Abbas Pumps New Life Into Hamas
Translations of this item:
Abbas's "reconciliation" with Hamas is most probably aimed at exerting more pressure on Israel to make far-reaching concessions at the negotiating table. But Abbas's move will soon prove to be counterproductive. Hamas's goal is to seize control over the Palestinian Authority and replace Israel with an Islamic empire. Hamas has already made it clear that the deal with Abbas does not mean that it would change its ideology or renounce terrorism.
These are wonderful days for the Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas.
Just when everyone thought that Hamas -- an officially designated terrorist group and an offshoot of Muslim Brotherhood -- was on its way to vanish as a result of Egypt's tough measures, Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas stepped in to save the movement by inviting its leaders to join a Palestinian unity government.
Abbas's recent decision to sign a "reconciliation" agreement with Hamas is the best gift that the Islamist movement could have dreamed of receiving.
Even if Abbas is not serious about the "reconciliation," his deal with the movement's leaders in the Gaza Strip has injected new blood into Hamas.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza, in February 2007, before Hamas seized total control of Gaza. (Image source: MaanImages)
Hamas is now talking about running in the next Palestinian parliamentary elections and is even hoping to use the "reconciliation" accord as a vehicle for restoring its relations with Egypt.
Buoyed by Abbas's deal, Gaza's Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh phoned former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and invited him to serve as a monitor in the election. Carter and hundreds of international monitors supervised the last parliamentary election in 2006, which resulted in a Hamas victory.
Hamas, of course, is confident that it would score another victory in any upcoming vote.
Until recently, Hamas was concerned only about one thing: how to remain in power despite Egypt's unprecedented measures against the movement and its leaders.
These measures include the destruction of hundreds of smuggling tunnels along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt during the past few months -- a move that created a severe economic and humanitarian crisis for the Palestinians living under Hamas's rule.
Moreover, Egypt's massive crackdown on Hamas-affiliated terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula in particular, and the outlawing of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood organization in general, have dealt Hamas a severe blow.
Ever since the removal of President Mohamed Morsi from power, the Egyptian authorities have been working hard to delegitimize Hamas and undermine its grip on the Gaza Strip. The Egyptians even went as far as also declaring Hamas a terrorist organization, holding it responsible for a series of terrorist attacks in Egypt over the past few months.
Even some of Hamas's top leaders have admitted that the Egyptian measures caused their movement huge damage. Last month, Hamas denounced the Egyptian measures as a "war crime."
Egypt's war on Hamas has now suffered a major setback as a result of Abbas's sudden decision to mend fences with the movement. The Egyptian authorities worked hard to delegitimize Hamas in the hope of ending its control over the Gaza Strip. But Abbas's move has legitimized Hamas, paving the way for the movement's return to center stage.
Hamas is not the only party that stands to benefit from Abbas's gesture. The Muslim Brotherhood organization, which had also been dealt severe blows in the aftermath of the removal of Morsi from power, also stands to benefit from the "reconciliation" pact.
Abbas's alliance with Hamas is likely to put him on a course of collision with the Egyptian government, which regards Hamas as a threat to Egypt's national security.
If Abbas has decided that Hamas is a legitimate partner and is worthy of joining his government and the PLO, why shouldn't the Muslim Brotherhood also demand equal treatment from the Egyptian authorities? And why shouldn't other branches of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab world demand that they be treated the same way as Hamas?
Abbas's rapprochement with Hamas can only embolden Muslim fundamentalists and undermine moderate secular forces throughout the Arab world.
But Abbas has not only emboldened Hamas. He and the Palestinian Authority have now assumed the role of Hamas advocates in a bid to whitewash the movement in the eyes of the rest of the world.
Chief PLO Negotiator Saeb Erekat this week went as far as arguing that Hamas is not a terrorist organization. "We might agree or differ with Hamas," Erekat said. "But Hamas is not a terrorist organization. The occupation, according to international law, is the worst form of terrorism."
Abbas's "reconciliation" accord with Hamas is most probably aimed at exerting pressure on Israel to make far-reaching concessions at the negotiating table.
But Abbas's move will soon prove to be counterproductive. Hamas's goal is to seize control over the Palestinian Authority and replace Israel with an Islamic empire. Abbas is deceiving himself and others when he says that a unity government with Hamas would recognize Israel and renounce violence. Hamas has already made it clear that the deal with Abbas does not mean that it would change its ideology or renounce terrorism.
Reader comments on this item
|Political transfusion [39 words]||Sadie||May 5, 2014 11:36|
|Claims of the Jewish and Arab peoples under International Law to the Right of Self-Determination in Palestine [166 words]||Wallace Edward Brand||May 2, 2014 22:43|
|Wishful projections [113 words]||Bart Benschop||May 1, 2014 03:00|
|The end of a sham [28 words]||Beatrix139||Apr 30, 2014 08:59|
|And the number one funding source [52 words]||Mutantone||Apr 30, 2014 05:39|
Comment on this item
by Ben Cohen
Now, with the Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate having captured key oil wells in the Middle East this year, foreign oil has become an even more lethal financial weapon-of-choice for those seeking to destroy democracy and further escalate the War on Terror.
That President Barack Obama failed even to mention oil as a critical factor in the war against IS during his speech to the nation on September 10, is an omission both revealing and dangerous in terms of how his administration wants to depict the stakes involved in this latest confrontation with the jihadis.
by Lawrence A. Franklin
One Pakistani recruiter of child suicide bombers describes these children as "tools provided by God."
Another Muslim cleric in a madrassa [Islamic boys' school] describes child suicide bombers as "a gift from Allah that we have an unlimited number willing to be sacrificed to teach Americans a lesson."
Using children as suicide bombers will stop when... they stop "condoning the killing of innocents."
by Denis MacEoin
"No religion condones the killing of innocents." — U.S. President Barack Obama, September 10, 2014.
"Islam is a religion of peace." — U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, September 13, 2014.
"There is a place for violence in Islam. There is a place for jihad in Islam." — U.K. Imam Anjem Choudary, CBN News, April 5, 2010.
Regrettably it is impossible to re-interpret the Qur'an in a "moderate" manner. The most famous modern interpretation by Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966), the Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, leads the reader again and again into political territory, where jihad is at the root of action.
If they deviated from the true faith -- as we are seeing in the Islamic State today -- "backsliders," like pagans, were to be fought until they either accepted Islam or were killed.
In India alone, between 60 and 80 million Hindus may have been put to death by Muslim armies between the years 1000-1525.
by Yaakov Lappin
Hamas's long-term ambitions are indistinguishable from those of Islamic State and al-Qaeda.
Hamas will now focus on its next goal -- trying to strengthen its presence in the West Bank and eventually toppling the Palestinian Authority from power there, just as it did in Gaza. If Israel were to withdraw from the West Bank, Hamas would certainly find such a goal easier to accomplish.
Nothing keeps the flames of jihad alight, and Hamas's popularity secure, like frequent wars.
by Alan M. Dershowitz