Jameel Theyabi
Dar Al-Hayat (Opinion)
September 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Many do not trust the movements of political Islam that raise flashy slogans, frighten people with threats of grief and destruction, announce their resistance and rejectionism but at the same time remain silent vis-à-vis the actions of the tyrants and the rifles of the dictators that are pointed toward the heads of the “peaceful” demonstrators. I wanted to go over Hamas’s position in comparison with Hezbollah’s stand. Hamas, its Politburo Chief Khaled Meshaal, and Haniyeh and Al-Zahhar from behind him are all utterly “silent” toward the developments in Syria!

On the other hand, Hezbollah is voicing a clear position in regard to these developments, as it announced - early on - its defense of the regime of Bashar al-Assad without any maneuvering, in accordance with its agendas, interests and alliances. Hezbollah supported and applauded the popular revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and is still calling for the toppling of the ruling family in Bahrain and Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime in Yemen. However, it did not wish to uphold this position in the Syrian case, thus choosing to remain close to the regime and volunteering to promote its justifications by describing the demonstrators as being “armed men,” “conspirators” and “infiltrators.” There are even published reports confirming the participation of its elements alongside the “thugs” in the oppression and killing of the demonstrators.

There is no doubt that these contradictory positions expressed by the party toward the Arab revolutions are weakening its popularity and exposing the fakeness of its slogans. But what about Hamas, which is going through hell in Gaza? Why has it not uttered a word in regard to the oppression, torture and killing that are ongoing in Syria, despite all that is happening and is being witnessed firsthand by its political leadership? Has the movement turned into one of the tools of Al-Assad’s regime?

What is said about Hamas can also be applied to the Muslim Scholars Association in Iraq and its Secretary General Harith al-Dhari. Indeed, the Association’s behavior is similar to Hamas’s, only weaker and frailer at the level of voicing its position and opinion, despite the fact that many Iraqis are sympathetic toward the Syrian revolution. It is consequently still communicating with the Syrian regime and trying to appear “neutral,” thus abstaining from issuing any statements condemning the violence, except for the statement in which it hoped Syria would remain stable but did not call on the regime to stop the bloodshed and the killing of the demonstrators.

Do the likes of Hamas and Al-Dhari believe that Syria is only good to them if Al-Assad stays in power or are they returning the favor to the regime? Do they not realize that Syria hosts 23 million people and is not just a Ba’thist government for them to be able to justify their “faint” and disappointing silence to their supporters? It seems that Hamas is fearful about the Iranian sanctions and is not considering the sanctions of the Syrian people once the revolution succeeds.

On May 9, I wrote an article about the pragmatism prevailing over the relationship between Hamas and Syria. And a while ago, I wanted to write about the reasons behind Hamas’s silence in the face of Hezbollah’s loud voice but chose to wait in the hope of seeing Hamas’s voice resonating – as it was seen in other situations – and calling at the very least for the halting of the bloodbath. But, this is apparently hopeless as the movement seems to have surrendered itself to Iran and the regime of the “thugs”!

How can Hamas’s leaders prefer to lie on their Damascene beds while the regime has not stopped killing the Syrians on a daily basis throughout the last six months? Do they not feel any mercy or human compassion, although they have experienced the Israeli machine that is killing the women and children of Gaza and violating the Palestinian land just like the Syrian security apparatuses are killing the women and children with tanks and aircrafts?

Such people who uphold vague positions are not worthy of respect, of people’s support or their votes. One can only respect those who voice their positions publicly and who do not conceal their opinions deep in their hearts. But those standing in gray areas are “deceitful” and opportunists waiting for the moment of victory of one side over the other to seize the chance and exploit it at the expense of the people.

Although I disagree with Hezbollah’s positions that are supportive of the Syrian regime and the forces of “thugs,” I respect the party’s honesty, courage and confidence in itself. Indeed, it is not similar to the Palestinian Hamas, the Iraqi Muslim Scholars Association and others that are still reluctant and vague. Some might say that Hamas is in a difficult spot rendering it incapable of voicing its positions openly, considering that some of its leaders are living in Damascus, that the movement is receiving financial support from Syria and Iran and that entire militias from it are positioned on Syrian soil. But what about the positions of Egypt, Qatar and other Arab countries that are with it? Furthermore and according to some websites, Hamas is exerting additional “silence” after it annulled the usernames of those criticizing the Syrian regime on the forums and websites over which it enjoys influence or which it supervises. This simply means that Hamas’s leaders believe that “Syrian blood is cheaper than Palestinian blood,” which constitutes a grave mistake and tampering with the Palestinian cause to serve the Syrian regime.

What is certain is that Hamas is committing a mistake against itself, its supporters and the Palestinian cause if it believes that the Syrian demonstrators will deal with its silence as being a “golden” one. They will perceive it as being a “silence of content,” submission and approval vis-à-vis the practices of the “thugs” of the Syrian regime.


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