We Support the Palestinian people of Gaza not Hamas
We Support the Palestinian people of Gaza not Hamas
Throughout Israel’s bombardment and invasion of Gaza, the standard response of Zionists was that opponents of Israel’s barbarism supported Hamas, the effective Government of Gaza. In fact this is and always a deliberate misrepresentation.
We support the right of the Palestinian people to elect the Government of their choice – something the Western ‘democracies’ fail to do when the voters don’t do as the West wants them to do. But that is different from supporting Hamas politically.
Hamas was formed in 1987 as the Islamic Resistance Movement, having been previously an extension of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
As the article from Global Research below explains, Hamas was virtually the creation of the Israeli State, its internal security police, Shin Bet in particular. Israel had a vested interested in creating a counter-weight to secular Palestinian nationalism. Which is why Benjamin Netanyahu, the soon to be Israel Prime Minister, released Sheikh Ahmed Yassin when he first came to power in 1996.
This is amply documented by for example Avi Shlaim in his Iron Wall. (see also Congressman Ron Pauls take]
As the Reports from the Palestine Committee on Human Rights makes clear, Hamas has as much regard for human rights as its Fateh equivalents under Abbas. It is after all an Islamic Resistance Movement, aiming for an Islamic State, which cannot be other than a repressive state backed by religious legitimation whose target will be workers and the poor. Religious states, without exception, are repressive creatures which used received wisdom which cannot be challenged (because it comes from ‘god’) to justify any aspect of its politics. In reality such movements are a reflection of the interests of the small businessman/bazaari element as in Iran.
No national liberation movement can be a movement of one religion or section of its own people. Christian Palestinians, from whom the most doughty fighters of all originate – George Habash of the PFLP, Hawatmeh of the DFLP – are by definition excluded from the struggle against Zionism and Israel.
Hamas is a sectarian movement whose only distinguishing feature is its resistance to Israel and Zionism. It has no social programme worthy of the name except charity. It has attacked workers self-organisation, including Palestinian trade unions and its method of dealing with Fateh inside Gaza, despite the former’s coup attempts, has been military not political. It was enabled to dispense its charity in the process of building itself up thanks to large donations from Arab regimes such as Quatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
It also needs to be said that the people of Gaza have paid a heavy price for its crass political strategy. That Israel has effectively been defeated in Gaza owes little to the political clarity of Hamas but to the stupidity of Israel’s military and political echelons. The firing of puny ‘rockets’ into Israel, whilst understandable in the context of the repression that Gazans face, was wholly counter-productive. It provided Israel with the excuse for its invasion. The rockets that were fired didn’t kill Israelis, leaving aside the fact that they were fired randomly at civlians, so much as Palestinians. For very Israeli who died because of these rockets, maybe 200 Palestinians died as well. Just as with the ‘suicide bombs’ in the 1980’s onwards, which were also a propaganda boon for Israel, Hamas’s rockets have achieved nothing but the civilian population of Gaza have paid a very heavy price for them.
Although it suits both Israel and Hamas to pretend that most of those killed in the recent attacks were Hamas fighters, it is quite clear that this isn’t the case. The vast majority, possibly 70%+ of Palestinians killed were civilians – including 400+ children. Hamas had constructed tunnels and hideaways that protected their fighters whereas ordinary civilians had nowhere to escape from Israel’s war criminals.
Socialists, and this is a socialist blog, have nothing in common with the politics of Hamas. Their absurd Charter, which serves no purpose, merely reflects Zionist racism with its references to the well-known anti-Semitic forgery, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It is true that the Charter has never been officially adopted and plays no part in the day to day politics of Hamas, but that is all the more reason to be rid of it. It again allows the Zionists to portray the Palestinian struggle as anti-Semitic.
Whether it is Ireland or Palestine socialists support the right of the oppressed to take up arms against their oppressor and we support the right of an oppressed people to choose whom they want to elect, but that doesn’t mean we support the politics of groups like Hamas. On the contrary we recognise that Palestinians voted for Hamas primarily because Abbas’s Fateh represented a quisling movement that during the attack on Gaza de facto supported Israel, along with the Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.
Hamas is also incoherent politically. Nominally it supports a ‘one-state’ Islamic solution in Israel/Palestine – a recipe guaranteed to attract Israeli Jewish workers! In practice it will accept a 2 State solution, but like all such movements it prefers not to state openly what in fact it is seeking, which allows Israel to use its rhetoric for propaganda purposes (as it did a generation ago with President Nasser of Egypt) whilst Hamas is unable to respond given its facing 2 ways at the same time.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights calls upon the government in Gaza to initiate an immediate investigation into the murder of Hamza Mahmoud al-Shoubaki, age 40, who was abducted by unidentified gunmen on Thursday, 26 February and subsequently died. PCHR reiterates that this murder is part of the state of security chaos and violations of the rule of law plaguing the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 22:00 on Thursday, 26 February, masked gunmen abducted Hamza al-Shoubaki, from the al-Daraj neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. At approximately 08:00 on Friday, 27 February, al-Shoubaki’s body was brought to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City after he had been shot dead by two gunshots to the head. Date: 10 February 2009
PCHR Demands Investigations into Violent Deaths of Two Civilians in Gaza The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) demands immediate investigations into the deaths of Nehad Sa’adi al-Dabbaka, 47, from the al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, who died whilst in police detention, and ‘Ata Yousef Abdul Wahhab al-Bur’i, 39, from the al-Shati refugee camp, who died after being severely beaten by gunmen claiming to be police officers. The Centre calls for the results of both investigations to be made public, and for the perpetrators of these crimes to be brought to justice according to the law.
According to investigations by PCHR, at approximately 23:00 on Friday, 6 February, masked gunmen arrested Nehad al-Dabbaka at his house in the al-Maghazi refugee camp. On the morning of Monday, 9 February, medical sources at the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah informed the al-Dabbaka family that Nehad’s body was in the hospital. Nehad’s brother, Majed al-Dabbaka, stated to PCHR that his brother’s body had been transferred to the Forensic Unit in al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, and that he and his family had seen the body, which bore clear signs of torture and beating on the feet, back, hands, ears and front of the torso.
Medical sources from the Forensic Unit at al-Shifa Hospital spoke to a PCHR field worker, and confirmed that the body of Nehad al-Dabbaka bore clear signs of beating on the hands and feet as well as torture throughout the body. This clearly indicates that Nehad al-Dabbaka may have died as a result of having been beaten and tortured by members of the Palestinian police.
Thanks to the Mossad, Israel’s “Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks”, the Hamas was allowed to reinforce its presence in the occupied territories. Meanwhile, Arafat’s Fatah Movement for National Liberation as well as the Palestinian Left were subjected to the most brutal form of repression and intimidation
Let us not forget that it was Israel, which in fact created Hamas. According to Zeev Sternell, historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, “Israel thought that it was a smart ploy to push the Islamists against the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO)”.
Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of the Islamist movement in Palestine, returning from Cairo in the seventies, established an Islamic charity association. Prime Minister Golda Meir, saw this as a an opportunity to counterbalance the rise of Arafat’s Fatah movement. .According to the Israeli weekly Koteret Rashit (October 1987), “The Islamic associations as well as the university had been supported and encouraged by the Israeli military authority” in charge of the (civilian) administration of the West Bank and Gaza. “They [the Islamic associations and the university] were authorized to receive money payments from abroad.”
The Islamists set up orphanages and health clinics, as well as a network of schools, workshops which created employment for women as well as system of financial aid to the poor. And in 1978, they created an “Islamic University” in Gaza. “The military authority was convinced that these activities would weaken both the PLO and the leftist organizations in Gaza.” At the end of 1992, there were six hundred mosques in Gaza. Thanks to Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad (Israel’s Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks) , the Islamists were allowed to reinforce their presence in the occupied territories. Meanwhile, the members of Fatah (Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine) and the Palestinian Left were subjected to the most brutal form of repression.
In 1984, Ahmed Yassin was arrested and condemned to twelve years in prison, after the discovery of a hidden arms cache. But one year later, he was set free and resumed his activities. And when the Intifada (‘uprising’) began, in October 1987, which took the Islamists by surprise, Sheik Yassin responded by creating the Hamas (The Islamic Resistance Movement): “God is our beginning, the prophet our model, the Koran our constitution”, proclaims article 7 of the charter of the organization.
Ahmed Yassin was in prison when, the Oslo accords (Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government) were signed in September 1993. The Hamas had rejected Oslo outright. But at that time, 70% of Palestinians had condemned the attacks on Israeli civilians. Yassin did everything in his power to undermine the Oslo accords. Even prior to Prime Minister Rabin’s death, he had the support of the Israeli government. The latter was very reluctant to implement the peace agreement.
The Hamas then launched a carefully timed campaign of attacks against civilians, one day before the meeting between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators, regarding the formal recognition of Israel by the National Palestinian Council. These events were largely instrumental in the formation of a Right wing Israeli government following the May 1996 elections.
Quite unexpectedly, Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered Sheik Ahmed Yassin to be released from prison (“on humanitarian grounds”) where he was serving a life sentence. Meanwhile, Netanyahu, together with President Bill Clinton, was putting pressure on Arafat to control the Hamas. In fact, Netanyahu knew that he could rely, once more, on the Islamists to sabotage the Oslo accords. Worse still: after having expelled Yassin to Jordan, Prime Minister Netanyahu allowed him to return to Gaza, where he was welcomed triumphantly as a hero in October 1997.
Arafat was helpless in the face of these events. Moreover, because he had supported Saddam Hussein during the 1991 Gulf war, (while the Hamas had cautiously abstained from taking sides), the Gulf states decided to cut off their financing of the Palestinian Authority. Meanwhile, between February and April 1998, Sheik Ahmad Yassin was able to raise several hundred million dollars, from those same countries. The the budget of The Hamas was said to be greater than that of the Palestinian Authority. These new sources of funding enabled the Islamists to effectively pursue their various charitable activities. It is estimated that one Palestinian out of three is the recipient of financial aid from the Hamas. And in this regard, Israel has done nothing to curb the inflow of money into the occupied territories.
The Hamas had built its strength through its various acts of sabotage of the peace process, in a way which was compatible with the interests of the Israeli government. In turn, the latter sought in a number of ways, to prevent the application of the Oslo accords. In other words, Hamas was fulfilling the functions for which it was originally created: to prevent the creation of a Palestinian State. And in this regard, Hamas and Ariel Sharon, see eye to eye; they are exactly on the same wave length