By Tony Sayegh
The history of Palestine for the past 90 years included several players who sold or bartered a portion of Palestine to accomplish their own objectives at the expense of the Palestinians. From the British Mandate which promised the Zionists of Europe a part of Palestine to establish a “national Jewish Homeland” to king Abdullah of Trans Jordan who struck a deal with Golda Meir in exchange for annexing the West Bank to Jordan. But the price offered for the remaining 22% of Palestine has never been so low; it is basically the payment of the salaries of the PA employees and some charity from the US and the EU for the rest of the population.
To understand the turmoil and the violence among the Palestinians themselves taking place in occupied Palestine we have to realize that this did not come out of thin air nor is it a struggle for power. It represents the intended endgame of the Oslo agreements signed in 1993. The PA was created and intended to control the Palestinians, end their right to fight for their rights and stolen land, surrender the UN-sanctioned right of return, secure Israel from any attack and sign final status agreements with Israel. These agreements would formalize the surrender of most Palestinian national rights and transform the Palestinian problem from a national and political issue to a human issue of feeding and absorbing the Palestinians in the surrounding countries after expelling them from what is left of Palestine.
As much as Hamas should be faulted for putting itself in the contradictory position of opposing Oslo while participating in the legislative elections set up under these agreements, one positive result of this participation is that the Palestinian legislature, with Hamas having a majority in it, would not ratify any such agreements. This is the core issue that led Usrael to declare war, in all its forms, on Hamas. This is the reason why the Palestinians have been blockaded and starved since right after the Hamas victory.
Various approaches were attempted to break Hamas and to remove any obstacles to the puppet Abbas and the formalization of the liquidation of Palestinian rights. The first plan was that starving the population would turn the Palestinians against Hamas and topple the government. This is analogous to the recent heavy bombardment of Lebanon by Israel and the destruction of so much of the infrastructure in the vain hope of turning the Lebanese against Hizbullah.
When that did not work, establishing a government of “national unity” according to Usraeli specifications became the goal. A similar game is being pursued by the US in Lebanon now. The carrot and the stick were used to get Hamas to agree to the Usraeli conditions: end the resistance, accept Oslo, recognize Zionist and racist Israel and abandon the right of return. And what was the carrot? Hamas gets to “participate” in the government and the Palestinians get to eat again! But the rejection of these demands is precisely why Hamas won the January elections! So, why would Hamas renege on its core principles and commit political suicide? Those principles are what set Hamas apart from Fatah and Abbas.
When this second plan faltered, just at the time Abbas went to New York, the third plan was put into effect. The outlines of this third plan were put together by Israel and the US with the collaboration of a certain faction within Fatah. It is important to recognize that Fatah has been badly split for some time. That split led to its defeat in the January elections and the split deepened as a result of losing those elections. A faction consisting of those who held positions and power before, who enriched themselves and received all kinds of privileges from the US and Israel, wanted the restoration of the status quo at any cost. These are the people of the likes of Dahlan on whom Usrael depended to deliver the final status agreements.
Therefore, this third plan which was put into effect in the past few days saw a total collaboration between Abbas and this faction within Fatah, Israel, the US and the puppet Arab regimes of Egypt, Jordan and KSA to violently overthrow the Hamas government. A straightforward coup would have been attempted, except that Hamas has popular support and a certain amount of fighting power. The next best thing was to incite a campaign of sabotage, strikes, kidnappings, killings, school closures, burning of public buildings, etc in a manner reminiscent of the planned looting and destruction of Iraq. This faction within Fatah became the willing agents of Mossad and the US to destroy what Israel itself did not directly destroy. The US has used this approach many times in the past to topple a government it found undesirable. An example was the chaos and turmoil engineered and financed by the CIA in the days before toppling the government of the Iranian nationalist Mossadeq in 1953.
It is important not to get carried away with talk about a civil war among Palestinians; this is not a civil war. This is a struggle between a nationalist government (Hamas) and some collaborators with Usrael who want to topple it. As regrettable as Palestinian losses are, it is important that the Palestinians do not lose sight of the significance of the fight and what the fight is for. The Palestinians are not the first or the last people to face such a problem from within. Talk of national unity is meaningless when those you are trying to unite with are collaborating openly with the enemy.