|From an Al
Jazeera article, posted 2/23/2006 6:50:00 PM GMT
landslide victory in last month’s election was apparently
not enough, and the group is now being demanded to adopt Fatah’s
unsuccessful approach to win global support. But the growing
international pressure on Hamas
to recognize Israel and give up anti-Israeli attacks must be
placed in its proper context.
was elected on a political platform which the international community
can accept or reject. Palestinian
Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who claims that he was also
democratically elected a year ago by the same Palestinians who chose Hamas,
but on a different political view, opposes Hamas.
So does Israel, the United States and Europe.
insists it has a right to resist Israel as long as there is occupation,
but so does Fatah.
who often backs this right, is trying to convince the Palestinians not to
exercise it. He is demanding his people to engage in non-violent
resistance, although he has done absolutely nothing to back or even define
this valiant non-violent struggle of the Palestinians, who desperately try
to save their lands from the Israeli bulldozers.
has observed an informal truce with Israel for more than a year, while
many Fatah splinter groups didn’t, despite Abbas’
efforts to persuade them to do so. The strange thing is that while Hamas
is neither carrying out anti-Israeli attacks nor threatening to do so,
it still is blamed. On the other hand, Israel, which continues to kill
Palestinian civilians and carry out targeted killings on a daily basis, is
not being pressured to renounce violence and end its aggression and
years, a massive propaganda, led by Israel, has been trying to place all
the burden and the blame on the Palestinians. Now, this force wants to
punish the occupied, while the occupier is free to commit more crimes and
pay no cost. It is time for those who backed this failed approach to
abandon their bankrupt and counterproductive policies.
According to an article on The Jordan Times,
Israel now is trying to convince the world, as it did years ago with the
PLO, that it has no partner to negotiate with, insisting that it won’t
negotiate with anyone who denies its “right to exist”. If this is the
case, why did Israel refuse for the past five years to negotiate with a Fatah-led
government? "The election of Hamas
candidates cannot adversely affect genuine peace talks, since such
talks have been non-existent for over five years," Former U.S.
President Jimmy Carter wrote in the Washington Post.
The implementation of the two-state solution
hasn’t been hindered by Hamas’
resistance or its refusal to recognize signed agreements with Israel.
The main impediment to this solution is Israel’s refusal to recognize
the rights of the Palestinian refugees and its 400,000 settlers who are
scattered across the occupied West Bank, in a calculated manner to block
any future Israeli withdrawal.
won the elections, Khaled Meshal, the group’s political leader,
announced that Hamas
is ready to end armed resistance and reach a compromise with Israel if
the Jewish state commits itself to full withdrawal from the Palestinian
territories occupied in 1967. Hamas'
readiness to reach such a solution is a disaster for Israel, which has
no interest whatsoever in leaving the occupied territories. Last week,
acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced his government’s
determination to annex all of the Jordan Valley, in addition to all major
settlements. These plans are backed by a vast majority of the Israeli
willingness to accept an Israeli withdrawal only from the 1967
occupied territories is in fact an explicit recognition of Israel. On the
other hand, Israel’s refusal to end the occupation and its expansion of
Jewish settlements indicates its total rejection to the Palestinians’
right to statehood. Moreover, Hamas
didn’t indicate that it wants to cancel existing agreements, but
said that it will respect the deals that serve the Palestinians. Isn't
this the only responsible position a government should take? Every new
government has the right to review the policies of its predecessors;
otherwise it would be pointless to hold elections and change the
Israel and its supporters consider Hamas
a “terrorist” organization that is not party of the Palestinian
political process. Because this view is wrong, everything based on it is
has been elected to lead the Palestinian Authority which recognizes
Israel, which has an elected President who is favored by Israel and its
staunch allies. The group also shares the same legislative council that
includes other Palestinian parties, including a sizeable portion of Fatah.
It is not normal to demand fresh legal commitments (or recognition for
that matter) from every newly elected government.
and the United States have already taken steps to withhold funds from a Hamas-led
government. But Hamas’ isolation will only alienate oppressed and
innocent Palestinians. Israel and its allies want the occupied to
guarantee the security of the occupier without acknowledging that the
occupation is wrong and illegal. They want the Palestinian resistance to
stop - not to make peace - but to make room for more anti-Palestinian
attacks. And finally, they want renewed recognition while Israel doesn’t
recognize any borders and freely seizes Palestinian territories whenever
The issue of recognition is in fact confusing.
Which Israel should the Palestinians recognize? Is it the one that existed
before June 4, 1967, or the one with the new illegal settlements, the one
which Israeli leaders themselves define differently every day?
for its election victory, and punishing the Palestinians for
exercising their democratic right is wrong, irresponsible and not
conducive to peace and security. Israel and its allies overlooked one of
the major lessons of history. Peace and eradication of violence can better
be achieved by removing injustice. This means confronting the unjust and
protecting the oppressed.
Turning a blind eye to injustice and occupation,
and pampering the occupier, as the “civilized” governments in the U.S.
and EU are doing, will sure lead to further bloodshed in the occupied
territories and deepen the growing rift between them and the Arab and