FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Hamas’s Victory

Commentators on Hamas’ victory in the election preach the acceptance of Hamas as a negotiating partner in the Israel/Palestine peace process. The central messages in these commentaries seem to be that, 1. The world in general, and Israelis in particular, should respect the democratic choice of the Palestinian People. 2. That in order to qualify as a negotiating partner, Hamas should unequivocally recognise the right of Israel to exist in secure borders. It should also stop calling for the destruction of Israel. 3. That it is time for Hamas to renounce violence as a part of its evolution from being a terrorist organisation into a powerful political party. 4. That providing it renounces violence, Hamas should now become a part of the negotiations towards a two states solution in the Palestine, namely a Jewish state and a viable Palestinian state bordered by the pre-67 Green Line.

Looking carefully at these seemingly reasonable and pragmatic commentators there seems to be a consensus about two choices which are now open to Hamas: either to stay classified as an extremist terrorist organisation on the margins of political debate, or to become a puppet in a Zionist-American show by accepting uncritically the agenda of negotiating a two state solution in Palestine.

Such a choice dictates, not only to Hamas, but to the public, what is actually the problem in Palestine. What I argue is that it is not plausible to call for an organisation to become non-violent, while at the same time continuing to smother the very moral cause underpinning the voice of this organisation, a smothering that has inaugurated the very expression of that voice by violent means.

The cocktail of recommendations these commentators offer us is a sure recipe to eliminate any possibility of reflect upon the main problem in Palestine – Zionism. To be sure, Hamas itself is not a homogenous organisation and has internal disagreements. But we can safely say that in doubting the “right of Israel to exist”, Hamas has attempted, hitherto unsuccessfully, to bring the actuality of the Palestinian catastrophe, the Nakbah, in 1948 into out consciousness. During the process that culminated in 1948, the whole of Palestine was occupied; the majority of its indigenous population, 750000 of them, were expelled to make room for Jewish immigrants. Many more thousands of Palestinians were internally displaced by the Israeli state during 1948 and ever since. Those who were left in their villages have been forced to be second class citizens in a state whose self definition is based on dominant religion and ethnicity. A Jew in Russia has more rights in the state of Israel than an Arab who is already a citizen, or an expelled or displaced Arab refugee.

Hamas has been fighting for the acknowledgement that the establishment, persistence and survival of Zionism is conceptually connected to the drive for suppressing the colossal dispossession inflicted upon Palestinians as well as their daily suffering. The message that Hamas stands for, namely that Zionism is a non-empathetic, colonialist and expansionist movement is an important one to reflect upon by Jewish and non-Jewish alike. Hamas’ election can also be read as a wish by the Palestinian people to bring this message from the margins into the main stream – something not carried out well enough, if at all, by their previous representatives.

For that message to cease to be expressed through violence it must not be paraphrased into an acceptable Zionist agenda. This is why it is important not to depoliticise Hamas. Hamas should not become a part and parcel of a stagnant and misleading debate which is limited to how best to configure two states in Palestine. Hamas should not be enforced to become reasonable while reasonableness means to sit together with so called left Zionists of the like of Yossi Bailin.

Now, when Hamas is elected, it is the time to legitimate its voice. It is time to reinforce Hamas resistance to the immorality and uncritically accepted legitimacy which the world leaders have hitherto bestowed upon the Zionist project. The portrayal of Hamas’ voice as a blunt denial of the “right of Israel to exist” has indeed belligerent tone to it, signalling destruction and annihilation. However, understanding this voice as an ethical cry to the world to not allow Israel the right to persist in its racist self-definition is a much better way of articulating the moral message.

The US is captive of Zionism. It then falls upon the EU among others to assume the sublime role of facilitating the conditions which will actually enable Hamas to renounce violence without becoming spineless. This the EU can do by supporting Hamas as the now elected representative of the Palestinian cause. Only in this way can the election results become the initiation of a world-level resistance to US-Zionist hegemony. It is only then that the whole of people in Palestine would have the hope of less violence. It is only by touching the core of pain and suffering that truth and reconciliation can begin. Baruch Spinoza’s dictum that “There is no hope without fear” could not be more appropriate.

Dr. OREN BEN-DOR grew up in Israel. He teaches Legal and Political Philosophy at Southampton University, United Kingdom.

 

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
December 13, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
The  FBI: Another Worry in the National Security State
Rob Urie
Establishment Politics are for the Rich
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: That’s Neoliberalism for You
Paul Street
Midnight Ramble: A Fascist Rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania
Joan Roelofs
The Science of Lethality
Joyce Nelson
Buttigieg and McKinsey
Joseph Natoli
Equally Determined: To Impeach/To Support
Charles Pierson
The National Defense Authorization Act Perpetuates the Destruction of Yemen
REZA FIYOUZAT
An Outrageous Proposal: Peace Boats to Iran
Andrew Levine
A Plague on Both Their Houses, Plus a Dozen Poxes on Trump’s
David Rosen
Mortality Rising: Trump and the Death of the “American Dream”
Lee Hall
Donald Trump Jr., Mongolian Sheep Killer
Dave Lindorff
The Perils of Embedded Journalism: ‘Afghan Papers’ Wouldn’t Be Needed If We Had a Real Independent News Media
Brian Cloughley
Human Rights and Humbug in Washington
Stephen Leas
Hungry for a Livable Planet: Why I Occupied Pelosi’s Office for 13 Days
Saad Hafiz
Pakistan Must Face Its Past
Lawrence Davidson
Deteriorating Climates: Home and Abroad
Cal Winslow
The End of the Era: Nineteen Nineteen
Louis Proyect
If Time Magazine Celebrates Greta Thunberg, Why Should We?
Thomas Drake
Kafka Down Under: the Threat to Whistleblowers and Press Freedom in Australia
Thomas Knapp
JEDI Mind Tricks: Amazon Versus the Pentagon and Trump
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s War on the Poor
Michael Welton
Seeing the World Without Shadows: the Enlightenment Dream
Ron Jacobs
The Wind That Shook the Barley: the Politics of the IRA
Rivera Sun
Beyond Changing Light Bulbs: 21 Ways You Can Stop the Climate Crisis
Binoy Kampmark
The Bloomberg Factor: Authoritarianism, Money and US Presidential Politics
Nick Pemberton
Ideology Shall Have No Resurrection
Rev. Susan K. Williams Smith
What Trump and the GOP Learned From Obama
Ramzy Baroud
‘Elected by Donors’: the University of Cape Town Fails Palestine, Embraces Israel
Cesar Chelala
Unsuccessful U.S. Policy on Cuba Should End
Harry Blain
The Conservatism of Impeachment
Jill Richardson
Standardized Tests are Biased and Unhelpful
Norman Solomon
Will the Democratic Presidential Nomination Be Bought?
Howard Lisnoff
The One Thing That US Leaders Seem to Do Well is Lie
Jeff Cohen
Warren vs. Buttigieg Clash Offers Contrast with Sanders’ Consistency
Mel Gurtov
The Afghanistan Pentagon Papers
Gaither Stewart
Landslide … to Totalitarianism
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
How Blaming Nader in 2000 Paved the Way for Today’s Neo-Fascism
Steve Early
In Re-Run Election: LA Times Journalist Wins Presidency of NewsGuild 
David Swanson
If You’re Not Busy Plotting Nonviolent Revolution for Peace and Climate, You’re Busy Dying
Nicky Reid
Sorry Lefties, Your Impeachment is Bullshit
John Kendall Hawkins
The Terror Report You Weren’t Meant to See
Susan Block
Krampus Trumpus Rumpus
Martin Billheimer
Knight Crawlers
Elliot Sperber
Dollar Store 
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail