Israel Shamir: Say Not Fatah
- Say Not Fatah
By Israel Shamir
Palestinians are the freest people on Earth. They proved it again this
June, when they broke open the infamous torture chambers of Dahlan and
released the prisoners; when they sent the CIA-trained thugs packing
back to their Jewish masters. I feel proud of their unique victory:
Americans can't get rid of Guantanamo and their plentiful other jails
with millions of prisoners (more than in Uncle Joe's Gulag); Brits
can't dismantle their surveillance cameras; Saudis can't throw away
their CIA-bound rulers. Not many people succeeded in removing the
machine of fear and oppression, in smashing these Gestapo-clones of
security police mushrooming around the globe. In future Palestine, the
fall of the Gaza Preventive Security Prison will be celebrated like
the French celebrate the Fall of Bastille.
This is the people's victory over oppression. Moreover, this is
victory of law against lawlessness, for Palestine had and still has
its legitimate government, while the rogue security apparatus tried to
place itself above the law. A true people's victory, for it succeeded
without vengeance and unnecessary bloodshed. Israeli media got a lot
of mileage out of the 60 security men who asked for Israeli
protection, but actually even out of this (tiny by any measure) amount
more than half asked to return to Gaza. They knew there would be no
revenge, no head-hunting, no Night of the Long Knives, no Moscow
trials for the fighters of Fatah: the people won, there is no civil
war, no major bloodshed; the security thugs lost, and now they have a
chance to try to become men again.
Magnanimity, largesse, fraternal feelings were the hallmarks of this
people's revolution. Trying to saw discord as they always do, the
mainstream media presented this glorious revolution as a victory of
Hamas over Fatah. This is an exaggeration. The people of Gaza fought
against Dahlan Gangs, against lawless criminals who tried to establish
their rule of force and violence over the Strip. Tolkien readers may
think of the Battle of Bywater, where free hobbits smashed and
expelled the thugs of Sharkey from the Shire. These gangs were
leftovers from a sinister previous rule; they were placed in charge by
the Israeli Saruman, and their defeat was just a question of time. But
Dahlan is not Fatah; nor is Mahmud Abbas, crowned by the US and Israel
as the king of the Ramallah Bantustan. Real Fatah is Marwan Barghouti
still caged in the Jewish Gulag, and other wonderful men and good
fighters who carried the name of Palestine from the battle of Karame
to the Intifada. They are true Fatah, and their place is preserved for
them in the Hall of Glory of the Palestinian Revolution.
I know Fatah fighters; I've met them in their villages in the hills of
Palestine, taking a short rest after many years of exile and jail.
Great people, who were as upset by Abu Mazen's shameful submission to
the Israeli-American diktat as anybody. The Gaza people's victory may
mobilize them into a proper house cleaning, into returning to their
own revolutionary traditions. Dahlan and Rajoub, these security thugs
and their political allies Abu Mazen and Saeb Erekat stole, nay, they
privatized the name of Fatah, just as KGB bosses privatized communism
and the Judaeo-Mammonite elites privatized the free enterprise of
America's founding fathers. Let no Fatah fighter feel upset by
Dahlan's defeat. Moreover, they can follow the lead and get rid of the
werewolves who abused the name of Fatah in the service of Shin Bet.
Jonathan Steele correctly reminded us that "arming insurgents against
elected governments has a long US pedigree, and it is no accident that
Elliott Abrams, the deputy national security adviser and apparent
architect of the anti-Hamas subversion, was a key player in Ronald
Reagan's supply of weapons to the Contras who fought Nicaragua's
elected government in the 1980s." But those Contras, ubiquitously
present at every revolution, the Chouans of the Vendée, the Contras of
French revolution, the Cossacks of Don, the Contras of the Russian
revolution, Savimbi's Unita, the Contras of the Angolan revolution,
did have some truth on their side, and expressed some legitimate
interests. That is why we approve and support the merciful character
of the Hamas revolution: Hamas' readiness to work together with
healthier elements of Fatah for the Palestinian cause.
However, some lessons can and should be learned: Fatah leadership
succumbed to the Israeli-American temptation because of its faulty
ideology. Nationalism, this weapon of mass disintegration, was brought
eastwards by the Western colonizers in order to divide and conquer.
Until the 19th century, the East knew nothing of nationalism, for it
was then united by faith and governed by their traditional rulers, the
successors of Constantine the Great and Suleiman the Magnificent. T.E.
Lawrence delivered the bacilli of nationalism to Hejaz in his
Intelligence Service-packed saddle bag, and undermined this Eastern
unity. He promised Arabs independence from the "hateful Ottomans", but
nothing good came out of their betrayal: British, American and later
Zionist colonizers shared the spoils, while the natives became even
Nationalism is necessarily a particularist, "do it alone" sort of
ideology. In Palestine, Egypt, Syria this was compensated for by a
universalist socialism, but with the evaporation of this socialist
element, Fatah remained with its faulty nationalism, doomed to
failure. "They are nationalists like us", say the Zionists from Sharon
to Avnery about Fatah. "They will be happy with a flag, an anthem, a
Swiss bank account -- like us. They will be content with a Bantustan
But Palestinians are not likely to betray Palestine for the illusion
of independence. All Palestinians, that is, all dwellers of Palestine,
native and immigrant, need all of it, not just two percent of Gaza and
ten percent of a Ramallah enclave, but all 100%. We may have all of it
together, not by dividing, but by sharing. Islam is a universal faith,
like Christianity, and the its religious foundations are better suited
for our universal state than yesterday's nationalism, Arab or Zionist.
A similar process is taking place in Turkey, where Kemalist
nationalism has become an American ally propped up by soldiers'
bayonets, while the Islamic party is the choice of people.
People of the East believe in God; that is why Ex Oriente Lux. They
also know from their experience that godless ones have nor scruples
neither compassion, while we need compassionate leaders. Disregard the
scarecrow of "Islamofascism" or "Islamic danger". This is myth,
created by Podhoretz and his ilk, an invented threat like Yellow
Peril, Panslavism, Communism. We are not afraid of followers of Islam,
because we live with them all our life.
The nation-building process in Palestine is far from over. A new
paradigm should be found to unite its tribes and groups into one
society, dismantling the Palestinian National Authority - and the
Jewish state, as correctly stated by Avrum Burg. Separation and the
drive for independence of this or any other part of Palestine turned
out to be a bankrupt strategy. Palestine can't be divided. Friends of
Palestine and friends of Israel must work together to unify, not to
Edited by Ken Freeland
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