Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Silence… They Might Reconcile! | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A year after Hamas seized control of Gaza following its coup and after the death, destruction, blockade, and financial losses that have reached a billion dollars; today there is talk about a reconciliatory attempt between the Palestinians.

No sooner had Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for dialogue and reconciliation when the media exchange of incitement, suspicion and takfir [Muslims holding fellow Muslims disbelievers] changed its rhetoric.

The Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa TV replaced the term ‘Dayton’s apparatus’ (attributed to Lieutenant General Keith Dayton, US Security Coordinator) and ‘Abbas and [Palestinian Prime Minister Salam] Fayyad’s apparatus’ with ‘security agencies’, meanwhile Palestinian television exchanged ‘the insurrectionary gangs and militias of Hamas’ to the ‘ousted state’s police force’.

Just like that; the frenemies have abandoned their juvenile tendencies? Now there is talk of pacifying sides, holding dialogue and calling upon the Arab states to initiate another Palestinian reconciliation for the umpteenth time. What could be more halfhearted and reckless when it comes to the Palestinian cause and people that this?

Hamas, and particularly its leader who travels frequently between Damascus and Tehran, is only good at chanting slogans and suspecting, terrorizing and preaching to others. And if only [Khalid] Mishal had been well-advised, and the same applies to Ismail Haniyeh who disappeared after Israel hinted at assassination, leaving the residents of Gaza to face an unknown future.

But discontent and unease over Hamas’s actions is not the position adopted by writers or observers; in fact, it is the view held by some in the movement’s leadership, which became aware that it was not serving Palestinian interests but rather Syrian-Iranian interests.

In the second-line of leadership, a Hamas source recently told Asharq Al-Awsat: “There is conviction among many of Hamas’s leadership and its bases that it will be difficult for the movement to resume its administration of the Gaza Strip for much longer in the absence of reconciliation and in light of the continuing blockade and erroneous actions committed by the movement’s operatives. This is why it is pushing towards dialogue and reconciliation.”

Unfortunately, the Palestinian leadership has revealed its capacity for self-destruction as well as the fact that it does not act upon the principle of ‘me against my enemies’ but also ‘against my friends’, and this is what Hamas did to Egypt.

Is it conceivable that the sons of one nation go to war whilst under occupation? Is it conceivable that the blood of the Palestinian people is deemed worthless twice; once by the occupier and another time by their leadership, in addition to becoming a play card in the hands of Iran?

In a recent meeting with a high-ranking European official, he said that oil prices are high and that the people in the Gulf need to assist the Palestinians financially so that they can rebuild Gaza. Some approved of this but I was bewildered; is this the reason behind the Palestinian leadership’s reckless behavior, and Lebanon’s too? The logic is: destroy and they will rebuild and whoever refuses to do so is a traitor and American/Israeli agent!

The Palestinians must realize that they have a responsibility to preserve the sanctity of Palestinian blood and to respect institutions and strive for the cause away from phony slogans and religious exploitation. No money should be spent to reconcile the Palestinians then spent to destroy their interests and then granted to them so that they may reconcile once again.

Bloodshed and destruction are not toys in Mishal’s hands and the victim martyrs should not be a source of pride, rather it should be the scale of the efforts exerted, rebuilding and education. Death is much easier than educating, providing a livelihood and striving towards a Palestinian state.

What the Americans or Israelis have done doesn’t matter, what is more important is that the Palestinians are divided and there is animosity among them. That is the truth.