By Tony Sayegh
It has become fashionable for friends and foes of the Palestinians to decry what they refer to as the inter-Palestinian fighting. Some have gone as far as calling it a civil war. Hamas and Fatah are equally blamed in what passes as astute observation and wisdom in various commentaries.
In this blessed age of the “new Middle East” brought to us courtesy of the American benevolence and zeal for democracy, we have been manipulated by the spin machines to believe that civil wars are breaking out spontaneously in Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia and now Palestine. What more proof do we need that we are primitive, uncivilized savages who need the big stick of the kind, civilized Western occupiers to keep us from each other’s throat? Therefore the American occupation of Iraq can’t end, for fear of a “full blown civil war.” Now some Israelis are saying only re-occupying Gaza would restore “peace.”
Focusing on the Palestinian arena, and notwithstanding my strong criticisms of Hamas, I have to state unequivocally that I can’t consider both Hamas and Fatah as equally culpable. Further, it should be stated that what is taking place is not only not a civil war, but also not a Palestinian fight between Fatah and Hamas. Rather, it is obvious by now that a faction within Fatah as represented by the notorious Dahlan and with the acquiescence of the stooge Abbas is leading a Contra-style effort to impose a reign of terror and a police “state” on the Palestinians in order to force a “settlement” favorable to Israel on them and to physically snuff out any opposition.
It is no coincidence that the brain behind this plan is none other than Elliott Abrams with the Central American experience of toppling governments, arming and financing of death squads and Contra forces, and campaigns of assassinations and terror. Abrams has put together a similar plan for the Palestinians and the U.S. Congress has appropriated the funds for this plan. Unlike the Iran-Contra deal, this is not secret and we have read its details in the papers. We know that at least $84 millions have been allocated by the Congress. We also know that the U.S. is openly training, with the assistance of its two client regimes in Jordan and Egypt, the Palestinian Contras. We even know where they are being trained!
The real surprise is that the various Palestinian groups were not up in arms after finding out these details. The Palestinian street was also complacent about all of this as if this plan does not concern it. Of course the blockade and the empty stomachs were intended to minimize opposition to the plan. Still not many Palestinian voices, even in the Diaspora, were raised. A certain fog seemed to surround what is being planned, even though none of it was secret. It was as if the Palestinians did not want to face up to the fact that among them, as with any other people, there are those who would work against the interests of their people and actually work for U.S. and Israeli interests.
What is happening now is that the order has been given by Usrael for this Palestinian Contra faction to forcefully implement the plan. We read in Haaretz, for example, about Condoleezza’s plan with precise dates for implementation, which Abbas accepted within 24 hours. We also know that a part of the plan calls for Dahlan to submit and implement a plan on how to disarm the resistance and stop the launching of rockets from Gaza. The deadline for the implementation of this “security” plan is June 21; only a month away. Is it not clear now why the so-called “Presidential Guard” has been deployed in the north and the east of Gaza? Is it not clear now why about 500 of the Palestinian Badr Brigade, based and trained in Jordan were allowed through the Rafah crossing (which is closed for Palestinian civilians most of the time) from Egypt? Is it not clear why large arms shipments were sent through Jordan and Egypt to the Palestinian Contras?
With all of my criticisms of Hamas, it is the only major force standing up to the Contras and their dark plans. That much we have to recognize. If the Contras succeed in crushing Hamas there will be no resistance left and Palestinian rights will be liquidated. This is what all the client Arab regimes are waiting for to normalize relations with Israel over the wreckage of the Palestinians using the “peace plan” fig leaf.
Realizing all of these very ominous dimensions of what has been planned and is being executed, makes it unconscionable for any Palestinian to just blame both parties equally and to portray what is happening as a power struggle. The picture is clear and all Palestinians need to expose and to stand up to the Contras in their middle.