Media filled with pictures of “uprooted” Israelis.


Media filled with pictures of  “uprooted” Israelis.

Violence breaks out once more in palestinian lands and Israel. Violence that is artfully being portrayed through images as an event. Violence between Israelis and Palestinians, between palestinian organizations and the Palestinian Authority, between Israeli settlers and the Israeli government.


The Media, primarily television, but also a majority of the Press, highlight, rank and colour events, in total inversion as to their meaning and in perfect harmony with the stereotypes that are being cultivated for years.

This however does not justify the confinement of the palestinian issue within the “Great Middle East” plan proposed by G.W.Bush.

This plan, in its totality, is an attempt to form a new, broad political framework that will incorporate certain “political oppositions” to present unstable regimes of the arab-islamic world. Alongside the formulation of this new setting of political systems in the Middle East, there is an attempted disengagement from Iraq, which proved to be unpredictable and insubordinate. The plan also includes the fomentation and threat of civil war-like situations (in Libanon and elsewhere), the distinction between a good and quiet (cooperative Islam) versus an evil and restless (resisting) Islam, as well as the unobstructed exploitation of natural resources, and many a good business.

The same plan is already under development in Palestine, where the “pacification” file was reopened via strategic operations, such as the settlers’ withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the recent political assasinations, violent conflicts, continuing settlement of Palestinian lands, not to mention the Wall of Shame which, this time, confines Palestinians within a few cities and narrow strips of land.

The plan for the “Great Middle East” and its byproducts were put to practice two years ago, yet their implementation does not seem to be proceeding smoothly.

Throughout Palestine, from the streets of Gaza to discussions held in the W. Bank and Boudrous, a small village situated by the new Wall of shame, the same feeling prevails: the enduring Palestinian people will resist subordination, with realism and determination. Let us see, however, what they have to say of all this. The following interview of sheikh Hassan Yussef, Hamas’ representative, was granted in Ramala:

   Lately, pictures from Palestine present the Israeli settlers’ withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. They also show the Israeli army suppressing the settlers’ resistance and many speak of the difficulties as well as the determination of Sharon to inforce a unilateral departure. Could it be that, this time, we are really dealing with a courageous act of disengagement and pacification?

“In fact, it is the other way around. Disengagement from the Gaza Strip is an old and repeatedly expressed thought of Sharon. For him, the occupation of Gaza has always carried more cost than benefit. For 5.000 settlers, he needed tenfold Israeli occupation troops to secure control… And there is more to this. Take a look for yourselves at the present situation and consider the facts. While international Media almost monopolize the image of the allegedly uprooted Israeli settlers (really, when did they come and settle on this land?), there is minimal talk of the Wall. This Wall fragments the lands where we have been living for thousands of years and asphyxiates our communities. Nor is there any mention of the millions of uprooted Palestinian refugees, who were forced to leave their lands and deprived of their right to return where they, their parents and their ancestors used to live until some decades ago.

Finally, why don’t we see any pictures of the violent settlement of the W. Bank, which is now developing at a scale far greater than that of the overly publicized Israeli withdrawal from the isolated and degraded Gaza Strip?

Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, as anyone here can clearly see, besides the above and other considerations as to how real this withdrawal is, is also an effective political trick on the hands of those who control the international Media and have the support or complicity of the powerful western governments. The victimization of the few Gaza settlers and the focus on Sharon’s “difficulties” provides excellent cover for more cruelty and aggression.”

What we consider innegotiable.

   Yet if this accurately describes the politics of Israel and the general situation, then where is the Palestinian issue led by the Palestinian Authority’s efforts towards a general negotiation and a peace resolution? As representative of Hamas, are you against any form of negotiation with Israel?

“There are different kinds of negotiation, agreement, and resolution. In every instance, the important thing is to know what is innegotiable, what agreements you cannot accept and what resolutions of today will definitively undermine the interests of the generation to come. One must also know what negotiation or agreement possibilities and what solutions are possible given the present and future geopolitical and geostrategic circumstances and power relations, on a local, peripheral and global level. From this point of view, it is a mistake to pursue a general definitive resolution today. We believe that, in the future, conditions will be much more favourable for a resolution that will not compromise our fundamental rights and mortgage the future of the generations to come. Our people’s rights concerning the holy city of Jerusalem or the return of Palestinian refugees, can not be negotiated or abandoned for the sake of some peace resolution. Thus, we are not opposed to negotiations in general, but we believe that, under the present circumstances and given the aggressive and extortionary politics of Israel, negotiations can only concern partial regulations. We brought all this in view of the Palestinian Authority together with other Palestinian political forces and we drew the line.

   One can understand your views, since you constitute the primary force of opposition to the Palestinian government. In this year’s elections, however, you were shown to have significant popular support and, in the elections to come, you may rise as a majoritarian trend. What will you do, if that happens?

“Our assumption of responisbility will be proportional to the people’s decision. Yet, for us, participating in a government or even gaining governmental power is not a goal per se. Besides, we do not serve personal interests. We only serve the interests and the moral and cultural values of the people here in Palestine and of the peoples of Islam around the world. If governmental power does not suffice to serve these properly, then what is the point of having it? Proposals to participate in the government have already been made to us. Some would rejoyce in seeing us trapped within a government, where –merely through our presence- we would eventually end up legitimizing decisions that serve badly both our people and Islam…”

The Government.

   Finally, do you simply disagree with the Palestinian government in terms of strategy or are you in breach with it? And with respect to Israel, are you in truce, passive resistance or armed showdown?

“With respect to the Palestinian government, both statements are true: our attitude depends on its general politics and on its attitude towards us. Of course, we do not desire to be in violent breach with it, but when it succumbs to pressure and demands from us to passively accept Israel’s murderous assaults against our leaders, our members, and our very people, things get a bad turn. When the government comes to taking measures against us, then we answer back. There is one thing, however, that everybody ought to know and especially the enemies of the palestinian people: That no matter what they do, no matter how they come about it, we will never give them the pleasure of a civil war…

As for Israel, again, all statements are true. These are issues of tactics and strategy. But really, is anyone so naïf as to believe that their aggression will cease if we subordinate and let go of our fundamental rights? We know that our resistance, in its various forms, will one day silence their guns. That day will be a good time to work on a just and complete resolution.”

Our ideology, Islam.

And one final question: What kind of movement is Hamas? What is its relationship with religion and politics? What is the core of its social plan, which gives it the power to keep developing even after last summer’s assassinations of its high-rank members?

“Hamas is not just a Palestinian movement. It is part of the global Islamic movement. Its ideology is the ideology of our people, and our people’ s ideology is Islam. In that sense, Hamas is a political movement with a religious background, from which it draws ideas and values. Hamas considers all aspects of public life -economic, political, social, and cultural-, participates in them, has specialists and academics who study them in order to make suggestions and plans. Whenever it takes part in the social organization of public life, it does so by building popular social institutions and operates incorruptibly, setting an example for the people. Ours is a movement of the entire Palestinian people, of old and young, rich and poor, that places the interests of our people above individual interests. For how can the individual interest of one man be worth more than the interest of the people…

For us, the notion of general interest is not abstract; it is specific and concrete. Hamas has kept its values and principles, and maybe that is why it is paying such a heavy toll to the occupation forces, and sometimes even to the Palestinian administration… To conclude, I’d like to say one last thing. All Europeans, both people and governments, must get to know us, talk with us and try to understand us, avoiding misinfromation. Especially you Greeks, who are so closely related to our people.”


* PhD in International Economic Relations, Technological Education Institute of Athens.

Even Thomas L. Friedman (N.Y. Times, 16/7/2005), writes: “Many key-issues have not yet in the least been regulated. Who will control the Gaza-Egyptian border… What will be Gaza’s legal status… Who will have customs and security control in its port and airport (if they eventually function, as Palestinians strongly doubt will ever happen)…? And he adds: “The answers (to these questions) will determine whether Gaza will be open to the world or whether it will become a big prison.


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