Many in the Left are still parroting old mantras, still fighting for irrelevant appearances on BBC, making demands on Hamas and using such terms as a ‘coup against Palestinian democracy’
A Very Good Piece
By Ramzy Baroud
"When Hamas members were elected as the majority bloc of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and as it became apparent that a US-led international embargo would be an adjoining price to that victory, I contacted many intellectuals and writers in Palestine, mostly those who often positioned themselves as part of the Palestinian Left. I asked them to solidify behind the collective choice of the Palestinian people and to shield Palestinian democracy at any cost......
In the early weeks and months, following Hamas lonely ascent to power in March 2006, we began seeing respected Palestinian intellectuals making some disturbing statements to the media, attacking Hamas as if it’s some alien body, shipped from Tehran, and thus, affectively, validating the international embargo. I had, at times, shared stage with many of those people, proudly, at international forums; some even posed as socialists and spoke fervently of the collective fight against international imperialism and the need to activate civil society in the fight against injustice and so forth. The Hamas victory had indeed exposed the chasm between words and actions, between national priorities and ideological and even individual rigidity and limitations. When Hamas entered into rounds of talks with Palestinian ‘socialist’ groups, I was most certain that the latter would appreciate the intensity of the challenge and would take part in a unity government even if a union with a religious grouping stands at odds with its overall principals. I thought, the situation is too grave for superficial manifestos and party programmes to stand in the way. I was wrong......
The bizarre twist is that Hamas, by a practical definition, is much closer to socialist principals than the urban ‘socialist’ intellectuals.
By defending Hamas and the democratic will of Palestinians, I’ve hardly felt as if I was deviating from of my own principles. My letter to the Palestinian Left hardly generated any response — my communications with progressives in the West generated much greater enthusiasm. Now that the split between Hamas and Fatah has elevated to almost a geographic split as well – a complete departure from the Palestinian national objectives, many in the Left are still parroting old mantras, still fighting for irrelevant appearances on BBC, making demands on Hamas and using such terms as a ‘coup against Palestinian democracy’.
There was hardly a Palestinian Left to begin with; they lost the only opportunity that could’ve made them relevant, and now they continue to pander to the status quo, yet posing as the wise ones in an ocean of dim-witted multitudes: the precise definition of intellectual elitism. "