Is Hamas’ image still one of resistance?

Abdel Latif el-Menawy
Abdel Latif el-Menawy
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Sometimes in life we need an illusion to help us overcome moments of frustration, weakness and defeat. We create a whole different world that may in fact be based on some real factors, but this world is certainly not the entire truth. The closer to truth it is, the luckier we are. This illusion we create and this world which we think is real is a temporary addiction.

We try not to face the moment of truth or the moment of awakening because we fear realizing how much time we've wasted living an illusion. The worst scenario is when we realize that we weren't only living an illusion but that we have directed a weapon to our chests, thinking it was our own weapon. We thought this weapon was for our own protection, but then we realize we are its captives and that we have directed this weapon towards ourselves to prevent ourselves from breaking free.

This introduction may appear like an out of place attempt to be philosophical but the truth is that it actually reflects a feeling of shock. I realized a while ago that although I've always tried to deny reality, I prefer to unite with those living the illusion. The deluded ones in this case are all the people who thought that the Hamas Movement is the only remaining resistance against Israel. But, we have never asked ourselves how it confronted and resisted Israel when it was a movement that enjoyed an Israeli blessing at an early time of its launching. We didn't ask ourselves how it confronted Israel when, apart from launching rockets that don't achieve any strategic aims, it never really clashed with the Israeli army.

Perhaps the first step of this cure begins by looking at how their leaders live and how they act.

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

What is certain is that Hamas' task in Gaza is to monitor jihadi groups and prevent them from launching any rockets towards Israel because the price would be high. Most of the times, it's the weak Palestinian citizen who pays this price, the citizen who once lived the illusion of Hamas, the resistance and woke up to realize the truth of Hamas: that it's a group aiming to establish an emirate and will allow the other Palestinians to disappear into the abyss.

I know that some will try to deny what I have said and will point out that Hamas has emerged victorious over the Israeli enemy several times. For those who want to do so, I ask them to recall these victories and compare the price the Palestinians have paid with that paid by the Israeli army. I think a quick Google search will refresh their memories and make them realize that these so-called victories were merely verbal. We sympathized with these victories and believed them because we were looking for a victory, even if it was an illusion. This is why I said at the beginning that sometimes we need to believe in an illusion to help us overcome our painful reality.

Hamas vs. Zionism

Some may say that Hamas turned into a military resistance base against the Zionist entity. They might add that this truth was confirmed through Hamas' victory in fending off two massive aggressions in the years 2008/2009 and 2012 and through its steadfastness in the face of the military, economic and political siege which has been ongoing for more than six years now. Some may say that this situation has a military and a political significance for the Palestinian cause and its people, for the Arab and Islamic nation and for the Egyptian national security, particularly on a military level.

What Egyptian national security do they speak of when they display their power via a military parade in which they raise the Brotherhood slogans and “Rabaa” signs in a threatening manner?

Hamas saved us the efforts of trying to figure out whom it's loyal to when it revealed itself as a military wing for an international organization which certainly does not aim to serve the Palestinians, but aims to serve interests that go beyond the country's borders. As for noting that Hamas is a base of military resistance, this is a statement that must be reconsidered.

I know that what I am saying will most probably yield a lot of criticism in response but the cure to addiction is to confront reality and uncover the illusion. As for the thousands that make up Hamas, then they must reconsider their calculations. They must wake up from this illusion which they have been drowned in by Hamas. Perhaps the first step of this cure begins by looking at how their leaders live and how they act.

I think that it's about time we quit talking about the “so-called” Palestinian reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. It's about time that Hamas moved towards a Palestinian reconciliation.

This article was first published in al-Jarida on August 31, 2013.


Abdel Latif el-Menawy is an author, columnist and multimedia journalist who has covered conflicts around the world. He is the author of “Tahrir: the last 18 days of Mubarak,” a book he wrote as an eyewitness to events during the 18 days before the stepping down of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Menawy’s most recent public position was head of Egypt’s News Center. He is a member of the National Union of Journalists in the United Kingdom, and the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate. He can be found on Twitter @ALMenawy

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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