Hamas is Asking for Washington's Hand

By Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed

Somebody affiliated to the Palestinian Authority expressed his frustration by 
saying, "this is treacherous," as he condemned the scene in the Gaza Strip as 
Hamas threw itself into the arms of the US administration and publicly 
announced its acceptance of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, 
going back on everything it used to reject in the past when it labeled those 
who called for this as traitors.

I said to him: it is true that it is unfaithful but this is politics in which 
[there is] no allegiance, no loyalty and no morality. The Hamas government 
shocked many of its followers and scared its rivals when it suddenly showed, 
without any indication, that it wants ties with the US administration, and 
supports the peaceful solution unconditionally. Gaza confused the residents of 
Ramallah, where the Palestinian government is based, as well as Fatah leaders 
that rushed to attack Hamas' new position without thinking. The Endowments 
Minister, Mahmoud al Habash, considered ties with Washington a move that would 
harm the Palestinian people. I forgot to say that the speaker here is the 
Minister of Endowments for the PA, not a minister from the Hamas government. As 
for the reason [for the change], I explained that two weeks ago in order to 
understand Hamas' position. I said that it is inclining towards the direction 
of the Syrian inclination. Hamas really is nothing but an annex of the Syrian 
Foreign Ministry regarding its foreign relations, and the matter does not 
require much deliberation. 

We must reproach the PA for its tumult against Hamas just because it changed 
its position and this time it is now seeking a relationship with Washington and 
supporting the peaceful solution. This is an advanced position and serves the 
Palestinian project in general regardless of the Hamas rivalry. The question 
here is: can the support of the peaceful solution, which was expressed by Hamas 
officials, last until the end of the year or even till the end of the summer? 
Is Hamas' advanced position reflective of a more important development in 
Syrian policy towards the peace process? If this is the case then we are facing 
an important breakthrough on the regional level. Despite that the news of 
Hamas' u-turn is important and is of political significance, we should not rely 
upon it firstly because Hamas doesn't have a real position in any field; 
secondly, these are merely words and not action; and thirdly because the 
language is the wrong way round as Hamas said that it does not object to the 
establishment of ties with Washington when it is in fact Washington that is 
rejecting this, not the other way round! 

The problem is the government of Barack Obama not the government of Ismail 
Haniyeh. Whether that was just a statement or a serious, new policy, it is 
expected that the government of Mahmoud Abbas will offer congratulations to the 
Hamas government and begin cooperating with it and make the most of the 
occasion to bring together the disordered Palestinian politics and prepare to 
bring back together Gaza and the West Bank. Every topic has its own content. 

Everybody in the region, including Syria and Israel, and outside of the region, 
for example the United States, knows very well that the Palestinian Authority 
is the legitimate and sole representative [of the Palestinian people] and 
realizes that there can be no negotiations without it. Therefore, they must not 
panic about the flirting between Hamas, Washington and Israel as it is [the 
kind of] flirting that will have no outcome.

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