Gaza: What Strategy for the Resistance?

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Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal gestures as he talks about a prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel, at his office in Damascus on 11 October 2011. (Photo: Reuters - Hamas Office/Handout)

By: Ibrahim al-Amin

Published Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Why didn’t Khaled Meshal thank Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah for supporting the Gaza Strip and providing direct military aid to its resistance forces?

This question arose as soon as the Hamas political bureau chief ended his lengthy press conference in Cairo. Social media buzzed with criticism of Meshal, who repeatedly expressed his gratitude to Egypt, Turkey, and Qatar for standing by the people of Gaza, but neglected to mention the others. In response to a question, he was compelled to thank Iran for its support in recent years, but he made sure to affirm his differences with the country over the Syrian crisis.

The criticism peaked when Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah broached the question last night. He seemed to have been provoked by Meshal’s failure to mention the role of at least Iran and Syria, and quoted Quranic passages to deliver perhaps more than a mere rebuke. The two countries have, after all, spent tens of millions of dollars in their Gaza efforts, making significant sacrifices to develop the fighting capability – especially the missile capability – of the resistance.

This may be the first time such an issue has been publicly discussed. Its mere mention could be seen as an attempt to make the Palestinians feel obliged for assistance. Some might reply to Nasrallah: If you want us to thank Syria and Iran, that means you helped us out of your own self-interest.

Others will say that Iran and Syria’s support for the resistance in Palestine is not all it’s cracked up to be, and that the political and diplomatic backing it receives is more effective than military support.

The point will also be made, of course, that if Hamas was not currently at odds with Iran and Syria, it would not have been asked to show its gratitude.

All these points may be valid. It is indeed not right to demand gratitude or approval for something done for a sacred cause, let alone when it is done out of religious conviction. Nasrallah tried to circumvent this by citing a Quranic passage about God being generous to the grateful.

But it is also valid to ask why this discussion is taking place today.

The ongoing confrontation in the Gaza Strip makes it incumbent to set differences aside and seek out areas of agreement. There is also an obligation to be frank with the Palestinian resistance’s supporters throughout the Arab world. They need to be alerted that the inevitable cease-fire must not preclude the goals of the resistance. This makes it necessary to reiterate points which may embarrass those who think they support the resistance, but do not respect the real underpinnings of its support.

None of this, of course, is as important as the continued commitment to the resistance. This has been proven in Lebanon and Palestine’s wars with the enemy. Nothing matters more than the mettle of the people in the occupied areas, especially in Palestine. They could carry out their resistance even if the whole world abandons them, and the mightiest power on earth cannot force resistance on people.

This leaves the matter of the resistance’s objectives, and the means of achieving those goals.

There is consensus today that the Israeli assault on Gaza failed because the resistance managed to muster a missile capability that enabled it to hit the enemy in ways that hurt. It is this capability that makes continuing the war undesirable from Israel’s point of view, and even that of the West. Alongside the resistance’s political will and its fighters’ skills, it played the decisive role in foiling the Israeli aggression.

This invites the question: What will the resistance forces’ next step be after the cease-fire?

Will they rebuild an improved military and missile capacity capable of deterring the enemy from repeating the aggression?

Or to bank this victory, will they seek a truce on grounds of rebuilding infrastructure and adopting the line of thinking that is prevalent in the region at present?

As the “forces of the Arab Spring” consolidate their rule in this country or the other, Palestine is just another agenda item that must wait.

Ibrahim al-Amin is editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.


Assad will crush AhmadinejadThe good news is that Syradian Presadiaddent Bashar Assad’s proadposal to transadfer Scud misadsiles to Hezboladlah creadates an opporadtuadnity for the US to preadvail over today’s Nazis in the Midaddle East. Today’s Nazis conadsist of Iran and Geradmany. Iran wants to open a strateadgic coradriaddor that would enextd from Geradmany to Croaadtia, Turkey, through Iran to Pakadistan. This strateadgic coradriaddor would peradmit Iran to move nuclear techadnoladogy to Geradmany and teradroradists from hot spots in the Balkans and the Cauadcaadsus to the world’s most sophisadtiadcated trainading camps in Pakistan. Assad’s deciadsion to transadfer Scud misadsiles to Hezboladlah will embolden and strengthen the anti-Nazi and anti-Iran front of the Arab states, who are backadstopped by Rusadsia and France.In realadity, Assad has already crushed Ahmadineadjad. Throughadout the past week, Assad and his iniadtiaadtive have domadiadnated the news reports from the Midaddle East. Assad has uniadfied the Arabs behind his leadaderadship, as eviaddenced by reports that seriadous negoadtiadaadtions are underadway between Syria, Egypt and Saudi about conadvenading an Arab Sumadmit, while Iran — the self-proclaimed leader of the Islamic world, is bypassed.Meanadwhile, Rusadsia is boostading Assad. Ten days ago a Russadian nuclear powadered cruiser made a port call to Syria, while bypassading Iran. Needadless to say, Ahmadineadjad was not amused, nor was he amused by Russia’s delivaderadies last week of a large numadber of advanced weapons to Syria, while Rusadsia ignored Iran.Where was Iran’s Nazi presadiaddent Ahmadineadjad as Assad rose to promiadnence as the true leader of the Islamic world, Instead of defendading Iran’s interadests by proadmotading diploadmatic iniadtiaadtives of his own, Ahmadineadjad avoided the media altoadgether by takading refuge in Zimadbabwe! As a result of Ahmadinejad’s pasadsivadity, he has lost more interadnaadtional supadport. Even Hamas — which until now had been pro-Iran — has refrained from callading for a larger Iranadian role in addressading presadiaddent Assad’s initiative,The first signs of Ahmadinejad’s politadiadcal decline emerged durading Lebanon’s last criadsis in Decemadber 2009. At that time, Ahmadineadjad called for a uniadfied Arab miladiadtary front under his peradsonal comadmand to conadfront Israel. In fact, not a sinadgle Arab state responded to Ahmadinejad’s call for war with Israel,. Even Hizboladlah stayed on the sideadlines. Only Hamas took miladiadtary action against Israel, on the basis of Iranadian secuadrity guaradanadtees, which proved worthadless when Israel took reprisals against Hamas and Iran offered no support.The rise of Assad as the chief power broadker for the Midaddle East will have a sigadnifadiadcant impact on politadiadcal develadopadments in Iraq. In brief, Ahmadineadjad has given an enoradmous boost to the appeathe rise of Assad will bring good news for his Iraqi pro-arab allies such as Muqadtada al Sadr and bad news for pro-Iran leadaders and facadtions such as the Badr Brigade, SCIRI, the Kurds, and pro-Iran politiadcians like Nouri al Maliki,

v interesting abu umar, but here's a very simple fact, which you overlook in you hypothesis while ridiculing hypothesising itself. About the what if if Syria were sunni proper, even wahabi, and hizbollah had sanctuary...overlooks the simple fact that a sunni regime in Damascus would be inevitably allied with Saudi Arabia, and hence in direct diktat from Washington, actually protecting Israeli interests -- and in the process spending far more billions than Iran and hezbollah overlooked when they spread al qaeda madness across the world. Syria being the perfect example. How do you like Riyadh in bed with uncle sam, funding and arming mulla hordes. Is their hatred for Bashar that intense? Or is it for the shia? This is where I find the Turkey-Egypt-SA group venturing off into hypothesis again, jusst like hypothetical missiles and thought of transport routes will strengthen the resistence for the next Israeli push, whenever it comes.

You didn't respond to my point, if the Syrian regime was Sunni and it backed Hezbollah, and it started a scorched-earth crackdown against Shi'ites, would Hezbollah remain loyal to it? And obviously as we saw in Afghanistan and Iraq, they didn't apply their bogus "mumana'a" conditions on to their allies and Iran and Hezbollah approved of their allies riding to power on American tanks and don't dismiss the billions that thuwar Nato in Afghanistan and Iraq took from the Americans while hypocritically attacking Hamas for taking money from Qatar. Also, spare me your bogus takhween, when the Iranian regime and Hezbollah were totally silent when their allies collaborated with the Americans or is Hamas more treacherous than Karzai, Chalabi, Maliki and Talebani? As for Iranian backing of Hamas, than they aren't the only ones and it is obvious you subscribe to the Assadi regime's "purity of arms" to mock the hatred towards it.

I do not subscribe to any regime, i'm just opposed to bankrolling al qaeda and the likes because riyadh cannot contain its wahabi aspiraitons within its own borders. and to answer your question, there are just too many hypotheses in it. Again, hezbollah would not have been in a sunni syria because a sunni syria would NOT be a part of teh active resistance, it would be eating out of saudi hands meaning billions in aid but NO arms and NO missiles hence NO active engagement. as for syria's scorctched earth tactics, we're blamed for the same against the mulla insurgency in the fontier here in Pakistan, and here's what you will understand once you read any counter insurgency doctrine: once active arms are taken up against a sitting government, no matter how dictatorial according to abu umars of this world, then the capital WILL flatten you in any way possible, ESPECIALLY when there is foreign funding, in this case overt and form numerous sources, there is simply NO OTHER MILITARY PRECEDENT.
As for hezbollah and syria, they are observing the tactics, and staying loyal, because there's more to it than the wahabi machine would have you know. Yes its a dangerous, cynical game, in which it is really not possible to know which side is responsible for more lives. as things stand, why dont your sunni darlings accept the offer of elections as is in syria right now? thing about things from a neutral perspective for a change. yes assad must now go, its not possible for him to continue, but it cannot be because turkish liras and saudi riyals cannot help thier own narcissistic obsessions and must fund weapons into sovereign states. syria NEVER saw such deaths till these do gooders started flushing it with weapons. which is the worse evil? yes the shia remained silent since it was politic after decades of oppression. such is war. why were the sunni happy over the libyan bombardment by the same americans and nato? why do they beg the americans to bomb syria? are you not hopelessly loose grounded in your arguments?
the arab world stinks of death and decay BECAUSE of arabian monarchs obsessed with self propogation, whoever they are, wahabi monarchs or secular aristocrats, or iranian ayatollahs. but you cant have al qaeda/nato/clandestine agencies sow poision and plant IEDs to do it. Support other, more sane ways please.

Hypocrites of the "Resistance" engaging in shamata and tashaffi towards Hamas because it didn't side with their beloved Bashar. The pertinent question is if the shoe was on the other foot, would they apply the same standard? If Bashar was Sunni and he was engaging in a scorched-earth policy against Shi'ites, and Hezbollah was hosted by Bashar and they turned their back towards him after he began to oppress their people, would we be hearing these hypocritical naysayers? And there is no need for hypotheticals, as clearly Hezbollah and Iranian regime had no qualms when their allies came to power on American tanks, even though they played a double game, nor did they utter a single word of takhween against their thuwar Nato. And if "mumana'a" and fighting for the Palestinian cause is the raison d'etre, than why doesn't the liberation of Palestine from Umar and Salah ad-Din amount to anything from the hypocritical sectarians of the "Resistance". Why didn't they apply this standard to the Palestinian resistance in Lebanon, instead of the many wars waged upon it by the Assadi regime and its cronies? Go engage in self-criticism amongst yourselves, instead of considering Hamas more treacherous than Chalabi, Karzai, Maliki, and Jalal Talebani, as the Palestinian people don't need lessons in this regard as they have a long history in confronting their traitors and many of them will staunchly oppose Hamas if it capitulates to the West.

Let me be honost and say that all of you asking a lot of Turkey... maybe not realising that Turkey has been indirectly ruled by zionist for a long time. Just some 8 years ago, we could not enter any school or university if we had our head covered and choosed to live like muslims. Some 40 years ago it was forbidden in Turkey to call for Azan in the original Quranic language. Now since Erdogan, things are changing finally, ofcourse not so speady as we wished but ok. Not only the government but also the Turkish army was almost all ocupied by zionist Turks. Erdogan tries to kick these out, but still some generals stayed. Just yesterday two of these generals were been interrogated and accused of high treason to the Turkish nation. This Zionist regime created also the Pkk denying the simple human rights of the Kurds. Do some of you know the saying Divide and conquere? We all know that this did not only happened in Turkey. Erdogan knows that he has not the capacity to take America or Israël on. Not yet....To get out of Nato or whatever, would be a suïcide act anyway. To do things like that he needs to change the constitution, andere belief me he is working on IT, of he does not, the muslims Turks will bring another leader on power who will.
We Turks know that there will be a time that we will not depend on zionist Nato, UN or whatever. Till then would pleas our moslim brothern and sistern not attack each other. If we muslims cannot come together, we will never prevail. Do you not see the big madia machinery of the zionists? As Erdogan said last tuesday; fight them with any power; if you can with your army, if not than with your words, if not than hate them with your hart. These so called muslims who throw mud at other muslims are making the zionist very happy, dont they see? They have agents all over the online newspapers and these are laughing that muslims cant stop killing eachother. Wake up!

It is long overdue, that hizbullah and Iran assist syria militarilly and decisifully , and not only moral support. Iran and hisb have not weighed in on syria's side( in my opinion ), because the do not want to fully allienate sunni groups like hamas and egypt regime, still hoping to win them to their side or at least to maintain good relations. What Hizb and Iran should realize is that Hamas and egypt regime have already taken sides against Syrai and unless Iran and Hizbullah ACT now, they will find themselves losers on both fronts : No syrian support and no good relations with the palestenians and egyptians.


Is it in Iran's self-interest to arm Palestinians against Israel all these years, or is it in Palestine's interest? The truth of the matter is that Iran has promoted Muslim unity and has shirked from trying to impose its views on other Muslim countries, but requests them to be independent from the non-Muslim bloc and focus on securing a prosperous union of Islamic countries. "The believers consult with one another ... are tough against the ungodly and are merciful amongst themselves" - the Koranic line precludes one group of Muslims imperially dominating another group.
As for the thanks which is indeed due, the point Nasrallah makes is correct. Nasrallah demands why Hamas is acting treacherously, biting the hand that feeds it? If Syria's Assad was so evil, why enjoy his military support and financial backing for so long? Iran will continue its support for the Muslim community, despite being alone for the last 30 years, despite being betrayed by Saudi Arabia (who wants Iran attacked), Egypt's Mursi (who decided to embarrass Iran on his trip there) and Hamas.

Yes, we've seen the bogus "Islamic unity" from Iran spending millions to spread the creed of takfeer of Abu Bakr and Umar and favouring "La ilah illa Bashar" and "Bashar Akbar" and prostrating to the pictures of Bashar over them. We've seen them and their hypocritical allies engage in hypocritical takhween while they support their allies who came to power on American tanks and took billions from the Americans. Hamas isn't obligated to support the criminal Bashar, even if he supported them, and Nasrallah should return the millions that he got from Qatar using your logic. The hypocrites of the "Resistance" wanted Hamas to be just like the shabeeh Ahmad Jibril, and why aren't they attacking Islamic Jihad, which is close to Iran, as they refused to stand with Bashar?

@ Abu Umar

That bit about "there is No God but Bashar" is just useless wahhabi propaganda and you know it.

No, I don't know it and don't put your lies in my mouth. I read your ridiculous menhebkji rant, you should audition for Ad-Dunya.

He didn't thank Syria and Iran because quite frankly he can't... He is not in a position to because he is taking his orders from the Muslim Brotherhood which is trying to consolidate its political power base in the region..

Is it not obvious enough for you : He thanked Turkey( Nato member), Qatar( US Airbase) anf Egypt ( camp david). He also thanked Syria by having his terrorists in syria fight against the syrian army that trained them and gave them weapons and sanctuary. Is it also not obvious that Hamas is a part of the Muslim Brotherhood alliance which include Egypt Turkey Libya and Tunisia, and possibly Syria( if the regime falls). This alliance will be allied to NATO, and directed against Shias ( Iran , Hizballah, Iraq).
Wake up and see things as they are and as you wish them to be !

I fully agree with the idea that helping the resistance in Falasteen is and must always be a thankless job for those who truly help in action and not just words like Mursi's and Erdogan's. The murderous zionist state will continue to be a threat. The spineless nation leaders of Turkey and Egypt who are beholden to their interests with the zionist main supporter - the US - will find themselves at one point at odds with the events on the ground. Does Egypt and Turkey risk their necks with their American masters and send the palestinian rockets? Do they allow the palestinians to have military training on their soil. The people who are doing the fighting and resisting in Falasteen know who their real supporters are. That's all that matters.

You are wrong : the leaders of turkey ( and qatar and saudi arabia for that matter are NOT spineless). Witness what they are doing in Syris. The simle fact which you do not want to see is that these countries are simply on the other side .

It's as simple as that? Ok genius. In this sense spineless means that the countries that I mentioned pay only lip service to the palestinian people but do not support it in action lest they upset their masters. If they were supporting the palestinian resistance in action, then their standing with the Americans will be the same as that of the Iranians and Syrian regime. That's why I called them spineless. Another epithet which might apply is hypocrite. Ok genius. You're a little too free in your thinking (sarcastically speaking) that you ventured into the territory of the irrelevant.

So when your buddies were riding American tanks into power and the Americans were cementing their rule, where was Iran, Hezbollah and their non-existent takhween?

I do not call myself genius ( even though many people do ) , but I am not stuck inside a prison of thoughts that I cannot get out from, like you are. You are insisting that Turkey fight Israel, and when they do not you call them spineless. Had it occurred to you that Turkey do NOT want to fight Israel because they do NOT consider them enemies .This is their belief and is not imposed on them by the americans. Similat to March14, they would rather fight Hizbullah and not Israel, and has nothing to do with spines, but this is their conviction of who they believe is the enemy.
Last word, in case you have not noticed, there is a growing trend among sunnis of all types (secular, religious, nationalist all included), including unfortunately most palestenians, who consider the shia to be their mortal enemy and not Israel. Look aroun you with an open mind and think. See what is reality and not your version of how things should be.

Loool anonymous, what have the minority Muslim Shia done to be considered the majority Sunni Muslim people's main enemy? Last I knew it was Salafists who believe they can kill Shia based on their beliefs and not Shia who can kill Sunnis based on their beliefs... I think you watch too much Al Arabiya TV... I am Shia and I take what you have said as an insult..but I will forgive you for your ignorance...I think you have just shown us your true are a true sectarian...

you totally misunderstood my point I am NOT sunni, and do not care about religion or secterianism, but I am just making an observation on the growing sectarian outlook of many sunnis( palestenians, gulf arabs) who have now replaced Israel by Iran and the Shias as their enemy Of course I am against this, and I just wanted to mention this to ( mainly shias) those who are living in the fantasy of a unified struggle against Israel. Look at the destruction and death that this anti Shia war has brought on the region ( do not go very far, start with Saddam Hussein ), and compare it with the destruction resulting from Israel's aggression. The shia (in my humble opinion should just mind their own business and let the sunnis solve their problems with Israel. By the way, until recently, the syrian sunnis were NOT sectarian, but this may change as we witnessed in lebanon as a result of growing saudi influence.

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