The ultimate catch-22

[ PIC 11/01/2013 – 09:41 PM ]

By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine

images_comment_amayreh_300_0[1]Spokespersons representing Fatah and Hamas have been speaking auspiciously about the prospects of reconciliation between the two groups, following Egyptian-moderated talks in Cairo this week. Thankfully, the Egyptian leadership of President Mursi has made strenuous efforts to ensure the success of the on-again off-again talks.

None the less, Palestinians, including Fatah and Hamas, must be frank and honest as to the realistic chances of reaching a final and lasting reconciliation between the two camps, the nationalist and Islamic camp.

First of all. We must realize that Hamas and Fatah alone don’t possess 100% or even 50% of the cards that would guarantee a successful outcome of the protracted reconciliation talks.

True, it is important to display maximum good-will in order to put an end to this enduring rift which Israel and other enemies use rather opportunistically to undermine our just national cause.

Indeed, Israeli leaders, accomplished liars as they are, would want the entire world to believe that the rift between Hamas and Fatah is the real problem impeding peace in Palestine. The real Israeli goal is, of course, to divert the international community’s attention from the decapitation by Israel of the two-state solution vision by keeping up the systematic process of stealing Palestinian land and building thereon huge colonies for fanatical Jewish immigrants from around the world.

Hence, one could state with utmost certainty, honesty and rectitude that Israel’s Lebensraum policy, not the contention between Fatah and Hamas, is impeding peace in this part of the world.

More to the point, it is crystal clear that Israel, not Fatah or Hamas, or even the entire Palestinian national movement, holds the keys to a lasting reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.

For example, one of the steps being discussed in Cairo is the organization of elections in both the West Bank and Gaza in order to pave the way for a lasting reconciliation.

But the entire West Bank is occupied by Israel and the Israeli occupation army is in tight control of every street and corner there. To put it bluntly honestly. Israel, not the Palestinians, have the final say in the west Bank under the present circumstances

It is Israel, not the Palestinians, that decides whether there will be elections or not and it is Israel that decides who will be allowed to participate in these elections, who would be excluded and who will be arrested.

I know that some Palestinian leaders from both popular camps will be prompted to dismiss or downplay these fundamental facts on the ground that Palestinians can’t be held hostage to Israeli whims indefinitely.

Well, but we are held hostage to their will and whims whether we like it or not. In the final analysis, what is a foreign military occupation all about if it doesn’t mean the loss of one’s will and freedom?

Holding true and fair elections and letting the masses be the ultimate arbiter is undoubtedly the right thing to do under normal circumstances.

But how can we possibly pretend that the situation in the Wet Bank is normal when one can’t even move from Bethlehem to al-Khalil, for example, unless he is allowed to do so by Israeli occupation soldiers manning ubiquitous roadblocks and checkpoints dotting the map of the occupied territory?

Indeed, how could we hold truly representative elections when Israel would pursue a witch-hunt campaign against the Islamist camp, threatening to throw all Islamic candidates and activists taking part in elections behind bars for years?

Do Palestinians need to swell their prisoner population in Israel’s Bastilles and concentration camps?

I know that many in Fatah are quite indifferent, even callously indifferent, about this matter since Israeli measures would eventually militate against their political opponents, especially the Islamists.

This is why, Hamas has to deal with this matter with the utmost seriousness and gravity it deserves. After all, it is Hamas, and no one else, is targeted for weakening and other malicious designs.

Moreover, it would be stupidly even disastrously naïve to invoke such considerations as regional and international guarantees to force Israel to allow for the organization of genuinely democratic elections.

At the end of today, we are talking about a virulent enemy that doesn’t hesitate to keep innocent people locked behind bars for many years without charge or trial. We are talking about people like Nayef Rajoub, who has been languishing in Israeli dungeons and concentration camps ever since he was elected an MP in his Hebron electorate more than seven years ago.

In light, Hamas is urged to exercise maximum vigilance and caution lest it be cajoled or bamboozled into falling into a serious trap by agreeing to go to elections in the West bank under present circumstances.

Another point of contention. We know too well that the PA security agencies, tasked with coordinating with the Israeli occupation army, are rabidly anti-Hamas. For these agencies, the real enemy is Hamas not Israel. This is what they were brainwashed to believe by Dayton and his lieutenants.

Hence, it would be a disastrous miscalculation on Hamas’s part to entrust its fate in the West Bank to these agencies, whose patriotic credentials are dubious.

A few days ago, one of these agencies arrested Hamad el-Amleh from the town of Beit Ula near Hebron on frivolous charges. Eyewitnesses said his home was also raided by members of the Preventive Security Apparatus.

Interestingly, the raid and arrest took place on the eve of the reconciliation meeting between Abu Mazen and Khaled Misha’al in Cairo , which shows that certain people within the PA security apparatus are more interested in satisfying Israel ‘s security whims and concerns and less interested in achieving true national reconciliation.

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