Fateh seeks Power…Hamas Subjugates Women
and the Left is behind History
Dr. Adel Samara
Kana’an eBulletin – Volume IX – Issue 2024)
In August 2009 two core events took place in the West Bank and Gaza. The first event was Fateh Sixth General Conference and the second was the imposition of Hijab (a full length dress and a scarf that covers the head) and a ban of men presence in girls’ schools by Hamas government in Gaza.
Fateh’s decision to hold its sixth general conference under the Israeli occupation was a clear message to the world that the Zionist Ashkenazi Regime (ZAR) is no longer an enemy and that the national conflict around historic Palestine, which was supposed to be eternal in the memory of the Palestinian refugees, has come to an end, and that the West Bank Palestinians have the right to make decisions on behalf of the rest of Palestinians around the world and to give up the uncompromised Right of Return. Briefly, the conference indirectly announced that any misunderstanding or dispute (rather than conflict), between the Palestinian people and the ZAR can be solved by negotiations only.
In turn, the ZAR also sent the world a clear message, just two days before Fateh conference, by evacuating two Palestinian Jerusalemite families from their homes under the pretext that those two homes were built on a land owned by Jews. The message behind that act was clear: Palestinians are “guests” in Jerusalem and in all Palestine, and their existence is temporary!
Excluding Hamas and Islamic Jihad, all Palestinian organizations, especially those on the left and even some Arab advocates of normalization with Israel, attended the conference. None of those attendees dared to say:
“OK, perhaps those two families built their homes over little lots of land bought by Jews, but we should always remember the fact that 94.5% of Palestine has been occupied and confiscated, and the Palestinians were evicted by the ZAR”.
Evacuating the two families has another message which reflects the continuity of the Zionist policy to totally destroy the Palestinian geography, society, culture, class structure, economy, national identity and aspirations. To define what the ZAR did to the Palestinian people as “Ethnic Cleansing” as Ilan Pappe has argued is not enough. Ethnic Cleansing in general takes place in certain places and for a limited period of time. What is going on in Palestine is a continuous process which started more than a century ago and had targeted every single inch of the country and has never come to an end.
None of the attendees of Fateh Conference uttered a single word about the issue of evacuating the Jerusalemites from their homes, which reflects a drastic change in their political positions and actions. This has only one explanation, recognizing the measures that the ZAR imposes on the ground and legalizing the two occupations of Palestine, that of 1948 and the second in 1967.
The declaration of Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, in his opening speech of the conference that “Israelis are our neighbours” supports this conclusion. But, while Mr. Abbas’s neighbours dominate the entire Palestine and insist on considering it a Jewish land, another question arises: Where is his (Abbas’s) land supposed to be? Under these circumstances, the Palestinian State should be established in JORDAN!
In spite of the exaggerated use of slogans in the conference and the statements that followed it by Palestinian politicians, it is meaningless to hold a national “Liberation” movement conference under the occupation. This is also true for the so-called “Democratic Elections” which was held under the occupation and sponsored by the international community. Accepting, supporting and sponsoring the logically false political elections, by the international community are a mere manipulation; how can democracy be exercised under colonial occupation?
The main goal of the Palestinian Authority (PA) is asserting power rather than regaining a Homeland.
A visitor to the PA ministries during the Fateh conference would have found PA offices void of their employees… high rank employees did attend to their jobs. Why? Because all the important jobs are occupied by members of Fateh, who, at that time, were attending the conference. This means that the Oslo Accords (1993) between the PLO and Israel has guaranteed to Fateh power over an entity which can be called anything except a state. It is obvious that as long as Fateh holds its conferences under the occupation, that its goals can be anything except liberating the Palestinian land, the West Bank and Gaza (WBG), which was occupied in 1967, for they believe that restoring the WBG can be done through negotiations only rather than armed resistance.
In sum, the conference wanted to tell us that Fateh officials are the ones who are occupying main position in the PA ministries’ which they consider a state; the land is no longer an issue, negotiations are the only means of having a state in the WBG. In other words, power substitutes the Homeland.
The PA swallows the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)
The Palestinian leadership who signed the Oslo Accords representing the PLO was in fact signing the execution and the end the PLO. Day after day, it became evident that the PLO is becoming a mere stamp used for marketing the compromising policies of the PA. When Yasir Arafat held three posts at the same time, Chairman of the PLO, the PA and Fateh, he meant to condition Palestinians to accept the new fact that the PLO as militant organization does not exist anymore; for it has been replaced by the PA.
During its struggle against the Israeli occupation in the period which preceded the Oslo Accords, the PLO was relatively representing all the Palestinian people. The most logical and the only interpretation of Oslo accords, in my understanding, is that it is no more than a “license” granted by the central government in Tel Aviv to a Palestinian political party, a faction of the PLO (Fateh), to exercise politics in cantons in the WBG “Oslo-Stan”, which in turn means that Palestinian refugees outside the WBG are excluded i.e. not considered Palestinians in terms of their rights!
According to Oslo Accords, the PA absorbs the PLO and Fateh becomes the ruling party even before the first false elections of 1995. The PA is a quasi state for Fateh. From a national and social point of view, this ‘state’ never represented the Palestinian people whose aspiration is the “Right of Return”; it only represents its beneficiaries and supporters in the WBG. My point here is that the PLO factions which were considered, or were supposed to be the umbrella for all Palestinians, have vanished and were replaced by the PA which represents the class that benefited from Oslo Accords as a deal: “Peace for Capital”.(1)
Since the Fateh conference, it transfers the same monopoly of the triple posts of power from Arafat to Abbas; it seems that the Palestinian entity (a semi-state) is moving towards a totalitarian regime. Adding to that, the role of United States General Keith Dayton who is creating and leading a new Palestinian army formed from figures with no history of struggle in the Palestinian military resistance or any relation with Hamas; which means that the semi-Palestinian state is moving towards fascism.
Arab regimes (Qutriyeh) had never spared an opportunity to support the PA through several means:
– They did not host Fateh conference deliberately so as to give it, Fateh, a strong reason for holding it under the occupation.
– Many of these regimes sent delegations to the conference to confirm to the USA and ZAR that they are loyal to the latter and ready for normalization with Israel.
The conference accomplished its mission with minor changes in figures and positions, and a lot of declarations about their programs…etc. Designing programs is not the issue; the issue is to what extent are these programs applicable. Do the officials aim to turn these programs into facts?
The crisis is even worse. The PLO factions attended the conference, which means that all of them decided to abide by the authorization of the occupation. In terms of resistance, I doubt that anybody who works in the open air is capable of resisting the occupation!
The front is calm in Gaza, not much clashes, and rarely resistance rockets are shot against the ZAR which never stopped hunting the ‘Red Indians’ of our present times, the Palestinians.
The PA in Ramallah and the Arab regimes denounce and curse the siege of Gaza publicly without any actions on the ground. Time goes by quickly and the cold winter is at the doors. It will be even colder for the poor in Gaza whose homes were demolished by the occupation during the war last December. Those citizens who were given promises only of repair of their homes and compensation for the losses will have no shelters in winter.
The rich, the middle class and the political leaders have no difficulties in managing their own interests. As the poet Nazim Hikmat wrote, “Those who own the wool will never weave it for those who do not”.
Although Hamas has the right to have its own ideology, it can take some measures that will improve its position. It is advisable to call other organizations, social forces and different sectors to participate in ruling the Gaza Strip; design a development policy, a social reform and an evaluation of their experience in governance. It can nominate an advisory council composed of credible social and political forces to provide advice and consultation to the Hamas government…etc.
Hamas decided recently to oblige women to wear Hijab, especially school female students, and to ban men from administering or teaching in girls schools. They acted as if Hijab were a top priority and there are no other urgent issues to worry about in the Gaza Strip, i.e. the no occupation, the siege imposed on Gaza, poverty, hunger…etc.
The question is: Who authorized the Hamas regime to impose Hijab? What explanation does this decision have other than a male domination over women? This decision means that any male, regardless of who he is, has the “right” to suppress any female, just because he is male.
Is it because males are now “on vacation” from resisting their first enemy, the occupation, so they want to find another alternative and the easiest thing to do is to fight the “internal enemy”, women?
Actually that is not the fact; the issue is bigger than that. It is the culture of males who dominate women in a traditional /patriarchal society. It is even worse than that. Since the very beginning of the current Palestinian resistance after 1967 war, a deliberate policy has been designed to corrupt it (the resistance) through politicized money directed to convert fighters to employees. Fighters became more dependent on jobs and salaries. That money has changed PLO leadership from petty bourgeois militants to a bureaucratic bourgeoisie. In the end, the leadership in the WBG became a quasi regime under the ZAR, although financed by “donor” western countries and tax payers. The Donor countries, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international organizations became the sole source of financing and funding for the public sector employees in the PA bureaucratic apparatus and NGOs and International offices as well. Those salaries are the “blood” that keeps the local market alive.
The absence of a development policy made many Palestinians look forward to the end of each month to receive their salaries and buy there needs, which are mainly imported goods that are not locally produced. Many people would like to see the month pass by quickly in order to receive their salaries and go shopping!
However, in this regard Hamas regime is no different from the PA government. It adopts the same ideology of depending on donations, although from different sources. This does not change the fact that the result is the same.
The fact that Hamas practices resistance against the Israeli occupation and that it is supported by regimes which believe in resistance and denouncing the ZAR doesn’t mean that Hamas should have free hands to wipe out women’s minimum rights.
On the other hand, the West Bank will continue to be ruled by US commands rather than the PA. It will also be bribed by the Palestinians’ enemy who aims to sink it in corruption and lead it to recognize the ZAR whose aim is to force us to leave to Jordan!
The Third Alternative is Paralyzed
If Fateh, the semi-secular movement, is corrupt, recognizes the ZAR and sticks to its role as designed by USA, and if Hamas, though has not recognized the ZAR, but is unable to practice real resistance, and insists on repressing women, what kind of a third alternative is there?
The logical answer is the Left.
It should be noted that there are ‘leftist’ organizations in the WBG, but not Marxist ones. Although, some of the leftist organizations were against Oslo Accords, at least at the beginning of the negotiations, they ultimately sank deeply into the Oslo process until they become dependant on the PA. They act as a part of the PA lobby against Hamas.
The current situation is an extraordinary one. There is only one Palestinian cause which is gaining continuous tremendous international popular support. The main crisis lies in the failure of Palestinian political/military organizations to genuinely represent their people. Thanks to the international movement against war and globalisation which differentiates between the just Palestinian cause and the bankrupt political leadership.
For those who believe in making a change, to transcend dependency on bourgeois capitalist core regimes, to fight for women liberation and equality, and to practice resistance on the ground, it is necessary to draw a Marxist analysis of the situation. This might start from the right to various forms of resistance including military struggle. At the same time, a social movement to tackle the daily problems and involvement of the masses is crucial. There is no organization which would be able to get this job done other than a Marxist organization, even a Marxist-Leninist. Fighting corruption, women oppression, US domination is no less important than fighting the occupation.
The main goal that new Marxists must fight for is the two forms of boycotting:
– Boycotting the coming Palestinian elections under the occupation;
– Boycotting the ZAR and the core capitalist regimes products.
These two slogans are good enough to restore the spirit of social resistance at the national and class levels.
(1) Peace for Capital: Several peace agreements have been signed between some Arab regimes, especially the PLO leadership (later the Palestinian Authority), and Israel. The experience shows that this peace has, indeed, taken place among the capitalist classes in the western capitalist center, especially USA and Europe, Israeli capitalist ruling class, and the Arab capitalist regimes in the periphery. The main goal of this peace was to maintain and accelerate the capitalist slogan: “The liberalization of trade on the World scale”. The experience in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (WBG) also shows that those who benefited from this peace were the capitalist hierarchy starting from its center in the USA to the comprador capitalists in the WBG. Briefly, this peace did not serve or save the lives of the Palestinians in the WBG. That is why it is a peace for capital, not for people.