Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hamas and Fateh: A Tale of Two Expletives

Try them out. It's rewarding in a childish way.
"Fateh off Netanyahu!"
"I will kick the living Hamas out of you."
"You stupid motherFateh, get off the road!"
"What a Hamasface."
"Your mother is a dirty Fatehsucking bish."
 "I don't give a flying Hamas."

Once upon a time, Palestine held its first transparent democratic election. Some Palestinians were prevented from voting as Israel sprung up flying checkpoints here and there, thus stalling them until it was too late. Nevertheless, the average turnout was around 74%. The parties running for elections numbered six, but it was essentially a two horse race between Fateh and Hamas. Long story short, Hamas won the majority of the seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council (74 to Fateh's 45). Sugar Daddy Bush Jr did not like the outcome at all. Many were thrown by surprise at the result. And thus, the USA nodded its head sagaciously as it completely undermined the whole election on the basis that Arabs still don't know how democracy works, and implemented that theory by causing internal strife/civil war/political separation of two territories after an attempted US backed coup backfired/installing American trained and supplied security forces whose job is to crush dissent in the West Bank/ and finally, giving its blessing to an imposed siege on the Gaza strip. Don't forget the three billion dollars annual military aid that enforces Israel's security, i.e. occupation!

White America, do you see why we blame you for our misery?

The Fateh led PA's sole concern was to continue funneling in those millions of dollars in foreign aid, promoting an illusion of a feasible state complete with a booming industry, while arresting anyone who had wet dreams/nightmares about Hamas.

Hamas' sole concern was to revel in its new "emirate", painting Gaza green in the midst of international ostracism while it continued to promote the facade of resistance by firing shoddy tinpots at nearby settlements, which culminated in an internationally complicit massacre in December 08/January 09.

Fateh disallowed demonstrations that has anything to do with Hamas, securing its grip on a newly formed police state. All traces of green flags disappeared, replaced by the desperate gaudiness of the yellow Fateh flags.

In Gaza, Hamas flaunted its corrupted demeanor and autocratic nature as it too suppressed any dissenting voices. We are not aware of the atmosphere in the universities there but it requires little imagination.

At Birzeit University, students affiliated with Hamas were promptly arrested and in some cases tortured, while the PA turned a blind eye and the university administration proved its deadly incompetence yet again. The student party affiliated with Fateh never missed a chance to publicly diss Hamas and spread its vile propaganda. Hamas withdrew from student elections for two years, in protest at the treatment and continued imprisonment of its party members at the hands of other students.

Israel and her supporters congratulated themselves over glasses filled with Gazan children's blood to what they saw as a win-win situation for them. Hamas "Destroyer of Israel" were effectively isolated and under siege (the other 1.5 million population were viewed as collateral damage) and Fateh "Negotiations Evermore" were their sniveling lapdogs, eagerly pushing for Israeli land takeovers in return for money. The real losers, the average Palestinian, witnessed with anguish as the Palestinian cause and self-determination were essentially shelved somewhere among history's back pages. Calls for unity fell on deaf ears.

Fateh, the instant collaborator of Israel. Hamas, a ruthless regime. One thing they have in common is their despotic self-interests at the cost of the Palestinians, their tyrannical incumbency.

Yesterday the two sides signed reconciliatory papers. Our sarcastic demands for them to kiss and make up were finally heeded. Brokered by a new Egypt, Hamas and Fateh seemingly put an end to five years of malicious discontent and animosity. How well was this news received? The Guardian has the best sub-heading: Celebration in Gaza City is dispersed by police wielding batons, while Ramallah seems more concerned with Champions League.

Ain't that the truth.

People shouldn't be heralding this as a new era for Palestinian unity that would now commonly advocate the Palestinian cause and seek repercussions from Israel for its continued apartheid and occupation polices, etc. Why did Hamas and Fateh sign an agreement yesterday? Why now? What gives?

Fateh's response to the Arab Spring revolutions was to pay lip service to change in the political system for fear of having the serfs revolting. It lost a major ally in Mubarak's Egypt, and found itself being propelled by one less puppet string. Likewise, Hamas is trying to steer away from any ties to the Syrian regime, that funder of annihilative cache of weapons, as Dr Bashar al Assad's penchant for killing protesters did not go by unnoticed.

How in the world can these two ideologies be married into an agreement? How will the PA operate when the international community shuns it thus forgoing any financial aid? What sort of interim government will this joint effort be like? Where does Israel fit in this equation? In fact, a lot of our questions mirror  Ali Abunimeh's, whose perspective on this so-called progressive step forward is a must read.
If there is an agreement on a joint “government” how can it possibly function without Israeli approval? Will Israel allow Hamas ministers be able to operate freely in the occupied West Bank? Will PA officials be able to move freely between the West Bank and Gaza? Israel is effectively at peace with the current Abbas wing of the Palestinian Authority and at war with Hamas. Impossible to see how such a government can operate under Israeli occupation. If anything this proves the impossibility of democracy and normal governance under Israeli military occupation.
Netanyahu made a somber appearance on TV. He said that the PA must chose either peace with Israel, or peace with Hamas. This takes us back to the conceptual meaning of Peace in Israelispeak. We're tempted to shout back, "Bring it on suckers!" but who are we kidding.

The whole point of unity should be "unity of goals for the Palestinian people" and not unity of factions. Factional unity, is it really in our best interests? Considering the agendas and actions of Fateh and Hamas in recent years and how that has affected the Palestinians, it's really a non-question.

Honestly, when we heard the news we were waiting for further explication. "And then what?" Our noses crumpled in disdain because there's gotta be some kind of ulterior motive. Whatever happened to Fayyad's 2011 Palestinian state, one that excludes Gaza?

On the bright side, maybe the hunger strikers can find a new hobby now.

Today on campus we saw a sickening sight. In front of the student council building, celebratory-like, the loudspeakers were out once again, a small mast had Fateh, Hamas, and PFLP flags, and students took turns eulogizing "O unity, thou honorable thing" shit into the microphone. The same students that not too long ago made it their favorite pastime to denounce Hamas and exalt Fateh on every occasion. We kept walking.


  1. shukran for this excellent post

    props from the land of switz

  2. Thanks for this post. I was very curious how people in Palestine feel about the unification. Honestly, I am cautiously hopeful, but I don't live in the territories. I am going to eagerly await the details of their deal (such as elections).

    I actually feel the same about Democrats and Republicans in the US, I attended a lecture yesterday in which the crowd cheered and clapped when the speaker talked about a need for more bipartisan politics today in the United States. Polarization really just hurts those in between.

    I am very much enjoying your blog and hope you will still email me at

    We can also connect on facebook if that is more comfortable for you.