Yesh Gvul
Courage To Refuse
Free The Five
New Profile
Refuser Solidarity Network

Name: Antony Loewenstein
Home: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Comment Rules
About Me:
See my complete profile

Sweat-Shop Productions
Sweat-Shop Productions
Sweat-Shop Productions



Previous Posts

Powered by Blogger


Friday, January 27, 2006

A victory for clarity

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 26 January:

"Hamas' victory in the Palestinian Authority legislative elections has everyone asking ‘what next’? The answer, and whether the result should be seen as a good or bad thing, depends very much on who is asking the question.

"Although a Hamas success was heavily trailed, the scale of the victory has been widely termed a ‘shock.’ Several factors explain the dramatic rise of Hamas, including disillusionment and disgust with the corruption, cynicism and lack of strategy of the Fatah faction which has dominated the Palestinian movement for decades and had arrogantly come to view itself as the natural and indisputable leader.

"The election result is not entirely surprising, however, and has been foreshadowed by recent events. Take for example the city of Qalqilya in the north of the West Bank. Hemmed in by Israeli settlements and now completely surrounded by a concrete wall, the city's fifty thousand residents are prisoners in a Israeli-controlled giant ghetto. For years Qalqilya's city council was controlled by Fatah but after the completion of the wall, voters in last years' municipal elections awarded every single city council seat to Hamas. The Qalqilya effect has now spread across the occupied territories, with Hamas reportedly winning virtually all of the seats elected on a geographic basis. Thus Hamas' success is as much an expression of the determination of Palestinians to resist Israel's efforts to force their surrender as it is a rejection of Fatah. It reduces the conflict to its most fundamental elements: there is occupation, and there is resistance."


Blogger Iqbal Khaldun said...

Whereas many of the fat cats in Fatah were buying cement from Egypt and selling it to Israel, which Israel duly used to built the apartheid wall around Qalqilya and the remainder of the West Bank, Hamas has traditionally focused on grassroots civil society activities. Yes, this includes the cottage industry in home made bombs and brainwashing young men into becoming suicide bombers. It also includes medical and other community assistance.

I'm no fan of any political party which is fundamentally based on racial/religious exclusion and dogma. That includes Hamas. But if Mr Sharon is a man of peace, then why must Hamas's victory be painted as the worst of all conclusions?

The real fear in the West is that Hamas will not act like a compliant, despotic middle man in the same manner that Yassir Arafat's Fatah has and did. Behind the bluster, Hamas is committed to a genuine homeland for the Palestinians. And the Palestinians know this, even if many do not share Hamas's penchant for overly religious hyperbole. Hence Hamas's success.

Friday, January 27, 2006 2:10:00 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home