Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, September 2010
Can Hamas Exploit the Fake Talks, Reposition Itself and Finally “Come Good”?
By Stuart Littlewood
Redress, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, September 6, 2010
Hamas, don't blow this chance
Stuart Littlewood argues that the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas’s threats to step up violence serve only to aid Israeli and allied Zionist propaganda. He calls on the movement to seize the moment by repositioning and rebranding itself in a manner that would give impetus to the growing public support for the Palestinian cause. Hamas "vows to step up attacks on Israel", say reports in the Western media. Reading further, we learn that this escalation is either "a natural response to the crimes of the occupation" or a spiteful reaction to being left out of the talks. Either way, Hamas surely knows better than to let such crude impressions be formed. This is their golden opportunity. The eyes and ears of the world are focused on the Israel problem, and will refocus every two weeks.
Instead of hurling threats of more violence, which only serve to reinforce opinion that Hamas is a terrorist organization, the words and deeds of the resistance movement should be carefully chosen to harmonize with the West's values and beliefs.
This is Hamas's chance to “educate” the rest of the world as to the truth about the evil that stalks the Holy Land. It is perhaps a final window of opportunity to define the massive, decades-old injustice accurately.
For example, Hamas could have said:
Israel doesn’t have a monopoly on security and we Palestinians are equally entitled to feel safe... Armed Jewish squatters terrorize Palestinian families, menace our children, damage crops, poison our water and often cause fatal harm... Therefore, any armed squatter on Palestinian soil risks the same fate as an armed Palestinian found in Israel.
Yes, call them what they are: squatters. “Settlers” is too nice a word, suggesting peaceful intent when their motives are anything but peacful. Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, is a squatter, which speaks volumes about Binyamin Netanyahu’s gangster government. Produce a continuously updated, easily digested fact sheet showing the scale and enormity of Israel’s crimes and how the stench clings to the regime’s misguided supporters.
The world needs reminding how the refusal by that delinquent duo – Obama and Netanyahu – to sit down with democratically elected Hamas tramples on everyone's democratic principles, not just the Palestinians', and how their contemptuous attitude disqualifies them from ever again preaching democracy to others.
The same goes for Tony Blair and his protégé, Lady Ashton, both unelected meddlers who have wheedled their way into powerful positions – she as EU foreign minister and he as peace envoy (no, don’t laugh) of the so-called Quartet (no, you really mustn’t laugh). Both studiously avoid contact with the Palestinians’ elected leaders even when visiting their territory, showing not only the appalling manners now commonplace among Western political “élites” but the conspiratorial enslavement of the Western alliance.
Here is part of Netanyahu's pre-dinner speech at the White House on the eve of the talks:
I came here today to make peace. I didn’t come here today to play a blame game... I know the grief that has afflicted so many families who have lost their dearest loved ones. Only yesterday four Israelis, including a pregnant women – a pregnant woman – and another woman, a mother of six children, were brutally murdered by savage terrorists. And two hours ago, there was another terror attack. And thank God no one died. I will not let the terrorists block our path to peace, but as these events underscore once again, that peace must be anchored in security. We left Lebanon, and we got terror. We left Gaza, and we got terror once again. We want to ensure that territory we’ll concede will not be turned into a third Iranian-sponsored terror enclave armed at the heart of Israel – and may I add, also aimed at every one of us sitting on this stage. This is why a defensible peace requires security arrangements...
You can see how he paints his false scenario, claiming not to play the blame game while proceeding to do exactly that, weaving a tissue of lies, playing the beloved family card, demonizing Iran (as always) and seeking to justify his ultimate objective – a tight, permanent military stranglehold on the Holy Land.
Alternative, parallel peace talks?
What of George Mitchell, whose high reputation has allowed him to play possibly the most sinister part of all in the “talks” pantomime without so far attracting hostile comment. His insistence that there is "no role" for Hamas at the peace table is at odds with the much-acclaimed Northern Ireland resolution he often refers to, where “terrorists” Sinn Fein were eventually invited to talks and this led to peace (of sorts). Sinn Fein now plays a full part in the political process. This is where Mitchell comes unstuck. One can only conclude that barring Hamas means peace in Palestine is not the objective, nor has it ever been. If he wanted to retain his heroic image he should have turned down his latest starring role in Middle East skullduggery.
So what is the fundamental problem? Well, people all over the world are beginning to understand that the delinquent duo, Netanyahu and Obama, and their pet quisling, Mahmoud Abbas, are puppets of the most craven kind, who wet their pants at the very thought of upsetting the pro-Israel lobby, a small fraction of a small tribe that accounts for just 2.2 percent of the US population and who, along with their hundreds of stooges in Congress, are allowed to call the shots. Not one of them – not even the Palestinians’ unrepresentative representative – either before or after the talks, acknowledged the binding decisions of the United Nations. They seem determined to ignore the internationally agreed position. Their pantomime, however, is not receiving rave reviews and actually does the Palestinians a big favour by setting the scene for Hamas to turn the tables on their tormentors. With the cooperation of well-wishers and all who value freedom, they could bring about a public relations coup.
Will they seize the moment?
"Hamas would ... do well to frame their case in a manner that allows others, outside the Holy Land, to sympathize and feel persuaded that it’s time they were welcomed into the mainstream.”
From now on, Hamas would do well to always link their words, actions and demands to established law, human rights declarations and UN recommendations, and press forward their equal entitlement to security, in order to show that their aims and aspirations are no different from the values of all decent citizens of the world.
They could even consider setting up alternative, parallel peace talks to ridicule the US-Israel-Fatah axis and to produce an alternative, parallel final status solution based on justice – as an exemplar, or maybe as a serious counterpoint. Hamas would also do well to frame their case in a manner that allows others, outside the Holy Land, to sympathize and feel persuaded that it’s time they were welcomed into the mainstream. It is part of the repositioning and rebranding process one hoped had already begun. But judging from those threats to step up violence they haven't yet made a start. This is a disappointment, considering the hopes of so many are pinned on Hamas coming good.
Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. For further information please visit www.radiofreepalestine.co.uk.
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