hezbollah fighters to pay the price.

It is time to be frank; Syria and Iran are engulfing the Palestinian cause under the pretence of battling Israel. Both states understand the level of hatred that the Arab public bears for the Israeli occupier. Therefore, they invest in this factor, not to help the Palestinian people but rather for the sake of mobilizing the Arab public and to embarrass their Arab opponents in front of their own people. It is a game that lacks morality and unashamedly symbolizes the trading of blood and tears of the people of Gaza and South Lebanon.

If those who support the Syrian regime are not discussing the crises of the Damascus Summit then they are talking about Gaza being more important than Lebanon. Furthermore, they say that if some Arabs refuse to attend the summit because of their stance towards Syria then why do they not attend the summit for the sake of Gaza? Gaza is the main concern; Palestine was ravished and Israel is the devilish murderer. So why won’t the Arabs attend the summit…they ask with a cunning smile.

This is what Walid al Muallem said and this is why the media storm had taken place. Furthermore, the Lebanese Akhbar newspaper that is affiliated to Syria and Iran published in bold headlines, “The Blood of Gaza is the Responsibility of Arabs.” It is the responsibility of those very Arabs who Mishal and his supporters had refused to listen to or accept advice from in the interest of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people. It is those same Arabs to whom Mishal had broken his promises that he made in the summits that were held in Mecca and Cairo in order to save Palestinian lives (let us not forget the bloodshed between Hamas and Fatah) and to unite the Palestinians. And now it is the Arabs that are responsible for the brutal [Israeli] response to Hamas “anti-tank” rockets!

This means that Hamas, Damascus and Tehran are dumping their rubbish and the Arabs are obliged to clean it up and are prohibited from complaining, discussing or even hesitating to do so or else they are all traitors…and this is all in the name of the holy cause!

To hold Israel accountable for these crimes is pointless since we have been doing so for the past few decades [to no avail]. It executes real crimes against the Palestinian people. But what about those who trade in the name of the Palestinian cause for the sake of achieving other gains?

If Damascus is respondent to the Palestinian cause on such a level and in support of Hamas and Hezbollah that justified the kidnapping of the two soldiers last summer, which triggered the July war, which in turn was justified as an attempt to assist Gaza and Hamas, then why doesn’t Syria undertake the mission itself rather than assigning it to various branches, especially considering that Syrian land, namely the Golan Heights, is still under Israeli occupation? In this case, Syria would receive the blessings of the entire Arab nation, not because it supported Hamas and Hezbollah but because it would have launched real Syrian resistance in the occupied Golan Heights. Moreover it would have liberated its lands instead of [partaking in] this humiliating negotiation.

Perhaps the reason it is not undertaking this role is because, if the news is correct, it is negotiating with Israel under the table via Turkey.

It is shameful that Hamas is depending on Syrian and Iranian accounts and is transforming the Palestinian cause into a bank for political objectives that are transferred to those two parties. The price: the blood of innocent victims that is shed for the sake of oiling the political wheel that corroded in Damascus and Tehran.

It is absolutely disgraceful. How many more crimes will be committed in the name of the Palestinian cause?

Mshari Al-Zaydi

Mshari Al-Zaydi

Mshari Al-Zaydi is a Saudi journalist and expert on Islamic movements and Islamic fundamentalism, as well as on Saudi affairs. He is Asharq Al-Awsat’s opinion page editor. Mr. Zaydi has worked for the local Saudi press, and has been a guest on numerous news and current affairs programs as an expert on Islamic extremism.

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