Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Yes…Hamas Should Remain Silent - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

A week ago, in an article titled ‘In Order Not to Lose Obama’ we called on the Palestinians and Arabs to avoid making mistakes that would alleviate the pressure on Israel or relieve it of its embarrassment whether through actions (especially firing rockets) or by making hostile statements. However, as usual, those affiliated to Hamas did not spare us and accused us of treachery and considered us representatives of the Jewish lobby!

Today, after nearly a week of the diplomatic crisis between Washington and Tel Aviv, or let us say between Obama and Netanyahu, we have Israeli member of the Knesset Amir Peretz from the Labour Party and a partner in the ruling coalition warning against the harsh language that appeared in the Quartet’s latest decision against settlement construction. He stated that the crisis will continue to boil as, “this is the first time America agreed to mention the building in Jerusalem through the Quartet’s decisions and it used the term ‘condemnation’ and not only ‘criticism.’

More importantly, Peretz warned against a new public opinion poll published in Washington at the end of [last] week, the results of which indicated that Israel’s popularity has decreased significantly because of the recent crisis, as the percentage of people stating that Israel is an allied state to the United States went down from 70 percent one month ago to 58 percent today.

That’s not all; whoever follows US-based interactive news sites would have noticed a new language that was absent [before] from US debate on ties with Israel. The best example of this is the following question that was asked on one of CNN’s forums: “Should the US get tougher with Israel?” Overall, most answers were against Israel as the general opinion boiled down to the need to reconsider the annual aid that the US gives to Israel, especially considering that America is suffering from a financial crisis, so why give billions of dollars to a country that is not taking US interests into consideration, according to those taking part [in the debate]. This argument is absent from the debate despite the US financial crisis and the raging debate surrounding the issue! Not to mention of course the harsh and escalating language from US military leaders such as General Petraeus who said that what Israel is doing in the region is threatening US national security.

It doesn’t stop there; far away from Israel and America we have Hamas leader Mahmoud al Zahhar telling the Iranian television channel Al Alam that “some elements are firing rockets (towards Israel) that do not have warheads in order to take advantage of this in the media,” and that the Gazan government is closely following up on this on the security level in order to reveal the truth behind the matter, adding that it knows the motive behind it very well!

Therefore, the question here is why get angry at the request that Palestinians and Arabs remain calm and even silent, whilst al Zahhar himself is warning against firing rockets towards Israel and even saying that this is for propaganda?

Consequently, Hamas must also remain silent, especially as international positions have been taken to crystallize condemnation of Israel, and all we need is for Hamas not to take negative international positions in order to achieve false popularity. If Hamas wants to gain real popularity then it must seek to unify the Palestinian ranks instead of serving Iran’s goals and prolonging the suffering of the people of Gaza.

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.

More Posts