Missed Opportunities

Posted in Broader Middle East | 20-Jun-07 | Author: Manuela Paraipan

Masked Hamas militants secure the seafront presidential compound in Gaza City, 15 June 2007.

Those who hoped that once Hamas had control of the government there would be a new period of tahydya (calm) and prosperity for the Palestinians now have the proof that they were wrong.

Hamas’s slogans were powerful and correct to a certain extent. Fatah is the personification of corruption. But Hamas is the incarnation of nihilism. They do not want a state, two-state or three-state solution. They want to keep killing Jews and apparently they have no problem with killing their own people, either. The difference between Fatah and Hamas is not their objectives but rather their tactics.

President Abbas sacked the Hamas-led government. But this does not change a thing on the ground. Hamas has taken Gaza. Hamas is the elected government of the Palestinians. What more can be said? Except that the Palestinians have what they wanted all along.

Outside Israel, people often excuse Palestinian violence by saying it is a reaction to the pressure, but hostile Arabs surround Israel, Hezbollah's missiles threaten it, Iran threatens it with a nuclear attack and Palestinian Qassams land weekly in Israel's towns and villages. This is the cult of violence and death preached by Hamas. Racism, hate and murder seem to be a national obsession. It is a deeply troubling fact but it is the reality and we have to call a spade a spade.

In the past few years, Iran and Syria have constantly undermined any chance for a Palestinian coalition. They have been paying Hamas to not negotiate with or recognize Israel, to not release the kidnapped soldier and to not form a unity government with Abbas. Hezbollah trained Hamas and Syria offered a safe-haven to individuals such as Khaled Meshal.

What the Palestinians as a people failed to see or admit is that their interests have been used by Arab Muslims and by Muslims for decades. No one cares about them - period. They are and always were proxies in the war of others to gain regional preeminence, to escape isolation, justice and to gain better deals from the West.

Hamas is only leading the Palestinians into more despair and misery. Palestinians do not need a savior. They never needed one. They need to stand united, end terror, negotiate with Israel a lasting peace, not a hudna (temporary peace) and start building a nation. If they want to be recognized as a people and not as a bunch of criminals, they need to start acting like one.

When the Iranian money and support ends, and it eventually will, the Palestinians will be even further away from having their own state than they are now. The world has spent 59 years giving Palestinian Arabs a chance. And what has this given the world? For that matter, what has this given the Palestinian Arabs? They have used all this time trying to kill as many Jews as possible and obliterate Israel instead of building lives for themselves.

When Israel withdrew from Gaza, Hamas and those who elected it had a chance to prove that they are indeed capable of running it, that they can deliver what they promised. Has anyone seen what the Palestinians have done with Gaza? State-of-the-art greenhouses that used to provide food and products that were in high demand on the international market have been turned into tunnel openings to smuggle weapons.

The Palestinians should accept the written agreements and end all acts of terror, violence and the incitement to terror. If and when they do this, only then should the international community help them financially. Meanwhile, let their Iranian and Syrian sponsors pay. Let the oil-rich Arab states send money to them if they want, but US, Israeli and EU money should not be used to support and enhance a terrorist, lawlessness entity. It is illogical and it will cause more death and destruction in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank in the long term.

Terrorist acts have terrible consequences for all involved parties. The only way to get away from the vicious cycle of violence is for the Palestinians to get out of the Islamic propaganda box and act responsibly.