[R-G] Hamas in Wonderland
Johannes.Schneider at gmx.net
Wed Jul 23 01:52:52 MDT 2003
>From the magazine Challenge:
Hamas in Wonderland
by Roni Ben Efrat
Hamas has never been so intensely courted as in the weeks leading up to the
Aqaba Summit (June 4, 2003). The Road Map requires an initial calm. In this
respect the militant Islamic group is crucial. The Palestinian Authority
(PA), under Abu Mazen, has made it clear that for internal reasons, it
cannot dismantle Hamas by force. The latter must be a willing partner.
Where, however, does Hamas stand? Has it really emerged on top for the
moment, as many commentators believe? Does it hold the key to an agreement?
The answer is No. The weakness of one factor (the PA) does not entail the
strength of another (Hamas).
The fact is, Hamas is caught in a contradiction. It depends on the people's
backing, which it gets because it traumatizes the Israelis. The trauma,
however, brings terrible vengeance back on the heads of the Palestinians:
re-conquest and oppression that the people cannot long bear. In saying this,
I do not wish to play down Israel's direct responsibility for the present
dark period in Palestinian history. I merely point out that Hamas, while
preening itself as a "liberation force," is far from that; it is merely a
"vengeance force", moving between political expediency and apocalyptic
fantasy. Its action has a boomerang effect on the Palestinian people, which
till now has given it life.
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