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Arab tragedy and the curse of resistance

Fahad Suleiman Shoqiran

Published: Updated:

It is agonizing that the resistance and its militias test the Israelis and their anger every few years.

After the July 2006 war that killed more than 2,000 Lebanese people and caused economic losses amounting to over two billion dollars, Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah made his famous statement, “I would not have ordered the capture of the two Israeli soldiers if I had known that it would lead to such a war”. In 2009, Hamas tested the Israelis again and caused massive massacres. The same thing happened in 2012 and 2014. However, Operation Guardian of the Walls currently led by Israel is exhibiting an unprecedented level of violence. The oppressed Palestinian people are paying for the rash behavior of the resistance. Hamas knows better than anyone else that it does not have enough forces to deter Israel. All Hamas can do is fire rockets chaotically, with no military planning or strategic targeting. Denouncing Hamas is paramount to defending the oppressed Palestinians.

The problem today is the concept of "resistance", whose meaning has become broader since the early founding of Hezbollah, the Palestinian Brigades, Hamas, all the way to the Iran-backed Houthi militia. The concept of resistance is loaded with fundamentalist ideology. In this context, resistance does not mean self-defense or confrontation with the aggressor; instead, it has its own political, ideological, and partisan agenda.

Resistance has been linked with suicide bombing escalation and pressure on the enemy not through military action, but through a culture of suicide bombing that no longer consists of individual jihadists from the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades blowing themselves up in a café in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. Instead, it is as if Hamas wrapped the entire Palestinian people and Gaza with an explosive belt and put them at the mercy of its reckless decision to test Israel, known for its violent reactions and mercilessness which Arabs witnessed during their long history of defeats and calamities.

On November 21, 2012, Saudi journalist Adel Al Toraifi published in Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper an article entitled: “Who is holding the resistance accountable?” Al Toraifi wrote, “An international report on the impact of the second intifada on the Palestinians indicated that a small number of Palestinians died in the first weeks of the 2000 demonstrations, which were intended to restore the 1987 intifada. However, the decision of Hamas and other factions to militarize the intifada through suicide operations cost the Palestinians nearly 2,000 lives in less than two years (Israeli-Palestinian Fatalities Since 2000 - Key Trends, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, August 2007).”

Al Toraifi added, “Unfortunately, a fundamentalist group like Hamas does not care about human fatalities. It is still betting on terrorizing the enemy to change the conditions of the confrontation. However, past gains and losses indicate that Hamas reached power through the elections of the Oslo Authority, and publicly showed its affiliation with the Syrian-Iranian axis. Hamas adopted the methods and style of Hezbollah, which has always described its operations as divine victories despite the number of human fatalities and the extent of infrastructure destruction, not to mention hijacking state sovereignty and dependence on the guardian jurist.”

A key idea in Al Toraifi’s article is that "The leaders of the resistance have committed weighty mistakes against regional peace. They caused massive destruction in the region and linked the future of the Palestinians to evil regimes. Despite this, the resistance did not review its positions nor question its key figures who became leaders at the expense of the lives of defenseless civilians."

The Hamas-Israel war is intended to achieve many key goals for Iran, namely:

* Revive the legitimacy of the resistance among the Muslim public based on the supposed sanctity of everything Israel targets, using the media and propaganda arms circulating in its orbit, as well as revive the Brotherhood discourse that uses terms such as "the one billion nation", among other emotional expressions that touch the public. In reality, the oppressed Palestinian people must be kept outside of the war and accountability should be purely political between Hamas and Israel.

* The moral narrative surrounding Palestine is created by the Muslim Brotherhood and repeated today by intellectuals and academics. In this context, the axis is trying to impose the Brotherhood's discourse and make its Palestine narrative the basis of the political analysis and media coverage of every war waged by Israel. However, this approach obstructs the development of many Arab peoples, especially those who chose peace and signed tolerance and reconciliation agreements with other religions. This Hamas move is aimed at delaying any planned peace agreement, as it is betting on the hypothetical embarrassment of any country intending to sign a peace treaty.

* Rescue the defeated resistance legions, including the Houthi militia. On behalf of the Yemeni government, Al-Eryani said that “The Houthis are taking advantage of the Yemenis’ sympathy towards Jerusalem and the occupied territories, and their feelings about the slaughter and destruction endured by the Palestinian people because on the hands of the Israeli oppressors, to organize fund-raising campaigns to finance their warfare and push more gullible individuals to kill the Yemeni people ”. An article published in Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper indicated that “The Houthi militia has increased its recruitment campaigns in recent days among the youth in 10 Yemeni governorates under its control to send them to the fighting fronts in Marib and elsewhere. The Houthi militia issued deceiving calls to recruit hundreds of residents to fight in Marib under the pretext of fighting in Palestine.”

The Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian, and Yemeni peoples have incurred huge financial losses; their economies have collapsed and their peoples have endured the decisions of foolish authorities willing to take these risks. Over the past decades, the Palestinian cause has been an ethical ploy that politicians use to justify their crimes. Entire countries and capitals have been destroyed or occupied, and millions of people have been displaced, all in the name of Palestine and the resistance. To achieve development, people must establish legitimate courts where resistance leaders are tried. When the suicide bombing culture evolves from booby-trapping individuals’ bodies to involving entire capitals and societies, it becomes a crime against humanity. This is why everyone sympathizes with tragedies, because their victims are the hostages of dark forces that obey rogue states.

This article was originally published in, and translated from, the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat.

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