The Syrian crisis encompasses a number of thorny and complicated issues, the details of which are intertwined and the courses of which branch out. This produces a strange state in which contradictions and opposites collide, and where decisiveness is more costly, based on what potential settlements and reconciliation opportunities hold.
Hamas, Syria, Iran and Hezbollah are vital elements in the current Syrian situation, and the re-structuring of relations between them is inevitable to secure a political solution to end the bloody Syrian crisis that broke the heart of the entire nation.
Hamas and the Syrian crisis
There have been two prevalent positions within Hamas on the Syrian crisis lately. The first was frank with no ambiguity – leaders such as Khaled Meshaal and Ismail Haniyeh expressed complete solidarity with the revolution and support for the Syrian people’s fair demands. However, other leaders such as Dr Mousa Abu Marzook and Dr Mahmoud Al-Zahar have made statements calling for a political compromise as a solution to the crisis that would put an end to the people and government’s suffering.
In the world of politics, true tactical action means fluidity and the ability to justify involvement in political arenas infested with the age’s various diseases; while pure strategic action means desensitisation, stagnation and failure to keep up with developments of life and the needs of the times. Therefore, the model solution lies in customising a flexible political action able to take on the mechanisms of manoeuvring and tactics, and fortified with principles and strategies.
If we recognise that Hamas’ position on the complicated and thorny Syrian crisis is a sensitive one given that the Syrian regime hosted the movement since its expulsion from Jordan in early 1999 until the end of 2011, then it is not difficult to admit why it would be wise for it not to take on such a decisive position in favour of the revolution since it would burn its bridge with the regime. This in turn would put the Palestinian refugee camps at risk of revenge and oppression, and would make Palestinian refugees vulnerable to killings.
However, standing by silently, or what is known as being neutral, would be political and moral deviation from the greater values and principles, and implicit approval of the regime’s crimes against the Syrian people and their revolution for freedom and national dignity.
Therefore, it is very necessary to integrate the roles within the ranks of the movement’s authority to combine strategy and tactic, and join manoeuvres and principles within the framework of an integrated formula dictated by the dangers of the phase and its immense complications.
When a Hamas leader announces their complete support of the Syrian revolution, then the movement falls in line with its religious values, moral principles, humanitarian constants, and the entire strategy it expresses and follows.
Moreover, when a Hamas leader emerges using accommodating language and a softer tone and urges that a political solution to prevent more bloodshed of the Syrian people be reached, without denying the graciousness of Syria’s regime in supporting the resistance throughout the last period, then the movement is exercising a calculated political tactic required by the current situation and the complications of current events.
In short, what some see as a contrast in Hamas’ visions and positions towards the Syrian crisis, is nothing but the ability to deal with the available political areas by combining constants and variables and tactics and strategy, as well as pass through the mine fields and quicksand with as little loss as possible.
Therefore, it is not difficult to produce balanced political positions that fall in line with the interests and gains of the stage without compromising the original principles and strategies. This keeps the ball rolling and does not burn the bridges with the system; principles are necessary and politics have requirements, and those who are smart are able to adapt to both with the best formulas and least losses.
On Iran and Hezbollah
To begin with, we must recognise the role of Hezbollah and Iran in facing the occupying entity. We must also acknowledge that a lot of the military equipment used in the resistance against the occupation, especially in the most recent war at the end of 2012, was purely Iranian. Not to mention the technical services provided by Iran to the Palestinian resistance throughout the last stage.
The truth of the matter is that the equation regarding Iran and Hezbollah is very complicated, as it is composed of a mixture of revolutionary action against Israel. This is spoiled by the factional work and reprehensible support of the violent Syrian regime, which commits massacres and cold-bloodedly sheds the blood of innocent children, women and the elderly day and night.
The most important fact is that resisting revolutionary action against Israel, and possessing the will to fight against its tyranny until it ends, is a rare currency these days and should be preserved. Moreover, the prospects for its continuation should be supported, and its work mechanisms should be developed tirelessly.
However, on the other hand, providing political cover and military support for a violent tyrannical regime, regardless of its merits regarding supporting and hosting the resistance, is a mortal sin that cannot be forgiven under any circumstance. It is also a moral shock which has a deep impact and violent repercussions on the entire political area, particularly revolutionary and Islamic circles.
In the case of Iran and Hezbollah, which poses an advanced model of confronting the Zionist project, there is no room for antagonism or complete separation because it is meaningless. This will only leave the two parties to sink deeper and deeper into the swamps of the Syrian crisis, losing the hopes of uniting the nation against the Zionist entity, its racist projects and violent plans.
Therefore, readjusting Iran and Hezbollah’s compass regarding the Syrian crisis is doable and not impossible. However, this will only be accomplished through formulating a new political approach that puts an end to the bloodshed in Syria and establishes a political solution that includes restructuring the Syrian regime and authority in a manner that caters to the Syrian people’s dignity and rights and preserves its political and regional role in opposing Israel and America’s domination over the region.
Surely, the waves of resentment and anger over Iran and Hezbollah’s position regarding the Syrian crisis are still raging, but the interests of the Palestinian cause and the unity of the Arab and Islamic nation calls for getting over the wounds and looking for the best methods to overcome the current challenge that is on the verge of toppling the nation’s strategic capabilities and placing its main elements of power on the guillotine of factional alignment and sectarian inclination.
We must admit that the scenario of separating from Iran and Hezbollah is not a solution. We need all efforts made against the Zionist project on one hand, as well as the protection of the nation and its entities from the projects of fragmentation, division and separation on the other.
The scenario of harmony and agreement is perhaps the most useful and beneficial solution for the Syrian crisis that will inevitably push towards the crystallisation of an Arab and Islamic effort to establish a new political approach that will close the open wound in Syria and ensure its protection from dangerous foreign involvement aimed to destroy its points of power and stability and end its present and future.
Horizons of the solution
In short, any approach to adopting a method for the solution or any vision to settle the Syrian crisis must be based on the foundation of ensuring an immediate end to the Syrian people’s bloodshed, and rushing to stop the horrendous massacres mercilessly taking the lives of innocents.
The element of time seems to be crucial in the course of proposing any approach to a solution, as the precious blood of Syrians is being publically shed before our eyes. Everyone is held responsible for this, without exception, and those hindering the resolution of the Syrian crisis and contributing to its aggravation and prolongation will suffer the curse of God, His angles, and people worldwide.
Every revolution has its characteristics and features, and every crisis has its circumstances and data, and the data regarding the Syrian crisis confirms that the situation is becoming even more complicated by the day. This is in no one’s interest except for Israel, the American Administration and other Western countries. This requires us to provide the suitable environment for the success of the efforts to resolve the crisis aiming to formulate an acceptable policy that meets the legitimate demands of the Syrian people for freedom, justice and national dignity.
The examination of the data and geography of the Syrian crisis indicates the availability a solution based on regional and international foundations, and the potential to reach a settlement that would treat Syria’s open wound and stop the bloodshed, as well as hinder the killing and destruction machine that continuously grinds the bones of women, children, and the elderly. This solution would also protect Syria from the schemes of division, fragmentation and separation that would only please Israel and the enemies of the nation.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that the second Geneva Conference scheduled for this June to discuss the methods and mechanisms for resolving the Syrian crisis under the patronage of regional and international organizations, is a great opportunity to turn the page of the crisis. It is an opportunity to free ourselves to treat the wounds and reconstruct the disaster-stricken country, as well as restructure and reorganise Syria’s internal affairs, security and political institutions on new unanimous foundations.
During the second Geneva Conference, the political circle specialising in the Syrian crisis will discuss a Turkish plan that will be proposed to the conference. This plan presents a group of proposals, including the formation of a joint transitional government, which is expected to be marketed by the Turkish Prime Minister, Erdogan, during his upcoming tour to influential capitals. At the same time, the former president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, Moaz Al-Khatib, presented a roadmap that calls for the establishment of a democratic political system based on the involvement in a real political process. This begins with withdrawing the regime army to its barracks, releasing all detainees, opening the doors to allow the entry of aid to all areas of Syria, without exception, allowing peaceful demonstrations and starting to bring back the refugees and displaced Syrians.
In any case, the restoration of security and peace to the Syrian people and Syria’s continued regional role against the obnoxious Zionist entity and its schemes of aggression in the region, and against the foreign hands that try to destroy Syria and its strategic capabilities, is the key to reaching a satisfactory solution for the Syrian crisis and its dangerous consequences that affect the entire nation.
However, no one but God can predict the fate of the tragic events in Syria. All scenarios seem open to anything, and the only constant is the bloodshed that flows away from the values of mercy and humanity.
Perhaps the most dangerous scenario proposed is the scenario regarding the expansion of the crisis and its spread outside Syria, especially to Lebanon, a troubled country governed by a mosaic of politics and factional power-balance.
There is no doubt that the two missiles launched a few days ago in the southern suburban area of Beirut, which is Hezbollah’s main headquarters, and the bloody attack on one of the Lebanese army’s stations near the Syrian border that killed a number of soldiers, and before these incidents, the bloody clashes that took place in Tripoli, put Lebanon, as a whole on the line, and formed a major turning point in the course of the complex Syrian crisis, with its many backgrounds and trends.
In light of these rapid developments that aim to spread incitement in Lebanon, as well as add a new wound to the injuries of the nation, stemming from the Syrian crisis, there is nothing on the horizon that indicates any attempts to backtrack the course of incitement and the slide into the abyss. Moreover, there have been no indications of statements being made by politicians and media regarding the Syrian crisis calling for putting an end to denominational sedition and closing the gap that is affecting the unity of the nation and threatens its present and future.
It still isn’t too late; the bloodshed in Syria must be stopped as soon as possible, and Lebanon must distance itself from the ghost of incitement, fragmentation, and fighting. Instead, serious Islamic and Arab efforts must be made to rescue Syria and Lebanon, along with the unity of the nation and its strength, from fragmentation and division.
It is true that it is not too late yet, but falling deeper into the current bloody situation may eliminate the path of return to the proposed political solutions, and may turn the continuation of bloodshed into a matter beyond the scope of settlement and treatment.
The author is Palestinian writer. This is article is a translation of the Arabic text which first appeared on Al Jazeera net on 2 June, 2013
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.