Saturday, March 17, 2007

HAMAS Has Reneged

A Commentary by Tony Sayegh

Hamas was elected primarily because it promised the following program:

1) To end the corruption and to bring to trial all the crooks and embezzlers. Now we find some of the same chief crooks and embezzlers not only not facing trial, but also serving as "ministers." At the top is Salam Fayad, a U.S. and World Bank crony, who is the "finance minister." The U.S. will talk to him and some NGOs will give him money as a Mafia don, not as a representative of a self-respecting government.

2) To end the charade of the "peace process" which is the drug to which the PA has become addicted while Israel swallows what is left of the West Bank. Hamas opposed the Oslo accord which created the structure of the PA and the endless, fruitless, "negotiations." Now Hamas is a full participant in this structure which it originally rejected and is fully behind the charade of negotiations by "brother" Abu Mazen.

3) The alternative program that Hamas proposed and the Palestinians who voted for Hamas supported was that liberation will come only through serious armed struggle and not through begging and flying from one capital to the next and from one conference to the next. After it was elected, Hamas did just the opposite. It has observed a one-sided "truce" with Israel even while Israel continues daily killing, abduction of hundreds of Palestinians, expansion of the colonies, expropriation of Palestinian land, carving out more chunks from the West Bank by expanding the Apartheid wall and much more. What is worse is that Hamas, shamelessly, wants to expand this truce (or tahdi'a) to the West Bank. Israel couldn't care less as long as it is observed only by Hamas.

So, on every count Hamas has reneged on what it promised the Palestinians. I wouldn't be surprised that if elections were to be held again, many of those who voted for Hamas would not vote for it again. Hamas is increasingly becoming an imitation of Fatah (is this why "unity" was possible?) and the Palestinians are experiencing what the Americans have been realizing in their own political system: there is little difference between the two parties.

What the Palestinians need and what they should be agitating for is a genuine national liberation movement that focuses only on liberation at this stage. Political parties and governments come after liberation and not before. Time is running out.

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