An advisor to the Hamas government in Gaza urged his movement this week to refrain from emulating the PLO in making political concessions and adopting pragmatist policies. Instead, he called upon Hamas to declare that it was created to eliminate the State of Israel.
The advisor, Kana'an 'Obeid, made the call in an October 8 article in the Hamas newspaper Al-Risala. Excerpts from the article were translated and published by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
"The deterioration of the Palestinian cause occurred in a series of steps,” ‘Obeid wrote. “Initially, there were slogans such as 'eliminating Israel' or 'bon appétit, oh fish in the sea!', and the PLO slogan, 'we will not relinquish one single grain of sand.' Then there was the consent to [UN Security Council] Resolution 242, the recognition of Israel, and the freezing of the caduque PLO Charter. After that, Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas] declared that Israel is here to stay...
"[Yet] none of this was sufficient for [Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor] Lieberman to defend Abbas from harm,” he continued, referring to Lieberman’s recent criticism of Abbas. “In fact, Lieberman believes... that Abbas should be forced to crochet the yarmulkes of the religious Jews, as their poet said, and to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot with them at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
"The arena to which the PLO has been dragged is very clear,” claimed ‘Obeid. “This forces Hamas and the resistance factions to go back [to the beginning] and to avoid pragmatist [measures], as well as the trap of [trying to] win over global public opinion by suggesting the possibility of agreeing to a state within the 1967 borders in return for an extended hudna. This was believed to be the gateway to acceptance by the West, [but, in reality,] it was the first step down a new [slippery] slope that might later be [justified] with brilliant political arguments or even pragmatist religious rulings.
"In order to fix this [situation], Hamas must refrain from honoring any agreements that the PLO has signed with Israel. The PLO is a dead thing that cannot [even] be embalmed. Hamas's incorporation into the PLO following its embalming, or following a reform in [the PLO's] ranks, will constitute recognition of the agreements that the PLO has signed with Israel. The national reconciliation in no way means agreeing to a political plan that includes abiding by the Oslo Accords, and political reconciliation does not mean reconciling [in order to act] against the homeland.
"We must launch a corrective national vision, in which we distinguish between plans to manage daily life in the homeland and plans to manage the conflict. The PLO abandoned [the latter] and never took them up again, just as it withdrew from the circle of resistance and never returned to it,” wrote ‘Obeid.
"Hamas must declare that it was formed to eliminate the state of Israel, and that Israel is an entity that must disappear,” he continued. “[Hamas] should declare that its political, military, and social plan is the liberation of all the land by means of resistance, and that the West bears the burden of [responsibility for] this aberrant entity [Israel]. This plan is Hamas' gateway to the Arab and Islamic world. We must present this to the West, so that it decides to stop backing Israel and realizes that it has made a mistake and must rectify it."