Monday, January 30, 2006

Changing Colors of Palestine

Hamas: 76
Fatah: 43

Results: Palestinian Parl Vote

How times change? How things change?
No one could have anticipated the sudden change of colors. Hamas, Israel's nemesis, has swept the parlimentary elections for the first time in the history of world's powder keg. From Fatah's yellow, it is now Hamas's olive green. It is a political earthquake that has rocked the entire middle-east. The tremors have been reported as far as Washington DC. With Hamas at the helm, how can the US client-state Isreal breathe? The million dollar question remains. What next?

Will Hamas transform itself like Arafat's PLO eventually did? Will it effectively replace Fatah that has dominated the Palestinian politics -- over purlings of corruption -- for more than four decades? Will it renounce violence? Will it acknowledge the illegitimately-legitimate state of Isreal? Its right to exist? Will there ever be peace with Tel-Aviv? What about the peace-process? What of Hamas's own extremist past?

Hamas came into being in 1987. What started as an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood soon earned rich laurels in the Palestinian civil society as an effective charitable organisation. The group has however had a very violent history. Hamas regards the territory of the present-day State of Israel as well as the Gaza Strip and the West Bank—as an inalienable waqf or bequest, which can never be surrendered to Isreal. It refuses to accept the zionist state of Isreal. It has called for the annihilation of the Jewish country in the past. Hamas cadre have carried out suicide bombings against Isreali military and civilians in recent years.

The notion of a bequest may be a little far-fetched but historically Isreal was created in 1948 on the remains of a vibrant Palestinian state.The newly found Jewish state played an aggressive, oppressive, racist policy agaist the native Palestinians from Day 1. It has since: Annihilated the original state of Palestine, systematically destroyed their land records, Killed hundreds upon thousands of innocent, unarmed Palestinians, ruthlessly driven the poor folks out of their lands, committed horrendous war-crimes, allowed massacres of the unspeakable kind, bull-dozed homes of palestinians with people still inside calling out for help. [ All of it is duly recorded and ratified with more than 600 UN resolutions against Isreal till date, calling it to stop the barbarity]. Isreal still continues to humiliate the Palestinians on a daily basis.

In the strange algebra of the modern, civilized world, none of this qualifies as terrorism. Hamas' response -- against Isreali deliberate provocation -- has always been dubbed as terrorism. It is like I hit you in the crouch, you wither in pain and keep mum. You dare stare at me, that is abominable. Completely Unacceptable as the White House spokesman Scott McClellan would say with a borrowed Bushy-twang.

I am appalled at headlines like: World prays for Sharon's heath. For God's sake this guy is a bloodied war-criminal. 16 September 1982, the now comatose Sharon engineered a blood-bath at the Palestinian refugee camp of Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon. 3500 Palestinians perished in a single day. Killed in cold blood. Dragged out and pumped with bullets. The massacre provoked outrage around the world. In December 1982 the United Nations General Assembly condemned the massacre and declared it to be an act of Genocide. In 1987, Time magazine published a story implying that Sharon was directly responsible for the massacres. Sharon sued Time for libel in American and Israeli courts. Time won the suit. Yet he is a peace-guy. Pray for him!

Sheikh Ahmed yasin was an aging Hamas founder and ideologue. In addition to being nearly blind, he was a quadriplegic and had to use a wheelchair after a sports accident in his youth. Isreal killed him in 2004 in a direct missile hit. US ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte stated that the USA characterized Yassin as the leader of a terrorist organization who preached hatred. Devil. So Simple.

This is just a small example. The history of the region is replete with such double-standards. Isreal -- with overt US support -- whipping an already beaten nation. Killing them again and again. US said last night that it will stop any aid to Palestine now that Hamas is in power. Shower a terrorist state -- Isreal -- with arms and continue to flog an occupied lot. American arthimetics.

They say power comes with many trappings. Hamas has already shown signs of mellowing down. It has been respecting a cease-fire with Isreal for close to one year now. Hamas election manifesto -- for the 2006 election -- carried no mention of Isreal's end. That was anyways always rhetoric. There is no comparison of F-16's and lowly fidayeen. Isreali nukes and Palestinian rocks.

I am not too sure whether the regional bully -- Isreal -- is going to talk peace with Hamas. May be the two extremes melt. May be not. Isreal may sulk. It may even consider decimating the Hamas leadership.

What Isreal can never destroy is the Palestinian spirit for freedom.



Jehnin Awla said...

You are right, sam. Isreal is the flawed party not the Palestinians. I have done my PhD thesis on middle east conflict and I can tell you from my vast readngs on the war, Isreal is the #1 provocator. Hamas, must I tell you is an Isreali creation. That was done to undermine the PA. It has come to bite them now.

Abelard said...

Interesting arguement. I think this is a frank piece without being apologetic. Hamas has to change. Isreal is a reality that it has to accept. Perhaps Isreal has to accept hamas too.

Sazzia said...

I am sazzia from UAE. we dont live in a perfect world, brother. It is alright for the media to pray for Sharon but no one knows the mass graves of the Palestinians killed

anjali said...

I dont follow politics much as it is a dirty business but the clarity of your writings always impress. You disect things.

Burdette said...

Nothing comes out of war. We have seen numerous palestinians being killed and some Isreali's too in this war. As we go in the new era, all of us must show some degree of flexibility and shake hands.