[Marxism] Very Bad Hamas

Dennis Brasky dmozart1756 at gmail.com
Tue Aug 17 09:00:16 MDT 2010

from Max Ajl's Jewbonics blog - http://www.maxajl.com/?p=4030very bad Hamas

Amira Hass<http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/what-hamas-is-really-afraid-of-1.308264>reports—kind
of—from Gaza, that the Hamas government broke up a PFLP
(Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) rally against making Gazan
electricity supplies subject to a political battle between Fateh and Hamas.
The PFLP does not put much credence in Hamas’s objections that Fateh is
mostly at fault. From the (partial) research
<http://www.maxajl.com/?p=3873>I’ve done on the topic, it is mostly
Fateh’s “fault,” although ultimately it
is neither Fateh nor Hamas’s fault. It’s Israel’s fault because it is
Israel’s job, according to the Geneva conventions, to take care of the needs
of the occupied population.

More disquieting still is that Hamas *violently *broke up the PFLP rally in
Gaza City, coming hard after it raided a
(Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine) in Rafah a few
days ago. This is hardly news—the government was not thrilled with
PFLP/DFLP/PPP May Day rallies in Gaza, and is only reluctantly coming around
to supporting non-violent protest in the border zones. Nor is this the first
time that Hamas has violently attacked independent political action, even
anti-occupation action. Hass chalks this up to a fear of losing control, and
that is part of it. A second aspect is sheer lack of creativity, alongside
an authoritarian mindset; a third is that, installed in the institutions of
governance, the population expects them to exert their responsibility, by
fixing problems.

PFLP—an unfortunate adjunct in some ways to Fateh, because Abbas is in
charge of their cash flow—and its activists are pissed off at Western
solidarity activists for “romanticizing” the Hamas government. Hamas’s
social support in April was plummeting <http://www.pcpo.ps/polls.htm>,
although it has lately surged back upwards, maybe a response to the
government’s response to the massacres aboard the *Mavi Marmara*, juxtaposed
with Fateh’s open collaboration. But support for Hamas will only go so high
if it follows its current policies, and the limits of its policies are
limits imposed by the occupier. Those are limits also imposed by the
responsibilities of governance, which is why some analysts from the
Palestinian left call on Hamas and Fateh both to dissolve their governments.

And the Left? There is some romanticization of Hamas, sure, as a resistance
movement that plays hardball with the Israeli government. That’s
understandable. What’s less understandable is any sort of solidarity between
the left and the Hamas government (see: George Galloway). There are better
people to support, people loosely linked with leftist parties, NGOs engaged
in local capacity building and educational work, groups with
anti-authoritarian pedagogies, groups that aren’t misogynistic. Hamas is
unpopular because it has been systematically starved of resources, and was
never given a chance to govern by Israel and the West. But no one forces it
to repress leftist rallies. It executes that screw-up all by itself.

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