Hamas should say “NO” to elections under occupation

Truth does not matter for “Israel”. Buttons Do. To mute.

[ 10/11/2011 – 08:48 PM – By Khalid Amayreh

Holding elections under the sinister Israeli occupation is undoubtedly an irresponsible adventure. It could further complicate the still-unresolved rift between Fatah and Hamas, which would be a valuable propaganda gift for the Israeli regime which is desperately seeking a pretext to gain more time in order to build more colonies on occupied Palestinian land.

Holding elections under the Nazi-like Israeli occupation is also an exercise in futility and political stupidity. It wouldn’t advance the Palestinian cause even one centimeter forward. On the contrary, it would divert the collective Palestinian attention away from the real thing, namely the slow-motion devouring of their homeland and cause by the notoriously covetous Zionist beast which seeks to swallow everything.

Hence, it would be a huge miscalculation to organize elections before meeting the essential requirements that would make elections an asset rather than a liability for our people and just cause.

Needless to say, the first and foremost requirement for a successful election is Israeli non-interference. But we all know that the occupation army still controls every nook and cranny in the West Bank.

Moreover, Israel, especially under the quasi-Nazi government of Benyamin Netanyahu, is unlikely to let the Palestinians hold free and transparent elections, especially if there is there are reasonable chances that Hamas will win. Israel fears the outcome of such election and is unwilling to repeat the experiment of 2006 when the Palestinian Islamic movement earned a crushing victory over the west- favored Fatah group.

The issue goes far beyond provocative statements from this or that Israeli official. Israel is simply willing and ready to make any Palestinian elections a real mockery. After all, Israel not the hapless Palestinian Authority, has the final say. This means that Israel is able to fulfill its threats, irrespective of PA reactions.

Yes, the PA could appeal to the international community for help, but Israel can always fly in the face of the international community, including Israel’s guardian-ally, the United States .

It is likely that Israel may well seek to make things easy for Fatah by hounding, arresting, and tormenting candidates and supporters of Hamas, The Fatah leadership might resort to making verbal protestation, but we all know that the secular group stands to benefit from violent Israeli measures against Hamas.

Hence, the fateful question which the Hamas leadership must ask itself now is what is the point of going to elections when every Hamas candidate or pro-Hamas candidate will be hounded and arrested by Israel and then given hefty prison sentence in Israeli dungeons and concentration camps?

Does the Palestinian people, including Hamas, need to swell the numbers of Palestinian prisoners in Zionist jails? Indeed do we have to repeat what happened in 2006 when Israel arrested the entire Hamas leadership in the West Bank on no other ground than taking part in elections that produced elected leaders not to Israel’s liking.?

Hamas should study and examine the situation very carefully because the worst mistake one could make lies in failure to learn from one’s own mistakes. In Islam, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) warns believers against getting bitten by the same snake twice.

Some Palestinian Islamist leaders might think that the situation is ripe and opportune for holding elections, especially in the aftermath of the release by Israel of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli custody.

None can deny that the prisoner swap was a popularity booster for Hamas, and the movement deserves this hike in its popularity since it earned it the hard way.

However, this shouldn’t prompt Hamas to make hasty political decisions about going to elections.

This is not the time for Hamas to get itself involved in political games of utmost uncertainty, games that could inflict untold damage to the Palestinian people and their enduring just cause.

Let those who would float on shallow water hold elections and fill the ether with empty rhetoric. Let them ride the waves, have a brief moment of false euphoria, and then celebrate their false victories. At the end of the day, their frustration will only be bigger and their depression will become overwhelming.

We know that Fatah is always seeking to have Hamas take a share of Fatah’s failures, blunders and fiascos. Hamas must not fall into the trap.

One more point, we all know that even if we exclude the overwhelming Israeli factor, the Palestinian arena itself is utterly unprepared for truly democratic, free and transparent elections.

Today in the West Bank, human rights are not respected, civil liberties are consistently violated, and all expressions of the opposition views are suppressed. More to the point, suspected Islamist activists are routinely detained and interrogated over their alleged connections with Hamas. Fatah’s audacity went as far as summoning for interrogation newly-released prisoners, a feat which invited angry condemnations from the Palestinian public.

There is no doubt that Mahmoud Abbas desperately needs someone to rescue him from the impossible dilemma he is now facing. Abbas’s statehood enterprise is going nowhere and his rumored willingness to deliver the Palestinian Authority from the American financial stranglehold is dubious to say the least.

Indeed, the only thing that could save him from the clutches of failure is the dismantlement of the entire apparatus of the Palestinian Authority. But is he willing to do that, at least to save us the hope for a future of dignity and freedom from virulent Israeli Nazism.

Source and more at the Palestinian Information Center

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