Comment by Khalid Amayreh
There have been sporadic reports of late suggesting that Hamas might rethink its principled stance of refusing to recognize Israel. The reelection of Khalid Mashaal as the chief of the movement's politburo may have created a certain impression that Hamas is opting for more pragmatism. Moreover, the United States has reiterated its refusal to talk with Hamas until Hamas recognizes Israel and ends armed resistance to the Israeli occupation.
Such rumors are not being circulated in the media for the first time. In fact, we have been hearing such rumors for decades, effectively ever since the creation of the Islamist liberation group in 1987.
The circulation of these rumors is not an innocent act, it is intended to create an impression that Hamas is walking in the same path that Fatah walked in when it recognized Israel and signed the hapless Oslo Accords 20 years ago.
It is also meant to create confusion and discredit Hamas, especially after the Palestinian Islamist movement more or less succeeded in achieving a semblance of deterrence vis-à-vis Israel.
The truth of the matter is that Hamas has not changed its mind about the basic issues of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Hamas will not recognize Israel for religious reasons, first and foremost. For Hamas, recognizing Israel would be an instant and clarion political and moral suicide.
In a nutshell, the bulk of Hamas supporters would abandon the movement and form a new organization in case Hamas recognized the Zionist regime. Recognizing Israel is no less than committing adultery with the Palestinian cause.
It would make Hamas look a poor mimicry of Fatah, which would make customers opt for the original version, not the imitation.
The PLO recognized Israel back in 1993, even without a reciprocal Israeli recognition of a Palestinian state. So what was the result? Did the Palestinians recover their rights? Did Israel allow for the creation of a viable Palestinian state? Did Israel stop Judaizing Jerusalem and come to terms with the right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees, uprooted from their ancestral homes at the hands of Zionist-Jewish invaders from Eastern Europe?
The answers for these questions are clear to all and show that posing the very question of whether Hamas will recognize Israel is actually a red herring.
Besides, why is the question directed to Hamas not to the myriad of Jewish political parties in Israel which don’t even recognize the very existence of the Palestinian people? Does the Bayt Yehudi (which is a coalition partner in the Netanyahu government) recognize the Palestinian people? Does Yisrael Betenu recognize the Palestinian national existence on its ancestral homeland? The answer for these entire questions is, of course, "NO."
If so, then why doesn't the so-called honest broker, the U.S., refrain from exerting any pressure on Israel and only have a fixation on Hamas?
Well, Hamas is not and will not be eager to talk to the Americans or even the Europeans. In the final analysis, the U.S. is part of the problem. After all it was thanks to America's unlimited and unrestricted support and backing of Israel that Israel has been able to spread its aggression and insolence all over the region.
Indeed, it has been due to America's obsequious approach to Israel that Israel has been able to decapitate the two-state solution strategy altogether by building hundreds of Jewish-only colonies, inhabited by die-hard Talmudic-minded Jewish fanatics who believe that all non-Jews are beasts in a human shape whose lives have absolutely no sanctity.
In fact, the United States would be utterly unable to force Israel to give up the stolen Arab land even if all Muslim countries and organizations were to unanimously recognize Israel.
The U.S. is too subservient to Jewish pressure groups to grant itself the free will necessary to pursue a truly independent and honest foreign policy. Indeed, for the US to be able to play a truly constructive role in the task of Middle-East peace-making, the US must first free itself from the tight Israeli-Jewish stranglehold.
As to the Europeans (the original sinners) they, too, could do very little. Haven't these hypocrites asked themselves who needs to recognize whom, Israel, the nuclear-armed state which also has the only super-power in this world at her beck and call, or the tormented and savaged Palestinians who have been languishing under history's longest military occupation?
Hamas will not be striving to satisfy world powers for a certificate of good conduct, it is certainly not eager to be invited to the White House or to the European Union headquarters in Brussels in order to "join the civilized world," the very same world which superimposed Israel on Palestine, leading to history's grandest theft. It is the same civilized world which had murdered millions of innocent people and called the genocidal ethnic cleansing "manifest destiny."
Hamas is not against Israel because Israel is Jewish. Any suggestion or allusion to that effect has no iota of truth. True followers of Moses have both historical and religious legitimacy in Islam.
Hamas is against Israel because Israel happens to be murderer, thief and aggressor. Israel stole our homeland, murdered our people, destroyed our homes and villages, and dispersed us to the four winds. Are we supposed to recognize a state as such, based on terror, violence and war? Were the French asked to recognize the legitimacy of the Nazi occupation of their country?
And now a last word. Israel has been negotiating with the PLO for two decades. The PLO carried out every conceivable Israeli demand, including torturing and even killing Palestinian activists on Israel's behalf. The PLO groveled at Israel's feet for too long and went to previously unimaginable extents to appease Israel.
But Israel treated the PLO as a vanquished supplicant, not a peace partner.
Hamas must not repeat the same experience under any circumstances, even at the expense of being viewed as a pariah by the U.S. In this hypocritical world, being viewed as a pariah should be considered an ultimate virtue, not a stigma.