Palestine, the erosion of dreams [Archives:2007/1017/Opinion]

January 18 2007

By: Abdulbari Taher
The Palestinian thinker Edward Saeed had keen insight when he distanced himself from the Palestine Liberation Organization under the leadership of Abu Ammar and embarked on criticizing the Oslo and Madrid agreements and what they produced.

The Oslo and Madrid agreements, similar to Camp David, represent the retreating line in the Arab Palestinian cause. The great fault of those agreements is that they depended on promises more than the dependence on genuine references. They have also reclined on dividing an issue of destiny and postponed the comprehensive and just solution to a third stage, whereas the Israeli Shylock did not commit himself or implement the first stage of the agreement.

The Palestinian elections at the beginning of 2006 exposed many things; among them is the truthfulness of the American administrations intention of democratization of the Middle East region. When Hamas won the Palestinian elections in a free and decent way, acknowledged by America and Europe, they began to put batons in the wheels of Hamas's movement and brand it with terror and then imposed a killing blockade against the Palestinian people, preventing salaries, medicines and life.

The American tyranny has forced the entire world to literally commit to blockading the Palestinians and the Arab regimes at the forefront of those committed to the blockade and leaving for Israel the freedom of killing the Palestinians through repeated invasions, assassinations and sustainable war. Egypt has practiced eye-catching pressures on the Palestinians to accept the Israeli and American dictates. The more dangerous is that the leadership of Abu Mazin's Fatah that reluctantly accepted the result of the elections has, since the first day, begun refusing a government of national unity. Hamas leadership also provided that with its ambiguous slogans and inaccurate distinguishing between armed struggle and legitimate right and terrorist acts aimed at civilians, unstudied and random acts. Thus everything has mixed with everything.

The Palestinian cause is passing the most dangerous stages. The internal conflict is pivoting around the authority. Hamas wants to keep the main ministries, without estimating the danger of the blockade and suffering of the people who are exposed to a war of annihilation and ethnic cleansing as well as uprooting their existence and identity and national soil. Ideological blindness and belief of political right hides from it the real sight of the people's suffering and torture. Fatah leadership on the other hand leans on legitimacy of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and maybe it benefited by feeling strength by virtue of the external pressure on Hamas. Fatah leadership also demands for the major ministries not just lift the blockade, but also invest its control on those ministries in imposing its reading of peace with Israel and to continue to offer the almost free concessions in return for futile peace promises. So the power conflict in the besieged country exposes people to killing and their land to dismemberment and effacement of identity, a matter seriously dangerous and damaging. The Arab stance, which supports the authority, the American and European stance, siding with Israel and antagonistic to the Palestinian national hopes, also contribute to increase the rage of the sedition fire among the Palestinian leadership.

Undoubtedly, the illusions with which Olmert waves about peace and showing elasticity for other certain objectives pushed the Palestinian conflict to its farthest extent. The Israeli state, which assassinates life in Palestine, displaces the sons of the Palestinian people and builds the apartheid wall, cannot accept the retreat to the borders of June 5 or the return of the Palestinian refugees or the establishment of a Palestinian state with full sovereignty.

The indicators of the danger of the internal fratricide have become clear in their features. There are now the states of security disorder reaching the extent of killing children, repeated kidnappings, every now and then armed confrontations and the exchanged language of deeming each other as traitors and infidels are collectively images of the current catastrophic state. The only beneficiary is the Israeli enemy that promises with crumblings as a price for the fighting of Palestinian brothers.

The dilemma is that the reasonable parties and the voice of reason is steadily getting weaker with the increase and rising of the voice of sedition, distribution of accusations and arbitration to force for solving issues of dispute where force is not needed. When the dispute is focused on sharing the imaginary power shackle with occupation and killed by blockades, logic is lost and opportunists are able to jump to the front to push back the forces of more moderate reasonableness.

The victory of Hamas in the Parliamentary elections was a punishment for the leadership of Fatah that was drowned in corruption and ran after illusions in which both the occupation and the American ally participated, in addition to some Arab regimes. But victorious Hamas did not read the message well and has not realized the danger of the blockade against the Palestinian people and depth of the suffering of people facing war and starvation and erosion of hope. Hamas accepted the establishment of the Palestinian state within the borders of June 1967 and accepted a long truce with Israel and its address was in harmony with the address of Fatah. The power struggle was naked from any ideological or political cover. The dispute over power can be solved in agreement on a government of national unity guaranteeing a balance decision-making and to allow lifting the blockade against the people who have been suffering tragedies of war for more than half a century and are deprived of bread, medicine, security and peace.

What is more important in building a state of national unity is the agreement on common denominations, determination of forms and ways of struggle, beginning with words and ending with the use of weapons and confrontation with colonization alleging the historical right to possess land.

Since the beginning of the Aqsa Intifada, Hamas worked for the militarization of the second intifada, but it has shown disinterest in the democratic and peaceful struggle. It has mixed, or rather did not distinguish between, the rightful and legitimate armed struggle and the rejected terrorism which affects civilians. It has tried to give this bloody conflict a religious dimension leading in the end to confirm the Zionist and American claims that the conflict is religious. As a result this decision weakened international sympathy with the Palestinian right to sovereignty, independence and to build their national entity.

The Parliamentary elections of 2006 have revealed the power of the Hamas movement which is adherent to the political Islam. Moreover the internal political adversaries between the movement of Fatah and Hamas contributed to affirm the charge of terror and the retreat of the Arab popular support for an issue that was at the entire Arab's central cause. The betting began in international parties and conflicting axis: America, Europe, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt on the one hand and with Iran and Syria on the other hand.

The tragic thing is that the suffering of the Palestinian people has changed into a field of blind conflict and the Arab-Israeli conflict changed into a Palestinian-Palestinian conflict. Israel appears as the only democratic state capable of controlling the rhythms in the Middle East as a whole. The question is whether Abu Mazin and his team will topple the government of Hamas or the call for early election.

Abdulbari Taher is a Yemeni Journalist and the former chairman of Yemeni Journalists Syndicate.

Source: Al-Nidaa Newspaper