In the last few days, the world has witnessed what some call an unlikely reconciliation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Both parties desire the complete destruction of Israel and the Jewish people. They might have different approaches to their goal; nevertheless the goal remains the same. So, is there a real winner in the reconciliation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority?
Hamas, founded in 1987 as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, has been labeled a terrorist organization by most countries. Hamas means “enthusiasm” or “zeal” in Arabic, and is also an acronym for “Islamic Resistance Movement.” Being connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas reiterates its motto and declares that: “Allah is its goal, the Prophet is the model, the Qur’an its constitution, jihad its path, and death for the sake of Allah its most sublime belief.” Hamas also claim that they will not rest until they have destroyed the Zionist entity. Their covenant is unashamedly replete with hatred and anti-Semitism. Their Prime Minister is Ismail Haniyah, while their current political bureau leader is Khaled Mashal, who has lived in Kuwait, Syria, and Jordan now resides in Qatar, yet he claims to be a born Palestinian. Why he doesn’t live inside the “Palestinian Territories” escapes me, but I digress!
The Palestinian Authority has been under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas since 2005. Its political party is Fatah and at the risk of being accused of oversimplification, it could be said that Fatah is more of a secular political party while Hamas leans towards Islamic fundamentalism. Fatah lost its majority in the Palestinian election of 2006 which led to a split between the two parties leaving Fatah in charge of the West Bank and Hamas controlling Gaza. Fatah used to be considered a terrorist organization until it “officially” renounced terrorism in 1988. What happens behind closed doors regarding Israel remains far from peaceful, yet the west sees Abbas as a moderate. Drawing from the Palestinian Authority’s reputation of being more moderate, he has pushed the West for Palestine’s recognition on the World scene, at the UN and UNESCO. Over the last few years, inching their way towards what appeared to be an inevitable UN and world recognition in the near future, they have picked-up some momentum. The current “reconciliation” may hurt that momentum. Let’s face it, Mahmoud Abbas seems to be more interested in a partnership with a terrorist organization than in a peace process with Israel. While the momentum he gained towards Palestine being recognized might be lost, the final goal of a Palestinian state without Jews seems closer now. Yet, the reconciliation between Hamas and Abbas is nothing but the mixing of muddy water with more muddy water. Nothing is being diluted but rather more concentrated, and this not only at Israel’s expense. More is at stake here.
Benjamin Netanyahu immediately decided to put a halt to the peace process since Israel cannot and will not negotiate with terrorists, ever! The safety of Israel is first and foremost. Frankly, it wasn’t much of a peace process to start with since Abbas was never really interested in recognizing Israel. Sandwiched between Gaza and the West Bank, Israel was mostly threatened by Hamas and their regular shower of rockets, disregarding negotiations, agreements and of course, the lives of Israeli civilians. Now that the two Palestinian factions have reconciled, the threat to Israel is two sided, not to mention Hezbollah in the North.
John Kerry proposed to send international troops to the region to stabilize it and keep it safe, but their effectiveness is far from proven in such a volatile region. The United-States will have to decide if they will continue to support Abbas financially. It is very possible that the current US administration will chose to put a halt to funding if Abbas remain linked to Hamas, and this could hurt the Palestinian Authority a great deal. Then again, our current administration is seldom characterized by backbone when it comes to punishing the Palestinians for their crimes. President Obama calls the reconciliation “unhelpful.” How about calling it unethical and potentially lethal, Mr. President? Also, both Mr. Kerry and Mr. Obama stated that the peace process had to be put on “Pause,” yet when you pause, everything stops, and I can promise you that even if Israel refrains from everything, the Palestinian side will not.
Another aspect of this truce between Abbas and Hamas, is the fact that Hamas has absolutely no desire to slow down their anti-Israel activities. They made it clear that they will not take the lead from Abbas. Actually, it is the other way around that is to be feared. It is almost certain that Hamas will influence the Palestinian Authority into more carnage. Additionally, Hamas now has a much stronger chance to take over the whole region in the next elections, which might very well be why they appear to be playing nice with Abbas. In this case, when you mix secularism with Islamic fundamentalism, Sharia gets a stronghold and the world is not a better place.
At the end of the day, even though the Palestinian Authority might benefit slightly from the truce at the onset, if it sticks, they will end-up being used by Hamas to gain political control in the region, guaranteed!
The Hamas/Abbas reconciliation is bad for Israel
The Hamas/Abbas reconciliation is also bad for the United States
The Hamas/Abbas reconciliation is even bad for Abbas
The Hamas/Abbas reconciliation is only good for Hamas!