Randy's Corner Deli Library

27 July 2008

Fatah and Hamas may be getting ready for another bloodbath

This is what happens when you deal with clans, not democratic institutions, cloaked though some may be with that mantle. So much for peace with the Palestinians. If they are not careful, they will find themselves Jordanian subjects and not "Palestinians". In 2000, had Yasir Arafat had the word "yes" in his vocabulary, they would have a state right now. Alas, Arafat had what seems to be a congenital defect among Palestinians: sadly, they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Randy Shiner

Fatah and Hamas may be getting ready for another bloodbath

By The Daily Star Monday, July 28, 2008

After three deadly bombings and a string of tit-for-tat arrests, tensions between Fatah and Hamas are once again running dangerously high. The last time that the rivalry between the two groups degenerated into street violence nearly a year ago, hundreds of innocent people were killed as a result. If the leaders of both Palestinian factions fail to come to their senses and rein in their respective supporters, the streets of Gaza and/or the Occupied West Bank could soon see yet another needless bloodbath.

Hamas leaders acted rashly when they almost immediately accused Fatah of carrying out an attack in Gaza late Friday night - and then responded by rounding up almost 200 Fatah members and shutting down cultural and sports offices. Fatah upped the ante of irresponsible behavior when it retaliated to Hamas' move by arresting 20 the Islamist group's members in the Occupied West Bank. Both groups know what can happen when these kinds of retaliatory actions get out of hand and both groups now have an urgent responsibility to prevent that from happening again.

Over the past few years, the rivalry between Hamas and Fatah has rapidly made its way up the list of threats to the Palestinians' existence. In some circles, it is still fashionable to blame Israel for all of the Palestinians' troubles, but in this instance, the leaders of Hamas and Fatah have committed crimes of equal magnitude against their own constituents. Not only have scores of people died at the hands of their armed forces, the fighting has also served to greatly undermine the Palestinian cause. It has become increasingly difficult for the international community to feel sympathy for the Palestinian people when their own leaders provide so much media ammunition to distract the world from their plight. The image of lawlessness and internecine warfare conveys the image of a people who are simply not ready for self-governance or an independent state.

The lessons from the Occupied Territories ought to also weigh heavily on Lebanese leaders, who have also shown a propensity to allow their power struggles to degenerate into violence that claims the lives of innocent victims. International mediators will soon grow tired of helping those who show no interest whatsoever in helping themselves.

No comments: