Cherchez les beneficiaries

الإثنين 26 كانون الثاني 2009


For the first time in the history of the conflict the Palestinian people are represented by two equally-controversial and equally-incompetent leaderships. Musa Alshuqairi comments on seeking the beneficiaries.

As absurd as conspiracy theories may sound, they could offer an alternative perspective. 

Those who suggested that the events of 9-11 could be an inside job based their theory on the “look who benefited from the attack” angle. Judging by the language used by Hamas political leadership in the days following the Zionist assault on Gaza an equally-far fetched theory can be applied.

Here is a statement made by the deputy chief of the Hamas political bureau Mousa abu Marzouk in his January 22nd Guardian column: “… public support is stronger than ever in Palestine and worldwide. Hamas’s military capabilities have not been hurt, either.”

Since the first few days of the assault, back when criticizing Hamas was not a sacrilegious offense punishable by treason, some (questionable?) analysis suggested that one of the Zionist’s objectives could be to polish Hamas as a legitimate national political leadership, and confirm that the then-isolated movement is the only representative of Palestinians in Gaza. A complete split between the West Bank and Gaza would follow, and a wider split between Palestinian factions would ensue.

Among the many announced or assumed objectives of the vicious operation, and as offensive the above goal may sound, the past few days indicate that the Zionists have accomplished that particular mission. Just consider the following:

  • Hamas came out as the popular bearer of the alleged resistance project against the treason and submission projects.
  • But less than 48 of its fighters lost their lives (compared to 49 Zionist soldiers!) and none of them were arrested.
    (at least according to Abu Ubayda shown above as he heads to his victory press conference). The armed infra-structure remains intact.  Editor’s note: the BBC claims 10 Israeli soldiers were killed in the fighting.
  • A couple of well-spaced assassinations of high-profile figures portrayed its leadership as the first in the line of fire. Any questioning of Hamas’ leadership decisions failing to protect the population it governs is instantly countered by two words: Sa’eed Syamm.
  • Anyone who questions Hamas’ motives, tactics, or political project during and now after the assault is instantly branded as a traitor, an Abbas/Dahlan supporter, a defeatist and a Mossad agent. The conspiracy theory won’t be complete without a team of well-known sleazy journalists and notorious Zionist supporters harshly criticizing Hamas, automatically bundling anyone who dares to point out to Hamas shortcomings with the well-established paid pens.
  • In conclusion, the once-isolated Hamas is now officially represented at an Arab summit – coincidentally hosted by the only Gulf country that has diplomatic relations with the Zionists.

For the first time in the history of the conflict the Palestinian people are represented by two equally-controversial and equally-incompetent leaderships.

Hamas has the impression of super popularity; its lightly-armed militia are on full alert, its leadership is as patriotic as it gets, and criticizing it is a crime. In short, all the necessary ingredients of a typical Arab petty government ruling over a few square kilometers are in place. One can’t help but ask the question, from the Zionists perspective: what is the ultimate scenario for Palestinian leadership? Those who suggest that Zionists would be content with a completely compliant submissive authority lead by the likes of Abbas and his gang who will protect the Zionists borders and trade Jerusalem and the refugees for five per cent of the West Bank are largely mistaken.

The Zionists would be much more pleased with the status quo: a split at the leadership and population levels, and a total split between Gaza and the West Bank. If you offer them a vague and crippled resistance project to create the illusion that “every Israeli citizen is at much risk as a Palestinian resident” (a mind-boggling statement and a shameless lie made not by Zionists but by the above-mentioned abu Marzouk!), then the Zionists can milk the myth of  “security threat” into endless military aid and world-wide support.

Again, don’t make the mistake that the above theory is suggesting that Khaled Mash’al is holding secret meetings with Peres (in Paris) or that he is on the official CIA payroll (like some other leaders that once convinced us that they are working towards freeing Palestine). It is a theory based on the fact that Zionists plan long term and we are content with masked-men in poorly-organized victory press conferences. Hamas leaders may be a real patriotic bunch dedicated to a true cause and who believe that the only way to reach that cause is by assuming power. But the one thing they have proved is that they are definitely not a group of master politicians – let alone a group of visionaries and planners. (Maybe because ideologically planning intrinsically takes a back seat in favor of fate and destiny, but that’s a different story).

Now before some suddenly-revolutionary college kid suffers an anger-induced brain aneurysm, let us stress out to him/her again the improbable conspiracy theory part – if for anything, for this simple conclusion: Contrary to what abu Marzook claimed above, Hamas is neither as popular nor as powerful as ever. Here is a small-specimen experiment that is worth mentioning: In eight over-the-phone interviews conducted with Gaza residents, seven expressed various degrees of displeasure with Hamas – of course on accounts of anonymity. The eighth who unconditionally supported Hamas did not lose any family members, her house is still standing and she had running water and electricity throughout the assault. An ambulance driver from Gaza went as far as cussing Hamas out – but asked for that part to be left off the record.

The experiment is definitely non-indicative of Hamas’ support in Gaza but raises a couple of questions:

  • When Hamas won the elections, was the win based on its resistance project or on its civil-based project in providing the services and security that Abbas gangsters failed to provide?
  • Is it much easier to support an over-ambitious poorly-planned resistance project from West Amman, Dubai and Sweden than supporting it from the West Bank and Gaza?

The case of Nizar Rayyan

As I spent the morning following the day of the Rayyan family massacre trying to find out who exactly is this little-known (to me of course) Hamas leader, I came across a couple of his speeches posted by Hamas supporters. Back then when the videos had less than 2,000 views each (by then they were even free of the usual nasty comments one now expects from Arab YouTube commentators) I thought it was a good idea to link to them on a website I am remotely affiliated with. 

Despite the fact that I took slight offense to “mice, rats and the secular heretics” (as someone who remains suspicious regarding the ability of religion-based political parties to co-exist with any opposition given the fact that they are divine and the others are not), and even though I took minute offense to the doctorate degree holder in Hadeeth (from Sudan) making a basic Arabic grammar mistake (5:55 second video), I chose to hold back any commentary and posted it under “Nizar Rayyan 1959-2009).

Within exactly three minutes I was called a traitor, a paid-pen, an idiot, immoral, a Dahlan supporter, an underwear-surrendering Fatah member, an infidel, a piece of crap, an agent, among many other things. And those were only the names that my own brother called me. After more than three hours of heated debate, we have reached a typically-Arab resolution: we are not going to talk to each other for two months – a total boycott starting that day. 

Without feeling like I was intellectually terrorized and without feeling that my patriotism is at stake, I voluntarily (seriously) decided to remove the post. The only reason: time and place.

And here is my brief comment on the videos:
With all due respect to the martyr Nizar Rayyan who sacrificed his life for the cause of Palestine – and regardless of this choices he has made in his personal life or the delivery method of his speeches – if that is the kind of rhetoric that Hamas leadership has been using to recruit in Gaza, how are they going to sell to their devout supporters a “national unity” government even with a resistance-supporting figure, like say Farouq al-Qadoomi or even Marwan al-Barghoothi?

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