Friday, October 27, 2017

Another Faux Palestinian Reunification; Prelude to a Re-Sundering

"Over is the time Hamas spent discussing recognizing Israel. Now Hamas will discuss when we will wipe out Israel."
"[Hamas would be prepared to disarm, as Israel demands, only] when Satan enters paradise."
Yahya Sinwar, Hamas leader

"I condemn the latest statements made by some Hamas leaders calling for the destruction of the State of Israel." 
"They do not serve the interest of peace and the goal of achieving a negotiated two-state solution."
Nicholas Mladenov, UN special co-ordinator, Middle East peace process
Palestinians wave Fatah and Hamas flags after the 2014 Israeli war on Gaza [AFP]

An underwhelming condemnation, to be certain, though entirely in keeping with the usual United Nations' responses to such unequivocal statements of intent to the sacred duty inherent in the Palestinian mind that Israel must be destroyed before Palestinians can content themselves with having succeeded in restoring the honour of Arabs, besmirched by the catastrophe represented by the establishment of a Jewish State.

A Jewish State, moreover, that no right-thinking Palestinian would dream of acknowledging as having the right to exist. The Middle East geography is dedicated to Islam, consecrated to Islam, and as such the existence of a non-Muslim state, particularly one where Judaism is the state religion and Jews the political and social force, represents a a sacrilegious infraction intolerable to Palestinians as it is to the other actors on the stage of the Middle East.

But the European Union, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian leadership are all congratulating one another and in particular Egypt for brokering yet another political 'reconciliation' between the PLO's Fatah whose leader, Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas, whose new leader, Yahya Sinwar, have accommodated themselves to. Hamas, because it is desperate for scarce funding, and Fatah because it is desperate to regain control of Gaza.

A control wrested violently from it by Hamas in 2007, effectively separating the West Bank and Gaza politically and socially, and in the process gaining Hamas a territory from which it has been able to launch attacks against Israel and its population. Both Fatah and Hamas are committed to the destruction of Israel, Hamas outright declaring its intention, and Fatah presenting a facade to the international community of willingness to accept Israel's presence.

But not as a Jewish State. Israel, which has accepted one and a half million Palestinian Arabs as full citizens living within the state, demonstrates its inclusiveness and commitment to plurality, but at the same time, emphasizes that it is a state dedicated to a homeland for the world's Jews. While no Jew would be permitted to live among Arab Palestinians as a matter of course; their presence formally rejected, their lives forfeit should they stray into Palestinian territory.

Both the West Bank and Gaza represent tyrannies with strict order prevailing, and dissent 'discouraged'. But that the two, Hamas and Fatah, have agreed once again to set aside their bitter enmity, and to work together; Fatah agreeing to administer the affairs of Gaza once again, and Hamas agreeing to exist under Fatah, but without relinquishing their vast arsenal of arms, nor their reality as a terrorist militia, still elicits approval from the United Nations as a forward step in approaching a 'peace agreement' with Israel.

The wild absurdity of two political entities dedicated to the destruction of Israel, yet regarded as potential instruments of peace and stability represents an imaginary construct that could only be celebrated by the United Nations, a living mirage of purported human rights support and peace initiatives. Seconded by the European Union which appears to see no evil in Hamas having taken billions in international aid meant for the support of Palestinian Gazans, pre-empted for the building of complex tunnels reaching under Gaza into Israel for obvious war-mongering purposes.

That the PLO charter and the Hamas covenant unambiguously state that the destruction of the State of Israel is a primary goal to be achieved is conveniently overlooked by both the UN and the EU, just as the refusal of each, Fatah and Hamas, to recognize the legitimacy of the existence of Israel is not seen as the rejection it represents of the presence of the Jewish State, effectively ruling out any potential peace agreement, seems to elude the attention of the UN and the EU.
"This whole issue of dissolving the administrative committee has no value. Even if it is dissolved, there must be another kind of committee that can run the daily and civil lives of people in the Gaza Strip."
"When Hamas said it will dissolve the administrative committee, it threw the ball into the Palestinian Authority's yard, in the sense that they have acquiesced to their demands, so now what will the PA do for Hamas? It's a tit for tat, a barter."

Abdulsattar Qassem, political science professor, an-Najah University, Nablus
A Palestinian man and children walk past graffiti reading "division" in Arabic, in Gaza City, in 2017 [AFP]

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