Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Why the Concern for Reconciliation Now? | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Among the most pronounced of political problems that we face in the Arab world is that no one confronts politicians today about what they said yesterday, neither governments nor movements! The simplest example of this can be illustrated through Khaled Meshaal’s statements about the disruption of the process of reconciliation with Fatah.

According to Meshaal, “Reconciliatory efforts have reached a dead end because the other party (Fatah) has closed all the doors and rejected all Palestinian and Arab mediations, some of which were proposed by figures in the Fatah leadership,” furthermore, justifying the intervention as American-Israeli interference.

Other reasons cited by Meshaal for the failure of the dialogue were: “the position adopted by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the group that surrounds it, which acts in a manner that has nothing to do with politics or national interest.”

But isn’t this the Fatah against which the coup was declared a second liberation? The same Fatah that was accused of treachery and deemed heretic in the moments the fighters from Hamas kneeled down in prayer to thank God that Fatah was ousted from Gaza? And did they not trample on the images of the President of the PA, Abu Mazen, and of the late Yasser Arafat on the day they invaded Gaza?

So why the reconciliation? Wasn’t there a Mecca agreement that angered Washington and Israel, and this is common knowledge? Were there not those who pledged to uphold this agreement, despite some of the hawks from Hamas considering it detrimental, for the sake of unity and national interest?

What can reconciliation achieve today after the coup?

Hamas is pleased by those who say that the movement faced the international boycott following its election by the people, whereas the truth is the leadership of Hamas knows that the political ceiling under which they maneuver is incredibly low. Hamas wants to form a government and act as an opposition while remaining faithful to the Islamic conception of the movement.

Hamas wants to be Hezbollah in combat, Fatah in politics and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in its oppositional status all at once  and this cannot be. Everything is governed by laws and customs, and Hamas is well aware of that. However, there is a gaping discrepancy between understanding and implementation on a political level when the Arab world is concerned.

Another issue is Mr. Meshaal’s words: “I would not be exaggerating if I said that states such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which are known to be influential countries, may not be able to find those among the PA leadership who are willing and eager to take steps towards dialogue.”

This is political sophistry by which Mr. Meshaal means to says that Egypt and Saudi are facing difficulties with Fatah, which overlooks the fact that Saudi gambled at the expense of its credibility and international relations the day it arbitrated the Mecca Agreement, which was then violated the day Hamas invaded Gaza.

As for Egypt, I do not believe that it has digested the fact that the Islamic Hamas ‘emirate’ lies at its border, especially given the movement’s inclinations and relations, which are far removed from the Arab world’s interests.

It is obvious that Hamas is attempting to contain and control the coup in any way it can, not out of concern for national interest but rather because it has thoroughly examined the position adopted by the Arab states, all of which support the upcoming meeting to discuss the Palestinian issue this autumn. It is also the same meeting that Mr. Meshaal started by attacking now.

The consent of the Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt of course, means that what Khaled Meshaal is saying is inaccurate, and this is the reason for Hamas’s disquiet.