Hasil serangan Israel ke Gaza?

Hamas telah jadi matelar ....


On Engaging Hamas

25 February 2009

The political outcomes of the Gaza war are yet to be entirely decided with any 
degree of certainty.

However, the obvious political repositioning which was reported as soon as 
Israel declared its unilateral ceasefire promised that Israel’s deadly bombs 
would shape a new political reality 
in the region.

In the aftermath, Hamas can confidently claim that its once indisputably 
‘radical’ political position is no longer viewed as too extreme. “Hamas” is no 
longer menacing a word, even amongst Western public, and tireless Israeli 
attempts to correlate Hamas and Islamic Jihadists’s agendas no longer suffice.

The Israel war against Gaza has indeed proven that Hamas cannot be obliterated 
by bombs and decimated by missiles. This is the same conclusion that the US and 
other countries reached in regards to the PLO in the mid 1970’s. Of course, 
that realisation didn’t prevent Israel from trying on many occasions to destroy 
the PLO, in Jordan (throughout the late 1960’s), getting involved in the 
Lebanese civil war (1976), and then occupying south Lebanon (1978), and then 
the entire country (1982). Even upon the departure of PLO factions from 
Lebanon, Israel followed its leadership to Tunisia and other countries, 
assassinating the least accommodating members, thus setting the stage for 
political ‘dialogue’ with the ‘more acceptable peace partners’.  The history of 
the Arab-Israeli conflict has taught us that political ‘engagement’ often 
follows wars; the military outcome of these wars often determines the course of 
political action that ensues
 afterward. For example, a war, like that of 1967 (the astounding defeat of the 
Arabs), strengthened the notion that a military solution is the primary option 
to achieve ‘peace’ and ‘security.’

Of course, this logic is erroneous when it is applied to popular struggles. 
Conventional armies can be isolated and defeated. Popular struggles cannot, and 
attempts to do so often yield unintended and contradictory results. Israel’s 
victory (thanks in part to US and European military, financial and logistical 
support) drove Israel into the abyss of complete arrogance. Arabs responded in 
kind in 1973, and were close to a decisive victory when the US, once again came 
to the rescue, providing Israel with the largest transport of arms recorded 
since WWII.

Still, the 1973 war created new realities that even Israel could not deny. 
Then, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat earned prestige (as a statesman) following 
the war, as US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (Israel’s most dedicated 
friend of all time) conditioned any American engagement of Egypt on the 
latter’s departure from the Soviet’s camp. To win American acceptance, Sadat’s 
language and perception on the conflict began to shift, while a ‘peace process’ 
fragmented the conflict, from its previous totality, into a localised version, 
which eventually saw the 
exit of Egypt from the Arab-Israeli 

The PLO, dominated by its largest faction, Fatah, found itself in a precarious 
position. Its political stocks were rising, true, but its liberation rhetoric 
was expected to shift in favour of a more ‘pragmatic’ and ‘moderate’ approach. 
Kissinger was keen on ensuring that the ‘maximalist’ Arab agenda, including 
that of the PLO would be transferred into a minimalist one. That was the price 
of recognition and political legitimacy. Not only Sadat, but the PLO, like 
Hamas today, was asked to moderate its expectations, but the real buzzword then 
was accepting UN resolution 242. The price of legitimacy of the Palestinian 
struggle remains unchanged, but the new era yielded new demands and conditions. 
Neither then, nor today, was Israel ever asked to reciprocate.

The more the PLO of the 1970’s met conditions, the more Yasser Arafat rose to 
prominence. In June 1974, Fatah-led PLO revised and approved a political 
programme that adopted a ‘phased’ political strategy which agreed to 
establishing a Palestinian state “over every part of Palestinian territory that 
is liberated,” as opposed to Fatah’s own previous commitment to a “democratic 
state on all (of) Palestine.” The phased strategy split the somewhat unified 
PLO between ‘moderate’ and ‘rejectionist’ fronts, but allowed for political 
gains, such as the Arab designation of the PLO, in Rabat as “the sole 
legitimate representative of the Palestinian people”. More, Arafat was invited 
to speak at the UN General Assembly, where the PLO received the status of an 
“observer”. In his speech on November 13, 1974, Arafat uttered his most famous 
statement: “Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom-fighter’s 
gun. Do not let
 the olive branch fall from my hand.”

Let historians contend on whether Arafat was tricked by a peace ploy, which saw 
the softening of the PLO’s position, while the Israeli position continued to 
harden unchecked. The fact is, however, the seeds of Palestinian division were 
planted during these years and Palestinians were compartmentalised — between 
moderates, extremists, maximalists, minimalists, pragmatists, rejectionists and 
so on. However, the political gains of the PLO of those years were made 
irrelevant, and were later used exclusively for personal gains, starting in 
1974, passing through Oslo, the subsequent ‘peace process’, and finally 
reaching today’s dead-end.

World Media are now reporting that European countries are in direct contact 
with Hamas leaders, although officials are insisting that this contact is 
independent and not linked to larger government initiatives. More, several US 
congressmen visited Gaza, again with similar disclaimers. US Senator John 
Kerry, who led the US delegation, claimed that the US position regarding Hamas 
has not changed, and repeated the conditions that Hamas must meet before any 
engagement is possible.

One has to be wary of the history that rendered the once influential PLO, the 
trivial organisation that it is today. History often repeats itself, true, but 
it doesn’t have to if one remembers such historical lessons. Peace is not a 
‘process’ — at least not in the Kissinger sense — and true dialogue and 
positive engagement require no stipulations and conditions. Hamas is now in the 
same precarious position that the PLO was in earlier years. Its future 
decisions shall influence the coming stage of this conflict, thus the fate of 
the Palestinian people in inconceivable ways.

Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is an eminent Arab American author and 
editor of PalestineChronicle.com

Jusfiq Hadjar gelar Sutan Maradjo Lelo

Allah yang disembah orang Islam tipikal dan yang digambarkan oleh al-Mushaf itu 
dungu, buas, kejam, keji, ganas, zalim lagi biadab hanyalah Allah fiktif.


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