Thank you, Hamas

A Palestinian mother embraces her daughters in Ramallah, West Bank after being released in exchange of Gilad Shalit as a part of a deal with Israel. Photograph: Nasser Ishtayeh/AP

A Palestinian mother embraces her daughters in Ramallah, West Bank after being released in exchange of Gilad Shalit as a part of a deal with . Photograph: Nasser Ishtayeh/AP

The prisoner swap deal with Israel, which Hamas has concluded through Egyptian and German intermediaries, is undoubtedly a perfect gift to the entire Palestinian people, given the deal’s auspicious timing, having taken place three weeks before the occurrence of Eidul Adha holiday.

The imminent release of some 1030 Palestinians from Israeli Bastille’s, dungeons and concentration camps is a definitive victory for and its struggling people by all conceivable standards.

Israel, the country, which has been oppressing and tormenting our people nonstop for generations, has been forced to treat us with some respect, with a semblance of parity despite the enormous gap in the balance of powers between the two sides.

Israel, after all, is effectively a superpower which also tightly controls the politics and policies of the world’s sole superpower, its guardian-ally, the United States.

This is whereas Hamas is a small, besieged and blockaded resistance group, with a few thousand militiamen, struggling to resist a Nazi-like militaristic state that is hell-bent on murdering more Palestinians and stealing still more of their land.

Hence, the success of Hamas and other resistance groups to deal with Israel from a position of near parity is a great moral, psychological and political victory for the Palestinian Islamist movement.

We should all remember that only a few months ago, Israel was demanding rather vociferously the destruction of all Hamas’s human and resistance infrastructure.

Indeed, in addition to the overwhelming joy which will hover over more than a thousand Palestinian households, the deal will encompass the entire Palestinian people because in the final analysis the prisoners’ cause is the national cause par excellance.

For many decades, Israel instilled in our minds the idea that Palestinian freedom fighters are “hopeless cases” that would only leave jail on their way to their graves!!

This deal is proving that for Palestinian political and resistance prisoners, spending one’s life and dying in an Israeli jail is not and doesn’t have to be an ineluctable fate.

This should be viewed as a strategic gain for the resistance as well as a huge morale booster for the estimated 4000 prisoners, still languishing in Israeli jails, and their families and beloved ones.

This means that the Israeli theory of deterrence will never be the same from now on. Yes, Israel is likely to seek and find ways and means to reaffirm and renew its psychological deterrence. However, the Palestinians, too, will never stop being more creative and more innovative, and, yes, more daring, in their unrelenting efforts to force Israel to meet their just grievances.

Because, ultimately, those fighting a foreign occupation are akin to those resisting rape and murder. One really exaggerates little by saying that the Israeli occupation of Palestine is an ultimate act of rape.

Hence, calling these Palestinian heroes “terrorists” and other evil epithets is the ultimate form of “fornication with language.”

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Another point, which must be featured prominently, is that protracted negotiations between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and successive arrogant Israeli governments produced virtually nothing, apart from the accumulating frustration and despair among our people.

Hence the imminent swap deal shows that resistance to Israeli aggression, terror and criminality, should never ever be abandoned because then there would be no pressure on Israel to meet Palestinian demands, however just and legitimate these demands may be.

Yes, Israel might occasionally resort to offering Palestinians some “overtures” and “gestures of good will.” But this is very much like receiving handouts and charity whereby the giver decides everything while the receiver, or more correctly the beggar, has no choice but to accept whatever is thrown unto him.

Beggars can’t be choosers

I felt I had to employ this analogy because since the conclusion of the hapless Oslo Accords in 1993, Israeli rejectionism, insolence, and arrogance of power effectively reduced the pathetic PA into a vanquished supplicant, begging Israel and the United States, for everything, from obtaining a travel permit to reach Jerusalem to releasing Palestinian inmates from Israeli jails.

Now, the resistance is demonstrating that its way pays off, because Israel knows only the language of real politik, in other word the language of force.

There is no doubt the imminent prisoner exchange deal will boost the status and stature of Hamas, not only among Palestinians but among Muslims worldwide. Hamas deserves this enhanced standing; it has earned it the hard way.

The deal is also expected to further cement relations between Egypt and Hamas. The deal asserted Egypt’s Arab and regional status as a central state which will always be a huge asset for all Arabs and Muslims and their various causes.

We hope and pray that Cairo will keep moving away from the Zionist axis and keep getting nearer and closer to the masses’ axis.

The masses, long humiliated by nefarious Israeli policies and murderous Israeli practices, hate and loathe Israel, the criminal state that doesn’t stop trying to obliterate the Arab-Islamic identity of Palestine, even by burning mosques and unearthing ancient cemeteries.

A final salute must go to those who kept Shalit’s whereabouts an absolute secret for more than five years.

Those unknown soldiers proved to friend and foe alike that there are still honorable men in Palestine who won’t be intimidated by sticks or induced by carrots.

Their exemplary determination, discipline, resilience and integrity thwarted Israeli efforts to rescue or liberate Shalit, who was being detained all these months and years, not in Tehran or Cairo, or Beirut, but under Israel’s nose, in her very backyard, only a few kilometers from Israel’s centers of power.

Finally, a word or two to Israel and its leaders

I know you are in no mood to receive advice from Gentiles, let alone from your enemy, or more correctly, your victims, the Palestinians. Your phenomenal arrogance and insolence don’t allow you to be reasonable, just and wise.

But let me tell you this, don’t you ever force the Palestinians to kidnap your soldiers; treat them with some Justice and respect, don’t detain their children for prolonged periods for political reasons, treat them as you would want to be treated.

Remember the pornographic oppression you are meting out to us, such as dumping our young men, including intellectuals, in your jails and dungeons is likely to boomerang on you.

* Khalid Amayreh a journalist based in the Occupied Palestinian town of Dura. He obtained his MA in journalism from the University of Southern Illinois in 1983.

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