La monass....Ein Breira
an expression of defeatism

The news reaching the Palestinian population are mainly of three kinds: 1) News of the killings, injuries, humiliations and destruction inflicted by the Israelis on the Palestinian population. Those news confirm the Palestinians in the knowledge that the Israeli government is an enemy without pity, racist, colonialist and expansionist. A Palestinian, and any man of conscience, cannot but hate such a government 2) News about diplomatic steps, meetings, statements concerning the possibility of peace in the region and the realisation of independence within three years. The Palestinian people is tired of talks and promises. The Palestinian people has little confidence in "initiatives" coming from the US or supported by the US. These kind of news are very frustrating, even when formulated in an optimist style. 3) News about the occurrence of suicide-bombings. Details about the number of victims, reaction of the Jewish population to these bombings and its effects on the Israeli economy. Of these three kinds, the last, connected to suicide bombings, is the only one that brings solace to the Palestinian population. The popular feelings are of three kinds. a) let the enemy hurt too. It satisfy a gut's need for revenge at a time at which all other needs, material and political can barely be attended to. b) It feels like a healing medicine counteracting the feeling of humiliation and powerlessness c) It responds to a kind of popular common-sense summed up in the hope that since talks have been proved to be useless, then may be hurting the enemy will motivate them to respond to the Palestinian aspirations, or at least lead to a reduction of the repression.. It is clear that a) and b) are of short term benefits. The satisfaction of the desire for revenge and the desire to make the enemy pay for the imposed humiliations, do not prevent the continuation of the humiliations, injuries etc.. inflicted on the Palestinian population. Remains to consider c) Whether suicide-bombings is a good strategy or not, whether it is supported by the majority of the Palestinians or not, the fact is that this policy plays a determining role in preventing the implementation of alternative strategies. It is why it can be said that, in particular, the leaders of HAMAS have hi-jacked the Palestinian political agenda. Obviously this is the choice of Sharon. He has decided, for his own convenience, to consider the policy of Hamas as being that of all the Palestinians What can we expect from a continuation of that policy? Till now, the Israel government has made it a point to ensure that the number of Palestinian victims be higher than the number of Israeli victims. The hardships and sufferings imposed on the Palestinian people are much higher than those imposed on the Israeli people. Obviously, if the next violent events develop in the like of the preceding ones, the suicide bombings would be a self-defeating policy. However, implicit in the hopes of Hamas, is a belief that there is a limit to what the Israelis are prepared to endure. It is hoped that the financial burden of the occupation, will become unbearable to the Israeli public. It is hoped that with the decrease of investments, the decrease in the profits of the tourist and other industries, Israel could face an economic collapse. Let us suppose for the sake of the argument that Hasmas' hopes are right. Then, where does this leads? Say, it would lead to the evacuation by Israel of the occupied territories. Say, it would lead to the dismantling of the Jewish settlements. This would already be a tremendous achievement. However, even if those hopes were realistic, the achievements are still falling short of two main objectives of HAMAS: the return of the refugees, and the expulsion from Historic Palestine of all post-1948 Jewish immigrants. So, let us say that, forced by HAMAS' strategy, there are no Jews left in the West Bank and the Ghaza strip and East Jerusalem. What then? Then there are two possibilities. 1) HAMAS, in pursuing the remaining objectives, will go on with the policy of suicide-bombings over the Israeli territory proper, the one within the green line and internationally recognized 2) HAMMERS decides to stop its policy of suicide bombings. In the first case, HAMAS would go on exerting its "acts of terrorism" against Israel itself. At this moment, Israel being internationally recognized as a legitimate state, being the object of attacks coming from territory she has stopped to control and to rule, would pretend to be entitled to consider those attacks as being acts of war justifying war methods of repression. Israel would then not hesitate to proceed with air bombings, the kind which in Lebanon caused tens of thousands of victims. At the time, Israel had a weaker case to justify those bombings. Now with suicide-bombings continuing after the evacuation of the West bank etc.., Israel's justification would be more credible. Her hands would be less tied. Palestine has not yet witnessed bombings at the Lebanon scale. Palestine may then witness it at a larger scale. It would be enough for Israel to make sure that the sacred places are untouched, and part of the world would compliment Israel for "its moderation" and its "restraint". In the second case, with HAMAS stopping its policy of suicide bombings, and with Israel having dismantled all the Jewish settlements beyond the green line, there could be a state of uneasy peace, like that reigning at the Lebanon-Israeli border. But then, what about the fate of the refugees? There would be no pressure on Israel to negotiate the implementation of the right of return of the Palestinian refugees. From the point of view of HAMAS' objectives, its policies, in the measure in which they have some success, lead to a dead end. Either Israel, having evacuated the territories, is no longer the object of suicide-bombings, and then they will live along each other in the inimical atmosphere caused by the past Israeli repression and the suicide-bombings, or the suicide-bombings continue, giving a free-hand to Israel to inflict unbearable losses to the Palestinian population. In both cases, the right of return of the refugees becomes more and more elusive. Hamas has no strategy demonstrating they can achieve more than that. And it is far from certain that they can achieve that.. Nothing would prevent Israel from inflicting "punitive" incursions in Palestine under the slimmest of the pretexts. The fact that the end results are two countries living in enmity, would facilitate the continuous reign of the far-right on the Israel scene. I here defy HAMAS and whoever else supports the suicide-bombings, to come out with a credible strategy demonstrating it could achieve anything more than I stated. they could. HAMAS, in the measure in which you can achieve something, you still reach a dead-end. The hope that Israel will not be able to withstand the continuation of losses through suicide bombings has to be called wishful thinking, until the proof of the contrary. The hope that suicide-bombings will lead to the evacuation of the territories occupied by Israel after the war in 1967, and will also result in the dismantling of the Jewish settlements, has to be called wishful thinking, until proof of the contrary. Hamas does not consider the possibility that the suicide-bombings policy might not succeed. What if it results in the strengthening of the settlements, their increase in numbers and in size? Till now, the Israeli government has been a restraining factor on the behavior of the settlers, while being an encouraging factor in their development. But the day may come in which the settlers may get their hands on planes and tanks. That day will witness a holocaust of the Palestinian population.. It is one of the risks involved in the suicide bombings policy. The Israelis have an expression "Ein breira" meaning there is nothing else that can be done. HAMAS has adopted that expression, though not in its hebrew form. The equivalent in Arabic is "la mo-nas min..." And I am here to state that this is not true THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES,. MUCH BETTER ONES, INVOLVING LESS RISKS. They existed from a long time but where neglected. It is time we take a step or two away from the precipice and start to act rationally (to be continued)