HAMAS affiliated daily offers (self) critique of movement on its birthday
No matter what one thinks of HAMAS it is particularly interesting and relatively rare to read such a set of pointed criticisms in one of their “own” dailies. Translated today by our Mideastwire.com (email@example.com for a free trial):
On December 14, the pro-Hamas Filistin newspaper carried the following opinion piece by Mumen Bsisso: “Major movements are not afraid of revision and reassessment, which is why the 28th anniversary of the launching of Hamas Movement last month, represents the perfect opportunity to assess its work and performance, in light of the mistakes and slips that affected it in the last few years… The most prominent of them are probably the following: Firstly, it fell in the division trap, as not many people can argue about the fact that the infighting that led to the painful division in mid-2007 was provoked… Since the first moment that followed Hamas’s victory in the 2006 legislative elections, it was clear that the movement had entered a difficult battle that was unfamiliar to it, and that its ability to overcome the difficulties that this battle entailed came out limited and weak.
“This is especially due to its sudden move from the opposition seat to power, without any preparations or preludes… Hamas was unaware of the fact that the Palestinian situation was proceeding over quicksand, and that the mines planted on its junctions and sides were enough to detonate the situation overnight… It was thus swept by the events with excessive impulsion, and without sufficient inspection… Secondly, the weak authority and administration. Indeed, ever since Hamas joined the Palestinian political system following its victory in the legislative elections at the beginning of 2006, and what it generated in terms of political – regional and international – repercussions, the imposition of a blockade on the Palestinian people – especially the Strip – and the summoning of the known Quartet conditions, it was clear that the movement had entered a bottleneck, and that all the predicaments it faced in the past were nothing compared to the one it was facing at the time.
“Hamas believed that its engagement in the heart of the Palestinian political system would allow it to appease the people’s suffering, manage their daily affairs, and politically cover the resistance’s back… But its lack of political and administrative experience in power and in dealing with the various political and services issues subjected it to the criticisms of important factions of Palestinians in the Strip… Thirdly, the loss of the quarterback. We would not be exaggerating if we were to say that Hamas lost an important quarterback following the practical collapse of the relations with Iran…, and the subsequent discontinuation of the Iranian financial backup, with which the movement overcame a large part of the effects of the financial siege that has been imposed on the Strip for many years. At the time, the movement committed mistakes in its political calculations, which it did on the beat of the changing topography produced by the Arab revolutions.
“Consequently, it adopted categorical positions that did not leave it with any political space or margin of maneuver, going in line with the specificity of the Palestinian cause and the need to maintain contact, and rally support from the active powers and various components of the nation. And the quick transformations that affected the Egyptian scene following the coup on the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas’s weak management of the file of the relations with Egypt, left the movement without any supporter or strategic quarterback until this day. Fourthly, the weakening internal status… Though [the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip] are convinced of Hamas’s position in the face of the siege, they are opposed to its insistence on remaining in power and managing people’s affairs, in light of the continuation of the fierce siege that turned the lives of the Strip’s inhabitants into an unbearable hell…
“This is why Hamas needs to present a national and responsible project, which is opposed to the previous one, knowing that one of the most important flaws that affected its political experience throughout the last stage was its repetition of the mistakes and its weak response to those advising it. We do not want Hamas’s experience to collapse or its project to crumble, because just like Fatah, its strength strengthens to the people and the Umma, and its weakness weakens the people and the Umma… No one can argue about the fact that the situation is critical, but participating in power and the administration, and being responsible for people’s lives and fates, with all that this requires in terms of strict respect of the law is one thing, and being in the opposition seat is a completely different thing.”