Israel’s war targets all Palestinians, not just Hamas

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Seen through a window, a group of Palestinians search for items to reuse in the rubble of their destroyed home in the al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City on August 2, 2014. (Photo: AFP-Marco Longari)

By: Abdel Rahman Nassar

Published Saturday, August 2, 2014

The aggression – or rather war – is not over yet. We have even fallen in the labeling trap since it divides the period following the second Palestinian intifada – if we assume it was over – into a series of wars. It ignores the successive Israeli attacks over the past few years and leaves them out of their proper context. This is exactly how the context of events is interrupted regarding other equally important issues, such as the war on Hamas or the war on the Resistance, its goals and popular support.

Israeli media – and, on purpose or by accident, some of the Arab media – is promoting the propaganda that this war is only against Hamas while it actually aims to achieve many goals. It wants to give the impression that it is targeting a part of the Muslim Brotherhood to justify the official Arab legitimization of the aggression against Hamas and even the popular legitimization, due to the outcome of the so-called Arab Spring. It also attempts to increase the gap between the Resistance factions, and is aided by the lack of media coverage of all other groups.

On the Arab level, those who claim this is a "war on Hamas" aim to justify [Israel’s] actions and even infer that Palestinians are "victims" of the organization, its plans and alliances. Some do not have sufficient knowledge of the Palestinian arena and the distribution of roles among the [Resistance] factions, especially since Hamas had abstained from responding to previous rounds, leaving the confrontation to other factions.

Amidst this confusion, the focus should be brought back to the fact that the Israeli aggression impacted all Palestinian life in Gaza, beginning with all the Resistance factions, big and small, to governmental, civilian, and even international targets. Whether we say aggression or war, it is a Zionist-American assault on "all Palestinians." This is why the policy of massacres has been used throughout the war.

But what is the Resistance? We should reiterate that Palestinian factional media, especially that of Hamas, and Arab media should reconsider what they present to Palestinian and Arab audiences. The Lebanese experience could be useful in this respect. Practically speaking, Hezbollah confronted Israel in 2006 alone. However, its media insisted on using the term Resistance to describe the response, regardless of whether other forces were coordinating with the party. This should be applied uniformly on the media’s rhetoric concerning Gaza, especially in light of the media’s attempts to separate Hamas from the Resistance and from the people.

For example, identifying the name of a faction is taken for granted when a military statement is being announced to the media. However, in editorial writing and news policy, it is more beneficial to focus on the term Resistance. Full coverage should be provided even for the small or new factions, or a sniping operation or launching a mortar shell. This would solve the problem caused by the sensitivity of some sides concerning the repetition of Hamas' name, linked to problems with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and the crisis in Syria.

This method could thwart the media plot, which portrayed the battle from the beginning as a war by proxy, between the MB axis (Turkey and Qatar) and the anti-MB axis (Egypt and Saudi) fought by Hamas and Israel, on behalf of the Arabs who are in charge of suffocating Gaza and financing the war. Although the last point cannot be denied (the closure and the financing), Israel is not working for the Arabs, but merely exploiting their differences to compensate for its failure on the battlefield.

Nevertheless, it was said that Doha and Ankara have a great opportunity to return to the region, following the major setback in their alliance with Morsi's Egypt and the arrival of al-Sisi. But geography says that Cairo will remain the main focus, as Gaza is on its borders and it controls the most important border crossing for Palestinians in recent times.

Undoubtedly, Hamas has its particular objectives. Additionally, the context cannot be broken again by separating Gaza and the Palestinian cause from the rest of the region. A major reason for the situation in the region could be caused by the absence of this cause and its removal as a focal point. The war brought this to square one. However, bringing the Resistance into political discourse will make Palestine part of the regional game once more, which is the worst outcome of this war.

It is evident that some influential Palestinian factions, such as the Palestinian National Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas, paid attention to this issue and insisted on keeping Egypt as the pivotal axis for the solution. Although the step was clearly diplomatic, Islamic Jihad – which does not have any direct political interests like Fatah or Hamas – also felt the threat of entangling the Palestinian situation into the Arab quagmire. It reaffirmed its support for the Egyptian role, albeit in a context that serves the Resistance.

In the end, this round might not be conclusive and it is likely that any agreement reached will ask Israel not to attack Gaza directly, but might not include attacks in occupied West Bank and 1948-occupied territories. But the Resistance in Gaza will not remain silent. The fuse of the current war was lit in the West Bank and moved to Jerusalem, reaching the situation that is present today.

To protect what could be considered as "achievements," the Resistance must agree, along with its supporters, that there is only one path for a resistance that unites all sides. This was alluded to by Iranian General Qassem Suleimani in his message, when he mentioned each Palestinian faction by name. The coordination for the short ceasefires in the recent war, which showed a high level of discipline, organization, and control over the terrain, should be the entry point to a unifying rhetoric and for redrawing media policies to serve Palestine first and the Resistance axis second.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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