Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hamas and the Arab Spring

The Arab Spring is an opportunity to mend fortunes by rebranding Palestinian politics for statehood and good governance.

Larbi Sadiki

"Exeter, United Kingdom - On a "win-loss" scale, Hamas features more as amongst the "winners" not "losers" of the Arab Spring. Ismail Haniyeh's current diplomacy "shuttle" around several Arab capitals is designed, amongst other things, as a declaratory policy embracing the Arab Spring.

However, the embrace remains a little ill-defined around the edge, and faces many challenges......

Favoured by the Arab Spring geography more than Fatah, Hamas must do two things: practice power-sharing with Fatah and work to this end. In the footsteps of other Islamists from Morocco to Egypt, power-sharing and pluralism are the name of the political game. Islamists need the liberals and the secularists to construct democratic order. It applies to the EMB, which has elevated it to an art in a short time span, and equally to Hamas.

Hamas knows its affairs better, and there are all kinds of hidden matters along the spectrum of political calculus, but now that it is almost entirely out of Syria, it should condemn the Syrian regime. Even if it may hang out in power for longer than expected, it is a doomed regime. Haniyeh, amongst other Palestinian leaders, has been clear about their support for the Arab Spring. Syria remains a difficult test, but one that requires a moral stand.

The Palestinians have for so long been left to a dire state of dehumanised existence at the mercy of local, regional and international political vicissitudes and whims.

The Arab Spring is both an opportunity for mending fortunes, and a test to rise to, by rebranding Palestinian politics for the tasks of statehood and good governance."

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