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Don’t allow Hamas to regain any control in Palestine
By Ray Hanania — The acronym FATAH is based on the Arabic words “Harakat al-Tahrir (Al-Watani) al-Filasteen,” a movement dedicated to the (national) liberation of Palestine. Hamas is based on the Arabic words “Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamia” which is a movement dedicated to zealous Islam, not the liberation of Palestine. Many people say the Oslo Peace Accords failed because the differences between Israelis and Palestinians were huge. But that is a lie. In truth, the real problem was Hamas. The failure of peace has always been caused by Hamas, a religious terrorist organization that as soon as it is done wiping out all the Jews in Palestine and Israel will quickly turn its wrath on Arab Christians.
When it comes to the clashes between Hamas and the Palestine National Authority, many Palestinians say they do not like the image of Palestinians fighting other Palestinians. It is terrible. But where were these same people when the late President Yasser Arafat, who had a mandate to lead his people into peace negotiations with Israel that was later endorsed in open and free elections, was stymied by Hamas-led violence?
It is easy to forget that the peace process failed because at every agreement, Hamas launched wave upon wave of suicide bombings. Hamas leaders brainwashed young Palestinian victims of the conflict to sacrifice themselves for a “cause,” never explaining that the Hamas cause is a cancer on the backs of Palestinian statehood and independence.
What cause did all those suicide bombers die for? A just cause? Or a cause driven by cowards in Hamas who always had someone else do their dirty deeds. They murdered innocent Israeli civilians on buses and restaurants not to stop Israeli brutality against Palestinians, but to so outrage Israelis they would turn against peace and reject the agreements signed by Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Every time Israel and the Palestinians took a new peace accord step, Hamas acted with violence to kill innocent people. They knew the sight of the carnage would force Israelis to reject peace and undermine Arafat’s attempts to resolve the conflict through compromise.
Was Hamas acting as a loyal member of a Palestinian nation?
The Hamas-led campaign of terrorism resulted in the destruction of Oslo. Extremist Palestinian activists blame this destruction on peace rather than on the real criminals of Hamas. And Hamas has much support outside of its circle of religious fanatics that include secular extremists who share a common goal of hatred.
An Israeli extremist murdered Rabin, bringing the peace process to a crashing halt. Israelis replaced Rabin with Benjamin Netanyahu and later Ariel Sharon, both terrorist extremists themselves who were equally determined to undermine peace with the Palestinians based on compromise.
Only when the prospects for peace seemed dead, Hamas entered the election process, to insure it is never revived. Hamas leaders ran for public office in the first time since their birth as an organization which was nudged to existence by, ironically, Sharon in the 1970s.
When Hamas won, exploiting divisions in the Fatah organization, they no longer needed to use wanton violence to stop the peace process. The day they were elected, the peace process was dealt a near-fatal blow. Their violent rhetoric made it clear they would never compromise. Hamas would rather see every Palestinian die for their cause than to reach a compromise in which Palestinians and Israelis might one day live their lives in a future of promise and hope.
But like all terrorists, Hamas was not satisfied with Democracy. They knew that they would one day be ousted in elections, once Palestinians realized they offered no hope for the future. They sought to undermine the secular leadership of the Palestinians in a failed coup and were caught.
Secular Palestinians stood up and defeated Hamas. The morally bankrupt “Prime Minister” Ismail Haniyeh was rightly ousted and replaced with a new leadership that represents all Palestinians.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is a weak leader. But weak as he is, Palestinians have no choice but to support him in order to survive. Palestinians must recognize that Hamas is not a true Palestinian entity, but rather a religious group that has bastardized Islam and is part of a larger movement that looks beyond Palestinian Statehood to larger, regional Islamicist goals.
To the Islamicist, the freedom of Palestine is not the end result, but rather just one step in a longer mission of world domination.
There should be no negotiations with Hamas. What Hamas accuses Fatah of doing today, Hamas did when Arafat was alive, too, undermining the elected government at every turn.
The PNA and Abbas should outlaw Hamas and make membership in its organization a crime.
Palestinians must swear allegiance to a secular Palestine, not to Hamas. They have only one choice, work within a system of secular Democracy to create an independent and free state.
Hamas has seriously weakened the Palestinian cause by their murderous rampage and campaign of suicide bombings. Their sick distorted immorality has infected even some among the Palestinian secular movement, too.
We know that as the peace talks progress, Hamas will launch more rockets, not as a form of resistance to Israeli oppression, but intentionally to provoke into responding with violence of their own.
Hamas wants violence, because in that violence they know they can stymie peace.
Palestinians and Israelis must see this pattern, and recognize that Hamas will once again turn to violence to prevent peace.
This time, rather than surrendering to the violence as Israel did under Netanyahu and Sharon and turn their backs on just peace, Israelis and Palestinians must be resolute in their determine to make peace work.
There will be violence. Our job as Palestinian and Israeli peacemakers must be to respond by reinforcing our determination to make peace happen.
We cannot afford to surrender to the violence on either side. It’s not easy to do.
Hamas knows that if we fail, they will be the future. We can’t let that happen.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning Palestinian columnist and author. He can be reached at www.hanania.com. Arab Writers Group Syndicate, www.ArabWritersGroup.com.)
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Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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