• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

CounterPunch needs you. piggybank-icon You need us. The cost of keeping the site alive and running is growing fast, as more and more readers visit. We want you to stick around, but it eats up bandwidth and costs us a bundle. Help us reach our modest goal (we are half way there!) so we can keep CounterPunch going. Donate today!
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Is Hamas Being Forced to Collapse?

As many predicted, including myself, the newly elected Palestinian government led by Hamas has already started to show an impressive level of pragmatism, however, Israel and the U.S. seem to not be interested. As a matter of fact the U.S., in specific, is leading a global campaign to isolate the Palestinian government in such a haphazard way, that they are also causing a troubling level of despair among the average Palestinian citizen as well.

The Observer (UK) recently reported on Mr. Yihiyeh Musa, a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, who said Hamas had moved into a “new era” which did not require suicide attacks. He was quoted as saying, “The suicide bombings happened in an exceptional period and they have now stopped,” he said. “They came to an end as a change of belief.” (April 9, 2006).

One would think this is good news, especially after the death and destruction such bombing caused. This, one would imagine, should be even better news for Israel and the U.S. given they both have continuously linked such bombings to the reason that the never-ending peace process was unable to actually reach its destination, peace.

But cautious optimism was not the case. Instead, the U.S. wasted no time in dehumanizing the newly elected Palestinian parliamentarians and cabinet ministers. The war of words has been nearly non-stop since Hamas’ victory with all levels of government in D.C. making the case that Hamas can’t change and there is no reason to let them try. Next was a cessation of funding to the Palestinian government and a request for all other countries of the world to follow suit. Then Israel severed all Israeli bank ties with the Palestinian banking system, government related and non-government related.

Only last week came a U.S. Department of Treasury decree making it illegal for Americans to do business with the Palestinian government. We wait to see tomorrow’s nooses.

All of this as Palestinians watch in dismay, trying to maintain a dignified life under an humiliating military occupation. The international community demanded Palestinians hold free and fair elections at all levels of government, so the Palestinians did just that, and superbly given their reality. But after voting a reflection of their bitter reality of being caged in open air prisons in their own homeland, the U.S. is now punishing them for not voting as the U.S. wanted.

Most Palestinians today are asking simple rhetorical questions, if the past government was, and it was, corrupt — financially, politically and administratively — and we voted them out of power, why can’t the U.S. see this as a positive development?

What does the U.S. want, to bring back a proven corrupt government that made a mockery of international aid, including U.S. funds? Also, if Israel has blocked every attempt for Palestinians to solve their issues at the negotiating table, can’t the U.S. understand that the voting Hamas in office was a simple non-violent way to tell the world, end this occupation or take some of your own medicine?

Conditions on the ground have never been so tense. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which has always been a political conflict, is being converted, thanks to the U.S. and Israel, into a humanitarian crisis. The fear is that hungry persons react in unpredictable ways.

The greater fear is that if the U.S. and Israel are successful in collapsing the Hamas government and Hamas in turn decides to abandoned democratic means to express itself, we will be back where we started from, suicide bombings killing innocents and setting the agenda from outside any known political framework. Does this serve U.S. and Israeli interests? We are all wondering!

SAM BAHOUR is a Palestinian-American businessman living in the Israeli- occupied Palestinian city of El-Bireh, the sister city of Ramallah. He is co- author of HOMELAND: Oral Histories of Palestine and Palestinians (1994) and may be reached at sbahour@palnet.com.

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Sam Bahour is managing partner of Applied Information Management (AIM), a policy analyst with Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, a secretariat member of the Palestine Strategy Group, and chairman of Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy. He blogs at www.epalestine.com. Twitter: @SamBahour

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

Weekend Edition
May 24, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Iran, Venezuela and the Throes of Empire
Melvin Goodman
The Dangerous Demise of Disarmament
Jeffrey St. Clair
“The Army Ain’t No Place for a Black Man:” How the Wolf Got Caged
Richard Moser
War is War on Mother Earth
Andrew Levine
The (Small-d) Democrat’s Dilemma
Russell Mokhiber
The Boeing Way: Blaming Dead Pilots
Rev. William Alberts
Gaslighters of God
Phyllis Bennis
The Amputation Crisis in Gaza: a US-Funded Atrocity
David Rosen
21st Century Conglomerate Trusts 
Jonathan Latham
As a GMO Stunt, Professor Tasted a Pesticide and Gave It to Students
Binoy Kampmark
The Espionage Act and Julian Assange
Kathy Deacon
Liberals Fall Into Line: a Recurring Phenomenon
Jill Richardson
The Disparity Behind Anti-Abortion Laws
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Chelsea Manning is Showing Us What Real Resistance Looks Like
Zhivko Illeieff
Russiagate and the Dry Rot in American Journalism
Norman Solomon
Will Biden’s Dog Whistles for Racism Catch Up with Him?
Yanis Varoufakis
The Left Refuses to Get Its Act Together in the Face of Neofascism
Lawrence Davidson
Senator Schumer’s Divine Mission
Thomas Knapp
War Crimes Pardons: A Terrible Memorial Day Idea
Renee Parsons
Dump Bolton before He Starts the Next War
Yves Engler
Canada’s Meddling in Venezuela
Katie Singer
Controlling 5G: A Course in Obstacles
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Beauty of Trees
Jesse Jackson
Extremist Laws, Like Alabama’s, Will Hit Poor Women the Hardest
Andrew Bacevich
The “Forever Wars” Enshrined
Ron Jacobs
Another One Moves On: Roz Payne, Presente!
Christopher Brauchli
The Offal Office
Daniel Falcone
Where the ‘Democratic Left’ Goes to Die: Staten Island NYC and the Forgotten Primaries   
Julia Paley
Life After Deportation
Sarah Anderson
America Needs a Long-Term Care Program for Seniors
Seiji Yamada – John Witeck
Stop U.S. Funding for Human Rights Abuses in the Philippines
Shane Doyle, A.J. Not Afraid and Adrian Bird, Jr.
The Crazy Mountains Deserve Preservation
Charlie Nash
Will Generation Z Introduce a Wizard Renaissance?
Ron Ridenour
Denmark Peace-Justice Conference Based on Activism in Many Countries
Douglas Bevington
Why California’s Costly (and Destructive) Logging Plan for Wildfires Will Fail
Gary Leupp
“Escalating Tensions” with Iran
Jonathan Power
Making the World More Equal
Cesar Chelala
The Social Burden of Depression in Japan
Stephen Cooper
Imbibe Culture and Consciousness with Cocoa Tea (The Interview)
Stacy Bannerman
End This Hidden Threat to Military Families
Kevin Basl
Time to Rethink That POW/MIA Flag
Nicky Reid
Pledging Allegiance to the Divided States of America
Louis Proyect
A Second Look at Neflix
Martin Billheimer
Closed Shave: T. O. Bobe, the Girl and Curl
David Yearsley
Hard Bop and Bezos’ Balls
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail