Monday, June 18, 2007

Hamas gets Noble prize

So finally Hamas has done the unthinkable. You could have never guessed it, right? It has lifted the coveted Nobel peace prize for 2007. Right now the ordinary foot soldiers of the once-dreaded outfit are playing with the medallion. Being a party of the masses, the world’s best-known prize has gone to just the right kind of people. Reports suggest that Hamas buccaneers are affectionately tossing the coin-like insignia and throwing it at each other. Abu-Mazin aka Mehmud Abbas, the Palestinian Prez is seething with anger in his West Bank Office. Oh, I forgot to add, the Fatah (headed by Abu) and Hamas do not get along very well. Israel is fuming but watching the latest development with a keen interest. The west, they say, is shell-shocked. Hamas is, after all, on the terror list of a dozen odd countries -- including the US.

For those who came in late, let me rewind the tale a little. Ah – How I hate to explain things that only I follow? Palestine – as we know – the jolly old holy place is the scene of a bloody conflict for 40, 45, 50…. I don’t remember how many…Let’s say many many years now. Don’t ask me what are they fighting for? I can tell you though, that it is the world’s most intense, passionate, well-entrenched, funded, supported, hated, divisive, gruesome continuous conflict. The Palestinian side has been lead by Fatah (commanded by the legendary Yasir Arafat for more than 40 years till his death in 2004). Arafat (popularly called Abu Ammar) was succeeded by the affable doctor of law Mehmud Abbas (Abu Mazen). Just for record, the Israelis have been represented by a spate of smug-looking prime ministers that includes the likes of Ben Gurion, Levi Eshkol, Menachem Begin,Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon and co. Mr Sharon is in some kind of a strange medical condition – called Coma – since 2006. His critics – both ultra-orthodox Jews and Muslims – think he is under a curse. Both have different reasons for it?

Not straying too much from our main theme, The Hamas Nobel peace price for 2007. In 1987 -- exactly 20 years before it finally laid its hands on the prestigious award -- Hamas was founded by a wheel chair bound man. It is a vehemently anti-Israel organization and has used violence extensively – in the past -- in order to achieve its political goals. Feared outside Palestine for its notorious suicide bombings, rants and radicalism, Hamas swept to power – riding a popular support -- in early 2006. Since then it has been fighting an endless power struggle with Fatah, who despite having the Prez chair suddenly feel relegated to the margins.

The internecine battle between Fatah -- that controls the west bank -- and Hamas, which holds sway in Gaza, has given a very unusual character to the Palestinian struggle. Hundreds have been killed, many more arrested, and we have witnessed some military style executions of the Fatah cadre by Hamas. Due to their fighting acumen and more disciplined combatants, Hamas has prevailed and successfully over-ran the Fatah facilities, destroying them fully. Last week, Hamas secured the Gaza city completely. At almost the same time, the Nobel peace prize came.

Surprised. Why should Hamas get the Nobel peace prize? How could the Norwegian Parliament, which appoints the Norwegian Nobel Committee that in turn gives the prize, choose Hamas? Well don’t scratch your heads too much. The distinction isn’t that difficult to achieve. All you got to do is this: You are Hamas. You have to look grim. Very grim. Blast Yasir Arafat’s home in Gaza. Instantly kill the chaps on guard. Raid the empty house of the supreme Palestinian leader, who bagged the original Nobel peace prize in 1994. Break into his vault. Take his military uniform. The famous headscarf. His letters. His personal belongings (which any world museum will give a fortune to have). Take away the Nobel Peace prize. Scoot. No don’t even scoot. Display the prize. Toss it around. Get lost. So simple! Pity.