This is a collection of essays which throws some light on one of the most intriguing aspects of Palestinian life, particularly since the Hamas takeover of national politics in the Palestinian Authority in general in early 2006, and more specifically in Gaza after June 2007, as a breakaway government which constantly challenges and erodes the power of the elected president Mahmud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen. Under the Accords they reached with the Israeli government in September 1993, through which they realized their dream, the Palestinian Authority, while accusing Israel of continued 'occupation', has succeeding in forcing it to submit to international pressures and to yield more land, even though the Palestinians have done little to respect their own obligations of collecting illegal arms, putting an end to terrorism, arresting perpetrators of terror in Israel, and trying or extraditing them to Israel. Under the impact of the Hamas which was breathing down their neck and rejecting the Oslo Accords as a 'sell-out' to the Zionists, the PLO leadership who also managed the Authority found themselves losing ground constantly to the Hamas, which became permanently fundamentally stronger through dispensing welfare to the poor, criticizing the corrupt Authority, providing religious solace for the misery of life and gaining the confidence of their masses by engaging in Islamikaze (self-sacrificing) actions. In the process, they competed for mayoralties of cities and towns in the West Bank and Gaza, for student bodies at universities and for professional associations such as lawyers, doctors, architects, engineers, accountants and the like, generally achieving resounding victories. Thus the Hamas declared itself as a challenge and an alternative to the PLO rule, by virtue of its rejection of Oslo, and its refusal to participate in the first general elections of 1995 which would have legitimized the Authority that derived its existence from those same Oslo Accords, and its continued criticism of the Palestinian government from the outside. The death of legendary Arafat, who was the symbol that all Palestinian factions adulated, and the rise of comparatively moderate Abu Mazen, who declared his will to strike a compromise with Israel, gave the final impetus to the dramatic rise of the Hamas in Palestinian politics. Its leaders, who sensed that their time had come, consented this time to compete in the elections and won their stunning victory while the veteran PLO, which was shocked by the results that unseated him from power, became the unwilling opposition party. As the Hamas became the government of the Palestinians, incurring in the process the wrath of the Americans, the Israelis and some Europeans due to its refusal to deal with Israel, to accept the commitments of the PLO under Oslo or to cease terrorism, it is feared that difficult days lie ahead for the Palestinians and the Middle East. While the question of the rapport of force between church and state in the Palestinian entity seems to have been decided for now, it remains to be seen how stable that resolution will be and how the Annapolis Conference of December 2007 which has clearly favoured and embraced the PLO and rejected Hamas and its intransigence, will decide that struggle between the two main factions of the Palestinian entity.
Author : Raphael Israeli Release : 2008 Publisher : ISBN : File Size : 32.2 MB Format : PDF, Kindle Download : 910 Read : 790