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Clinging to national constants

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Clinging to national constants

Khalid Meshaal’s landmark speech in Damascus on Thursday, 25 June, proved once again that Hamas would remain faithful to its Islamic principles and national constants.

The speech also demonstrated that the Palestinian Islamic liberation movement was not an inflexible entity that is not capable of dealing constructively with regional and international political realities.

More to the point, the speech underscore the long-known fact that Hamas is a staunchly independent movement whose policies and stands are determined solely by Palestinian national interests.

Undoubtedly, Meshaal's address pleased Palestine’s friends, those who want the Palestinian people to show steadfastness and determination in the face of Zionist intransigence and arrogance of power. At the same time, it disappointed and displeased those who thought Hamas would imitate the PLO by harrowing to endear itself to the Obama administration at the expense of Palestinian rights and constants.

Indeed, Meshaal showed a great deal of political tactfulness in dealing with President Obama’s approach toward the Palestinian cause.

He pointed out that while Hamas and its supporters, who constitute a huge segment of the Palestinian masses, welcomed and appreciated Obama’s “new language,” the Palestinians were awaiting to see actions because in the final analysis actions speak louder than words.

Needless to say, these actions must include a clear and unmistakable stance on such pivotal issues as the continuing expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the unmitigated Judaizing of Jerusalem along with the massive demolition of Arab homes and neighborhoods as well as the ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip which numerous people of good will have compared with the Nazi siege to Ghetto Warsaw in 1942-43.

To his credit, Meshaal spoke with dignity and grace and never sought to beg the American administration to deal with Hamas. He did so without indulging in meaningless rhetoric, knowing that the Palestinian people are struggling for freedom and justice and needed every shred of support and understanding from an often unsympathetic and indifferent world.

Meshaal said: “Hamas’s priority is not to get others to recognize the movement, but rather to get them to recognize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.” This certainly an immensely significant statement especially when compared with the scandalous recognition of Israel by the PLO without any reciprocal recognition by the Zionist regime of Palestine and Palestinian rights.

Moreover, Meshaal's emphasis that the national Palestinian cause has a precedence over Hamas, and that no Palestinian faction has a right to act differently, reaffirmed Hamas’s long-standing policy that the Palestinian people ought to remain in a state of constant struggle until they are completely free from the shackles of evil Zionism.

Meshaal's treatment of the Zionist Prime Minister’s insolent speech earlier this month was more than appropriate.

Indeed, the contemptuous disregard of Netanyahu’s speech was exactly what that speech deserved, not only from Palestinian leaders and the Palestinians in general, but also from all honest and free-minded people in this world.

Netanyahu was actually fornicating with language when he spoke of a Palestinian “state” whose borders, border crossings, air space, water resources, foreign relations and defenses would be controlled by Israel.

Hence, it was satisfying that brother Meshaal treated Netanyahu’s speech with utmost contempt and disregard.

Meshaal spoke elaborately and painfully about the rift with Fateh, saying that Palestinian reconciliation was an essential condition for promoting Palestinian national interests and keeping up the struggle for freedom and justice.

He pointed out, never the less, that Hamas never chose the rift with Fateh which he said was imposed on it, adding that the Islamic liberation movement would do all it could to restore Palestinian national unity.

Meshaal gave an impassioned description of how the American-backed Palestinian Authority (PA) regime in Ramallah was carrying out a real inquisition against Hamas’s supporters and sympathizers throughout the West Bank.

He pointed out that as many as 830 men and women were languishing in PA jails and dungeons, including college professors, academics, engineers, students and religious scholars, some of whom have been tortured and killed.

He also explained how PA security agencies violently seized all Islamic institutions in the West Bank including Zakat committees, schools, hospitals and charities.

Meshaal rightly held the American General Keith Dayton responsible for the havoc and terror the PA security apparatus was carrying out in the West Bank.

Meshaal called on Obama to withdraw Dayton from the West Bank, saying that the very presence of this man in Palestine and the manifestly divisive role he played contradicted Obama’s calls for spreading democracy in the Muslim world.

Finally, Meshaal was frank with Arab regimes, particularly those who are still giving the moribund peace process with Israel the benefit of the doubt.

Meshaal courageously berated Arab leaders, telling them that Netanyahu had turned the table upside down in their faces, and that he was flying in the face of everyone.

Effectively, what Meshaal was saying to Arab regimes is that “don’t continue to cheapen yourselves, because no matter what you do, Netanyahu would still want more. Hence, you should explore a new dignified approach based on resistance and defiance.”

In brief, the Hamas’s politburo chief’s speech showed that Hamas is an authentic and dignified movement that is not easily carried away by false euphoria.

In this, Hamas is undoubtedly setting an example to be followed, not only by the shilly-shally PA but also by the Arab regimes as well.  

Sourced from The Palestine Times