Wed 29 Nov 2023 7:25 am - Jerusalem Time

Alternatives in front of Hamas

Between Benjamin Netanyahu’s shouting that ending the Hamas movement and uprooting its roots in the Gaza Strip is an irreversible goal, and between him being forced to negotiate with members of its political leadership, even through Qatar’s mediation, regarding the hostage issue, Israel has opened the gates of hell of genocide and forced displacement against the defenseless people of Gaza. Now that Israeli anger has subsided somewhat, after mothers, children, and grandmothers returned from being detained by the Qassam Brigades in the tunnels, it may be permissible to ask whether Netanyahu’s fault has been healed, or whether the next round of rounds, if the truce suddenly collapses, will be more devastating to him. Who remain of the mothers, children, and grandmothers of Gaza, hostages of a war in which none of them had a hand in igniting its flames, and no one among them was asked for an opinion about it before it exploded?

However, the most important thing is to pose the question to the distinguished gentlemen, the Chairman and members of the Political Bureau of the Hamas movement, whether there is a new perception beginning to take shape in their minds regarding their movement’s approach at various levels, which differs from their visions of the reality before the explosion of the seventh of last month. Logically, it can be assumed that this is possible. The movement's leadership had previously taken a similar measure. This happened six years ago, specifically on May 1, 2017, when Khaled Meshaal, who was then head of the Political Bureau, announced in a press conference in Doha a “new policy principles document,” which included for the first time the movement’s readiness to accept the principle of the establishment of a Palestinian state within the borders of June 4, 1967. In other words, acceptance of the peace path with Israel that began with the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993.

It is true that the aforementioned document included an affirmation of Hamas’ refusal to recognize the State of Israel, or the peace process based on the Oslo Accords, but it is also true that this refusal falls within the political framework. The movement's leadership knows that accepting the establishment of a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank of the Jordan River means accepting an existing reality represented by the existence of a state called Israel. In addition to this, something is no less important, which is that this “new policy principles document” includes Hamas’s retreat from the approach of considering the conflict against Israel based on a religious basis. Each of the two matters seemed, at the time, new, and at the same time important, and foreshadowed more than one possibility, the first, and even the most important, of ending the Palestinian division and directing Palestinian dealings with Israel based on a unified front that includes all Palestinian factions.

Unfortunately, it soon became clear that that hope was an illusion. No reconciliation with the Fatah movement took place, despite the signing of more than one reconciliation agreement, and no reform of the situation of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah was taken seriously. Now all Palestinians, not just the faction leaders, stand at a decisive crossroads. However, the Hamas leadership in particular faces choices that will determine the future of the movement. The most important of these options is its return to the Palestinian embrace that embraces all the factions, that is, the Palestine Liberation Organization. The second is for it to reconsider its regional alliances, and be open to its Arab-Sunni affiliation, which is the basis on which it can trust, and nothing else. Thirdly, reflect carefully on the fact that the all-or-nothing logic has proven futile, and the person paying the heaviest price is the continuation of the people of Palestine, who have continued to pay the heaviest price with their blood, and with the future of their children, since the rejection of the United Nations resolution taken seventy-six years ago. This day (11-29-1947), which established the right of the Palestinians to a state on part of their land. Isn't it time to put the interests of the Palestinian people before the interests of all organizations? indeed.


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