It is difficult for me, and anyone who loves Palestine and hopes that it will return as an Islamic nation from the river to the sea, to see the only credible resistance movement in the Palestinian territories throwing itself towards oblivion. Hamas is wasting the years of struggle it has waged against the Israeli enemy.
The insistence of the movement's leaders to play along with the election game in which Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the "security coordination authority", and the Israeli enemy have involved it in is, in effect, throwing the movement into the unknown. Did they not think about this unknown future upon which they are gambling the last card in their possession? I do not think that any sane person in Hamas believes that it is likely to win the elections, as it did in 2006, which brought them the blockade, led to the division of the Palestinian people and was a major reason for repeated Israeli military offensives against the Gaza Strip. Have they not learnt anything from all of this?
They say that their goal is to end the division and bring about a national consensus, and no one can possibly object to that. We all want to see Palestinian unity and a rearrangement of Palestinian affairs in order to confront the plots to liquidate the cause and approve the shameful deal of the century.
I know that Hamas views the elections as a first step towards developing the national project, while Fatah sees it as a last stop in reformulating the Palestinian political system as a whole, in which the resistance will have no place. This is why it is surprising to see Hamas' position and that its participation in the elections is condemned.
National consensus is not an end in itself, but is a means to serve the Palestinian cause and unify the factions and people under a project that confronts the liquidation projects. We are not looking for just any old consensus in which the two parties agree on whatever, with the Hamas and Fatah leaders appearing on television, holding hands and being friendly.
The Palestinian factions emerged from the recent Cairo talks with a joint statement confirming their commitment to the presidential, legislative and national council elections. They emphasised the consensus through a group photo standing shoulder to shoulder and holding hands. Is this the national consensus that they agreed upon?
The Palestinians need to formulate a comprehensive national project that everyone will agree upon before going to the polls, and it must be presented to all Palestinians inside and outside the occupied territories. There are, after all, more than six million Palestinians in the diaspora spread across five continents. This should be a priority for them. This is what they want, not the absurd elections, the results of which are already known and which will perpetuate Abbas' rule to the end, along with his fellow Oslo officials.
The people of Palestine need a new entity and new leaders to restore the status of the Palestinian cause as a national liberation cause. They can gain complete legitimacy by making a bold decision regarding the Oslo Accords and their outcomes, and managing the national project in all its manifestations.
The factions have marketed the elections as a solution to the division, a recipe for national consensus, and a prelude to a collective confrontation against the projects aiming to liquidate the Palestinian cause. This is not true; they are actually the opposite. The elections will be a cause for deepening the division, and may lead to a civil war, if Abbas asks Hamas to surrender its weapons or tries to disarm it by force, as he has threatened repeatedly.
As for the general talk about the idea of a national consensus and a common electoral list between Fatah and Hamas, it is nonsense. Nobody in their right mind believes this. And look at what Saleh Al-Arouri, the deputy head of the Hamas Political Bureau, told Lebanon's Al-Mayadeen news channel: "The idea of Hamas supporting Mahmoud Abbas in the presidential elections is not ruled out and remains among the possible options that Hamas might consider."
As the saying goes, the worst misfortune is the one that makes you laugh. Does Hamas need to look through Abbas' history to decide whether or not it can support him in the elections? I will help in its research, with some of his statements and other recorded positions:
- "The Israeli army is defending its country."
- "Security coordination is sacred."
- "Shoot anyone carrying a missile."
- "I am against weapons and do not believe in carrying them."
- "I want progress and peace for Israeli youth."
- "Yitzhak Rabin may God have mercy on him."
- "I don't want to go back to Safed."
- "I cooperate with the CIA secretly and publicly, even without President Trump's knowledge."
- There are document in an archive at Cambridge University claiming that Abbas was once a KGB agent.
- Documents in the US Embassy in Tehran included him in a list of CIA agents.
- Yossi Beilin's document with him, which was the core of the Oslo Accords, of which Abbas is the godfather.
- Abbas' role in the blockade of Gaza and incitement against it around the world, even in the UN Security Council.
- Abbas has never visited a martyr's house.
- Abbas has not carried through any threat against Israel, at the international courts, for example.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of Mahmoud Abbas' crimes against the Palestinian cause. Is this man, whose hands are tainted with Palestinian blood, someone to link up with?
Moreover, Mohammed Dahlan, the godfather of Arab normalisation who lives in Abu Dhabi, the headquarters of Arab conspiracies, also collaborates with Israel and has committed crimes against the Palestinians. Amazingly, Hamas has allowed his main followers to return to the Gaza Strip to prepare for the elections.
To the Hamas leadership, I say wake up; where is your wisdom? Announce your refusal to run in the elections until Palestine is liberated, because there can be no real elections in a country under occupation.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.