Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Editorial: The public renouncements of Hamas affiliation must end

Contributed by Lucia

"Bethlehem - Ma'an - Editor in Chief Nasser Al Lahham - Six days after Hamas' attack on Palestinian Authority departments, one Hamas nominee for a local council in the West Bank announced that he is no longer a member of Hamas, saying that his declaration was due to what Hamas did in the Gaza Strip.

The London-based newspaper 'Al Hayat' announced: "Mahmoud Lutfi Nayef from Tayba village in the Jenin area has announced that he has taken a decision, by his own volition, and that nobody forced him to do so." The paper added that Nayef declared his "full support to Abbas" and he also urged "all those with a living conscience to declare their legitimate and sharia [Islamic jurisprudence] position regarding the incidents in the strip.".....

In fact, Palestine has never witnessed such incidents before, in which factional loyalists backstab their factions in such a way. If there were Palestinians who regretted their factional membership, they left peacefully and continued their normal life. The Palestinian affiliation to any faction has always been assumed willingly rather than compulsorily and nobody in the world could force a Palestinian to join a faction which he does not want to join.

In the sixties or seventies, people were forced by some regimes to make such declarations renouncing their party affiliation. This used to be one of the conditions to gain freedom from jail and from future persecution by the intelligence services in such countries. Such a thing was embarrassing to the person and to their faction; some political parties, especially left-wing parties, used to threaten their members against making such declarations. Many patriots have consequently spent long years in jail refusing to make such declarations, even though they could have left jail just by making one such declaration.

I have noticed that the papers allow such trends and they publish such announcements, but I am calling on these papers to review this policy as these announcements are humiliating. What is requested from the information minister is to intervene and stop such acts, even though the commercial departments of the newspapers will blame us. "

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