FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Failing of Gaza

by PHILIP RIZK

The democratically elected Hamas government was doomed to failure when the world refused to recognize the last election outcome. Furthermore, as the former government dominated by Fatah was not willing to hand over authority over government institutions and security forces, Hamas was forced to carry out what was practically a coup d’etat in order to take its place as sole governing body of the Palestinians and thus be able to tackle the ever increasing lawlessness there.

Now, the new mini state of Gaza will fail, because the world will not allow it to succeed.

Aristotle considered chaos to be a very likely outcome of the competing interests given voice in democracy. In Gaza, Palestinian differences have been exploited to bring about Aristotle’s predicted internal division. On a national level US leadership is determined through a democratic process. Yet, in its foreign policy US leadership resembles an oligarchy, a wolf in sheep’s clothing that hypocritically insists on an increased spread of democracy while forcing its personal agenda on world leaders. Abu Mazen is its latest victim forced to promote “democracy”, yet consent to the demands of the US-aligned oligarchy. The giving in to this duplicitous policy will, much like the Native American experience, lead to the demise of the Palestinian cause.
The Failing of Gaza

Transportation is one of the few sectors of Gaza’s economy that is relatively constant. No matter how dire the financial situation, collective taxis are always shuttling people along the main roads of the Gaza Strip. This past week saw an exception to even this rule, reflecting the severe desperation of Gazans. There are a few reasons for this.

Many people are afraid of what the future may bring. Militarily, Hamas has shown its domination over Fatah by ousting the latter in 48 hours. Yet, politically, Hamas has dug itself into a hole, with seemingly little foresight for a political agenda of realpolitik. Because of Fatah’s unwillingness to hand over power and Hamas’ weak position on the world’s political stage, it is the people who will suffer. The US and Israel are now, more urgently than ever trying to bring about the weakening of Hamas, for their deeper goal of conquer and divide. Yet neither has learned that starving a people does not break their determination, it only reinforces it. Fatah has lost a vast amount of legitimacy in the eyes of its people, while Hamas is being internationally weakened; as a result the Palestinians are more divided than ever. The oligarchy and its partners continue to use whatever means necessary, be it force or a vernacular of promoting the people’s rights, to attain their personal interests.

In Gaza government employees, despite being largely unpaid, still attended their work until Hamas took over the Gaza Strip last week. President Mahmoud Abbas’s new US-backed emergency government has called for all government employees, including the police force not to report for work while promising to finally pay them a full month’s salary. Economic borders with Israel are largely sealed slowing trade down to a trickle. Many Gazans are staying home because of the uncertainty of their future. These are difficult days and yet many rather save their money for the even harder times ahead.

On the Egyptian side of the Rafah border thousands of Palestinians are once again living in tents in refugee camps like in 1948. Wednesday morning Egypt declared it would not open the border, thus effectively closing Gaza’s only gateway to the world. The emergency government canceled Palestinian passports last week calling for their reissuing in the West Bank. Gazans are left without access to the rest of the world, without internationally recognized travel documents, with only the bare minimum of food to survive on and are largely unemployed in a depleted economy. The Western backed emergency government is complicit in the creation of this sealing off of Gaza and the further severing of Gaza from the West Bank.

How long can Gaza survive while its civil servants are ordered to stay home by its Fatah leadership whom they are loyal to, yet which has deserted them? How long can Gaza go on with school teachers, ministry employees and policemen remaining in their homes? These should answer to their elected government and yet the oligarchy has illegitimized it and instated a puppet government, while international leaders follow suit.

One taxi driver told me security is more important than bread because what does one do with all the money in the world if you don’t have security to keep you alive to enjoy it. Another driver told me a man can’t get married and say to his wife, “good morning, habibti, my love,” and then disappear for the rest of the day without providing for her and their home. Palestinians cannot survive without bread.
Israeli Promises

After the Hamas military takeover in Gaza, Olmert’s government promised to ease roadblocks and security restrictions in the West Bank. This statement was put on hold after the Israeli army raised objections. Further promises have been made that Palestinian taxes, illegally withheld by Israel over the past year and a half are to be returned to the new emergency government. The details of when and how much and if at all, still lie in Israel’s hands. Olmert was reported saying Tuesday,

“We aren’t deluding ourselves there are concerns that Abu Mazen will be tempted to do what he did with the Mecca agreement, and enter into a new unity government alongside Hamas.” Israeli Minister Eli Yishai said, “funds should be transferred to the PA in stages, in order to determine whether it has any practical effect in terms of strengthening Abbas.”

Israel seems hardly concerned with the legality of its actions or even its dialogue partner Abu Mazen’s needs.
Twisting Reality

On Tuesday Egyptian President Husni Mubarak explained, “Fatah has also committed mistakes, but it is clear that Hamas started the whole thing and confused the world.”

Mubarak rightfully points out the “confusion” that reigns after recent events in Gaza. Yet, the sources of this deliberate “confusion” are the world oligarchy’s leaders and its partners.

Mubarak went on to say, “Hamas had made a dangerous mistake in allowing chaos to prevail.”

On Tuesday US secretary of state envoy to the Middle East David Welch said,

“We are supporting the legitimate security forces and enhancing them in order to establish a Palestinian entity which will be able to provide security and stability for Palestinian citizens, and we will be committed to this in the future.”

In his leaked report retired UN special envoy to the Middle East Alvaro De Soto contradicts such statements saying, “the Americans clearly encouraged a confrontation between Fatah and Hamas and worked to isolate and damage Hamas and build up Fatah with recognition and weaponry.”

Since Hamas has taken rightful control in Gaza, the people have witnessed a complete turn-around in its security situation. No civilians are seen walking the streets carrying arms, no more gunfire is heard as was becoming the norm while Fatah security forces dominated, reports of theft and crime are almost unheard of and drug lords are being round up and criminals brought to justice. Mubarak’s claim of chaos prevailing under Hamas doesn’t hold water and the US’s effort of training illegitimate security forces brought anything but peace and security.
The Way Out

In addition to the rhetoric President Mubarak also had something insightful to say Tuesday,

“Unify the Palestinian ranks through dialogue a common Palestinian position” is “an immediate requirement that can bear no delay.”

Indeed these two factions so torn apart must sit together once more and find a way forward. Hamas is calling for dialogue already. Fatah needs to prioritize their own people’s choices and silence Western voices that are tempting them with legitimacy in the world’s eyes if they concede to the oligarchy’s demands.

After Hamas’ election victory early last year, Fatah was not able to come to terms with its election loss. 16 months later, Fatah is still in denial of the ultimate outcome, Hamas’ seizing of power in the Gaza Strip. For Fatah, the Palestinian national agenda seems to be buried beneath a pride and the prioritizing of certain individuals of their personal interests tied closely to those of the oligarchy. This could well lead to the movement’s downfall while taking the Palestinian national agenda years to recover.

PHILIP RIZK is an Egyptian-German who has lived in Gaza since August 2004 where he works and writes. Philip runs a blog: tabulagaza.com and can be emailed at ibn.rizk@gmail.com

 

 

More articles by:
January 22, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
It’s Time to Call Economic Sanctions What They Are: War Crimes
Jim Kavanagh
Behind the Money Curtain: A Left Take on Taxes, Spending and Modern Monetary Theory
Sheldon Richman
Trump Versus the World
Mark Schuller
One Year On, Reflecting and Refining Tactics to Take Our Country Back
Winslow Wheeler
Just What Eamark “Moratorium” are They Talking About?
W. T. Whitney
José Martí, Soul of the Cuban Revolution
Uri Avnery
May Your Home Be Destroyed          
Wim Laven
Year One Report Card: Donald Trump Failing
Jill Richardson
There Are No Shithole Countries
Bob Fitrakis - Harvey Wasserman
Are the Supremes About to Give Trump a Second Term?
Laura Finley
After #MeToo and #TimesUp
stclair
Impressions From the Women’s March
Andy Thayer
HuffPost: “We Really LOVED Your Contributions, Now FUCK OFF!”
Weekend Edition
January 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Dr. King’s Long Assassination
David Roediger
A House is Not a Hole: (Not) Caring about What Trump Says
George Burchett
How the CIA Tried to Bribe Wilfred Burchett
Mike Whitney
Trump’s Plan B for Syria: Occupation and Intimidation
Michael Hudson – Charles Goodhart
Could/Should Jubilee Debt Cancellations be Reintroduced Today?
Marshall Auerback – Franklin C. Spinney
Boss Tweet’s Generals Already Run the Show
Andrew Levine
Remember, Democrats are Awful Too
James Bovard
Why Ruby Ridge Still Matters
Wilfred Burchett
The Bug Offensive
Brian Cloughley
Now Trump Menaces Pakistan
Ron Jacobs
Whiteness and Working Folks
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Keeper of Crazy Beats: Charlie Haden and Music as a Force of Liberation
Robert Fantina
Palestine and Israeli Recognition
Jan Oberg
The New US Syria “Strategy”, a Recipe For Continued Disaster
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
The Return of the Repressed
Mel Gurtov
Dubious Partnership: The US and Saudi Arabia
Robert Fisk
The Next Kurdish War Looms on the Horizon
Lawrence Davidson
Contextualizing Sexual Harassment
Jeff Berg
Approaching Day Zero
Karl Grossman
Disaster Island
Thomas S. Harrington
What Nerve! In Catalonia They are Once Again Trying to Swear in the Coalition that Won the Most Votes
Pepe Escobar
Rome: A Eulogy
Robert Hunziker
Will Aliens Save Humanity?
Jonah Raskin
“Can’t Put the Pot Genie Back in the Bottle”: An Interview with CAL NORML’s Dale Gieringer
Stepan Hobza
Beckett, Ionesco, and Trump
Joseph Natoli
The ‘Worlding’ of the Party-less
Julia Stein
The Myths of Housing Policy
George Ochenski
Zinke’s Purge at Interior
Christopher Brauchli
How Trump Killed the Asterisk
Rosemary Mason - Colin Todhunter
Corporate Monopolies Will Accelerate the Globalisation of Bad Food, Poor Health and Environmental Catastrophe
Michael J. Sainato
U.S Prisons Are Ending In-Person Visits, Cutting Down On Reading Books
Michael Barker
Blame Game: Carillion or Capitalism?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail