Who is Hamas fighting for?
What has been exposed is not only Hamas’ deep crisis and Israel’s shortsightedness
In 2006, Israel launched a war on Lebanon. It was a war that aimed to weaken Hezbollah which had started to work towards tightening its grip on Lebanon to fill the vacuum resulting from the Syrian military’s withdrawal.
During the July 2006 War, Druze leader Walid Jumblatt used to continuously ask a very simple, yet complicated, question – to whom will Hezbollah present its “victory?”
After halting military operations and issuing U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which among its many items stipulated the Lebanese army’s deployment throughout the South and the “Resistance’s” withdrawal towards inside Lebanon, it turned out that the victory which Hezbollah achieved was two-fold.
The first aspect is linked to Iran as it developed into a major player in the Lebanese “arena” after it was just a partner at managing it. I believe that Iran has for many years sought to transform Lebanon into one of its colonies and thus use the country as a bargaining chip when negotiating with the United States.
What has been exposed is Hamas’ deep crisis and its lack of concern regarding what the Palestinian people are subjected toKhairallah Khairallah
The second and last aspect is mainly linked to spreading misery in Lebanon, leading it backwards and isolating it from its Arab surrounding. In my view, Hezbollah’s formation of a cabinet headed by Sunni figure Najib Miqati was part of this.
This, I feel, synchronized with persistent attempts to reassign the Syrian regime some sort of role in Lebanon. Following the 2006 July war, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad exploited the so-called victory of the resistance and attacked Arab leaders in a way that I can only describe as obscene.
In my view, Hezbollah managed to exploit its supposed “victory” in the 2006 July War. It was primarily a victory over Lebanon and the Lebanese people. Hezbollah stood over a corpse called Lebanon and flashed the sign of victory. He who reads the content of the UNSCR 1701, which Hezbollah agreed to, will understand why Israel also considers the 2006 July War as a victory of its own as well.
Back to the present
Who will Hamas present its “victory” to in the war of summer 2014?
So far, the Hamas movement, which triggered the war Israel was expecting, has achieved a set of aims that I believe it is gearing towards. Firstly, it embarrassed Egypt. Egypt’s endeavor to halt the Israeli aggression makes Egypt look like it’s seeking to deter the “resistance” in Gaza.
This is how it looks, at least on the surface. And the question must be asked, does Hamas, and those who stand behind it, think that the continuation of the Gaza war will have repercussions inside Egypt and thus serve the Muslim Brotherhood? All the while, it seems that Hamas also seeks to embarrass the Palestinian Authority which no longer has anything to say, especially amidst this Israeli brutality. I believe that the authority thinks that Hamas aims to benefit as much as possible from a hostile Israeli policy that only believes in perpetuating occupation - a policy that obstructed negotiations and turned Palestinians into false witnesses to the fait accompli the PA is trying to establish on Palestinian territories.
The Palestinians are paying a high price for the terrorism Israel is practicing. However Palestinian bloodshed seems to be the least of Hamas’ worries. After the Gaza war, I believe that Hamas considers itself the major player in Palestine. But is this the case?
Hamas folded the page
Hamas folded the page of Palestinian reconciliation but all that happened is that Hamas escaped its internal crisis and turned it into a Palestinian crisis. It transferred this crisis to the West Bank - that is to the national authority and Fatah which appeared more exposed than ever as well as incapable of influencing events.
But again, to whom will Hamas present its “victory,” dripping of Palestinian blood, to? It’s clear that this war is a part and parcel of a bigger game that goes beyond Gaza. What signifies the size of this game is the amount of missiles which were delivered to Gaza. In addition to this, there’s the continuous focus on Egypt for the purpose of dispersing its powers. Is there another aim for the recent terrorist operation which was carried out by a gang at the borders with Libya and which killed 30 Egyptian military personnel? I believe that this gang is linked with Hamas.
In all cases, what has been exposed is not only Hamas’ deep crisis and its lack of concern regarding what the Palestinian people are subjected to, it is also clear, to me at least, that Israel is shortsighted and only aims to invest in occupation.
Such a policy only serves Hamas and others who, like Hamas, are willing to sacrifice the Palestinians. In my mind, those who exploit the Palestinians and their cause only care about embarrassing Arabs in general and the Palestinian Authority in particular.
Such a policy, it seems, only serves Hamas and others who, like Hamas, are willing to sacrifice the Palestinians to serve those who want to exploit the latter. Those who exploit the Palestinians and their cause only care about embarrassing Arabs in general, I feel, and the Palestinian Authority in particular.
Will Hamas present its victory to those people - i.e. those helping it dig tunnels and those who supply it with missiles and all sorts of support?
It will probably do so, especially considering Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Since when is working to perpetuate occupation a political policy? Since when is it viable to believe that cancelling out other people can be a basis of political policy? Does extremism lead to anything else but more extremism in a region on the brink of explosion?
This article was first published in Elaph on July 21, 2014.
Khairallah Khairallah is a Lebanese writer who has previously worked at Lebanon’s Annahar newspaper, he then moved to London and began writing political columns in Arabic language newspapers, including Al-Mustaqbal and Rosa El-Youssef.
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