Friday, June 22, 2007

All in the Family: Disharmony in Gaza

By Remi Kanazi

"A new craze is taking form in political circles throughout the international community. After the Gazan "civil war" which killed 90 people (only 617, 910 less than the American civil war) everyone and their grandmothers seems to be an expert on Palestinian politics and its internal affairs. Hamastan, as it is now being called in Gaza, like the multitude of evil empires that have taken hold throughout world history, is scaring the bejesus out of Fatah, Israel, the US, the European Union, the Arab States, and most theater goers of Spiderman 3. The reason: Hamas, as if it was filming the promotional video, "How to Spank a Militia in 3 Easy Steps," routed Mohammed Dahlan and his US backed henchmen in Gaza before dinner was on the table......

....Yet, contrary to the thought of most Westerners, Palestinians do value democracy, as long as it doesn't come with a side of cluster bombs and forced starvation. Abbas's illegal appointment of a new government is going to sit as well with Palestinians as Jerusalem's gay pride parade sat with ultra-Orthodox Jews......

Rubbing Hamas' face in the dirt (along with the 1.4 million people of Gaza) like schoolyard bullies may seem like an after school delight, but it will only foment more hatred against Israel and more disgust with Fatah. There won't be three states, four states, or any other "new solution" to combat the power of Hamas: any vision for the future will ultimately have to pass a unified Palestinian litmus test for it to stick. Abbas can pretend that Gaza is now Hamas's mess, but he was elected as head of the Palestinian Authority, and will be held to account politically if he keeps treating Gaza like an unwanted stepchild. Even for someone who likes international popularity and money more than George Bush likes bombing brown people, Abbas will eventually come around to engage with Hamas. Whether Abbas likes it or not, his brothers are in Hamas, and no matter how well he gets along with his neighbors, if he doesn't make peace in Palestinian society, the rest of his family is going to think he's self-serving sellout. "

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