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Egypt, Hamas and the malicious ruling

April 2, 2014 at 11:35 am

The ruling issued by the Egyptian Court for Urgent Matters that bans the Palestinian movement Hamas in Egypt is a very foolish ruling and may result in negative developments that neither serves the Palestinian cause nor the mutual relations between the neighbouring people of Egypt and Palestine.

This is not because of Hamas’ weight in the Palestinian arena, nor its role, vision, or even its ideological and political formation and positions, but because of the catastrophic consequences that resulted from this ruling. The verdict (whether we like it or not) serves the general purposes of Israel, America and some other Western countries that continue to promote classifying Hamas as a terrorist organisation.

Political maliciousness

In this regard, the concerned Egyptian authorities neglected all political logic and retrospective charges go beyond rational political logic and are instead impulsive and unreasonable. Politics is not managed in this manner and by means of such methods and malicious logic.

Retrospective reports confirming Hamas’ “involvement” in storming the border in 2008 and its members’ involvement in storming the prisons in 2011 and smuggling released detainees into unknown places, are being used to dig up old issues in order to fabricate charges against the movement.

This ruling is dangerous due to its consequences. Chief Justice of the Giza Criminal Court, Judge Zakaria Shalash, explained that: “The ruling prevents the entry of Hamas members into the country and stipulates the arrest of any Hamas members in Egypt.” This is consistent with and matches the Israeli position with regards to Hamas and effectively contributes to the incitement of the general Egyptian public against Palestinians under the pretext of the presence of security-related activities carried out by Hamas in Egypt, along with the many accusations made against the movement and the portrayal of Hamas’s role and interference in Egypt as a determining factor of Egypt’s political future and the choices of the Egyptian people.

In essence, the Egyptian ruling issued by the Court for Urgent Matters is a hasty and illogical decision and is politically malicious. This decision was made in the context of settling internal Egyptian accounts with the Muslim Brotherhood; the Palestinians have nothing to do with this, neither directly nor indirectly.

Demonising the Palestinians

Hamas, as well as the other Palestinian forces, have no real presence in the Egyptian arena and any existence in the arena does not go beyond political representation. In this regard, Hamas is like any other Palestinian forces, it has no headquarters or property in Egypt and is limited to a rented residential building in Cairo where Dr Mousa Abu Marzouk resides, as indicated by Egyptian sources.

Although the Egyptian decision has specified Hamas by name, it opens the door to the process of “demonising the Palestinians”, a process that has been going on for some time in the Arab arena, where the pain of the Palestinians is being exploited in these countries.

Of course, the process of “demonisation” leads to the crackdown on Palestinian refugees in the ring of countries surrounding historical Palestine and driving them to think of migrating far away and leaving the Arab countries, making frosty Canada (as someone said) warmer towards the Palestinian refugees, who are constantly being “demonised” and making the heat of the Great Victoria Desert of Australia kinder and more merciful than the Lebanese people towards the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, for example.

As a result, pushing the Palestinians, specifically the diaspora, to accept displacement and migration to Canada, Australia and the United States, lies within the framework of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s plan for peace in the Middle East.

Rejected gloating

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the other Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) faction and the main left-wing force in the Palestinian arena, said some very sober words regarding the most recent Egyptian decision regarding Hamas and the risks and expected consequences of the decision.

The PFLP, along with many other Palestinian forces, protected the movement and did not gloat. Instead, it thought of the Palestinian national interests, as no Palestinian nationalist can agree to such a decision that goes beyond the truth and fabricates facts.

I am not attempting to defend Hamas, but, as a movement, Hamas did not commit any acts of terrorism in Egypt, as alleged by some, but it intervened in Egyptian affairs by means of the media, and some notes have been recorded regarding this action and many members of the Palestinian forces have urged Hamas leaders to refrain from such activity due to the negative impact it has on the general Palestinian situation.

However, this is one matter, and preparing to consider Hamas a “terrorist organisation” is another matter that surely leads to consistencies with the Israeli and American view of Hamas, as well as the other Palestinian factions that are considered a part of the modern Palestinian national movement.

The PLO and its many forces and factions have conflicted with Egypt in specific historic moments, and even with the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who accepted the initiative set forth by US Secretary of State William Rogers in 1970, while the PLO and all the Palestinian forces refused it at the time.

They also disagreed with President Anwar Sadat and his plan, programme and the first Camp David Accords. Despite all of this, and even at the climax of differences between them, when the Egyptian writer Youssef Al-Sibai was killed by a separate Palestinian group led by Sabri Al-Banna (Abu Nidal) in 1985 in Nicosia, Cyprus, Egypt did not call for considering any of the national Palestinian groups terrorist organisations.

Finding a way out

The matter at hand, in terms of the Palestinians, has nothing to do with the love or hate of Hamas, but with the condemnation and refusal of the use of Hamas and the Palestinian people as scarecrows for internal Egyptian affairs. This is unacceptable and does not serve the purpose of Egypt’s stability and the future of its political system.

This is especially true when considering the positive role played by Egypt in helping to reunite the Palestinian home and we do not want to lose Egypt’s major role in this regard because national unity cannot be achieved without Egypt’s influential role in the Palestinian equation.

The hasty Egyptian political decision that targeted Hamas means the historical role played by Egypt in the Palestinian arena will continue to decrease. It also means Egypt will practically abandon its role in sponsoring the Palestinian national reconciliation and will lead to Egypt withdrawing from its role in the reunion efforts.

Therefore, there is concern with regards the consequences of this illogical and irrational decision that will affect the Palestinian people and the national interest, especially in terms of Gaza.

Necessity dictates the need to find a way out of this crisis that meets the interests of both the Palestinian and Egyptian people, as well as meets the needs and interests of the Palestinian people in Gaza, who pay the price, on a daily basis, of the internal Palestinian division and the deterioration of the Egyptian relations with Hamas.

There is a need for urgent Palestinian action, not to seek revenge, but to overcome the political maliciousness in order to contain the crisis between Egypt and Hamas, not in defence of Hamas, but in defence of the Palestinian people and their national interests and to prevent the negative consequences and effects such a decision has on the Palestinians and the Gaza Strip.

Translated from Al Jazeera net, 28 March, 2014

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.