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Hamas: Welcoming the Americans - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Hamas considered the visit of a US delegation to Gaza a step in the right direction and it asked the delegation to convey a true image of Israel’s crimes in the Gaza Strip to the US administration. There is no problem with that at all; however, the question is why did Hamas and the Iranian alliance in the region kick up a fuss when an Arab delegation visited New York to embark upon a difficult battle in the United Nations for the sake of reaching a resolution that called for an immediate ceasefire, which Hamas, just like Israel, rejected, in spite of the horror of Israeli atrocities carried out against innocent, defenseless people in Gaza?

During that period, people argued that an Arab summit should have been held before heading to New York and the efforts of Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al Faisal were met with suspicion and criticism from the Iranian alliance in the region. Ironically, this alliance said: let the moderate alliance go visit its American allies and leave us [to deal] with the resistance.

And now, shortly after a delegation made up of US members of Congress visited Gaza, Hamas has come to praise the US for this visit describing it as a step in the right direction. Why, when only yesterday it considered moderate Arabs traitors and attacked them as part of a campaign in which all kinds of mobs participated?

The reason is simple: Hamas wants Washington to acknowledge it as an alternative authority of reference. We saw how Mushir al Masri, a Hamas member of the legislative assembly, welcomed the American delegation, stressing that Washington must recognize Palestinian legitimacy. This is the crux of the matter. All that Hamas wants is for it to be recognized and to be dealt with. After the Israeli onslaught against Gaza ended, Khaled Meshaal stated that the time has come for everybody to work with Hamas. Therefore, all that innocent blood was shed for the sake of authority and influence; it was not a battle for liberation. This is what Hamas and the Iranian alliance want and the evidence of this lies in the persistent endeavor to create an alternative representative authority to the Palestinian Authority. This is what Meshaal stated in Tehran so we have no choice but to name it the Iranian representative authority rather than the Palestinian representative authority.

Hamas’ desperate attempts (and those of Iran and Syria) to communicate with the United States must serve as a lesson to moderate Arab states not to be embarrassed about their moderation as the facts demonstrate why the Iranian alliance is so keen to attack Arab efforts and to accuse them of being traitors. The alliance wants to be in control so that its plans and Iran’s plans can succeed in invalidating Arab states and stealing their central causes. This is what Hamas did in the past to the Egyptians, when the movement leaked that it wanted European rather than Egyptian mediation in dealing with the prisoner-exchange issue.

There is a shortcut that Hamas can take in order to reach the Americans and others; all it has to do is acknowledge the Oslo Accords for the simple reason that this agreement is what allowed Hamas to come to power through elections in the first place.

Today, the truth is that Hamas is nothing but a party that carried out a coup against the legitimate authority with the power of arms. As long as the movement engaged in elections and accepted the rules of the political game, then it must continue to adhere to the same rules and not engage in trading in the Palestinian Cause and the blood of martyrs.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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