Concrete web-magazine

23Nov/120

Free Gaza

There is a broad consensus across the globe that the people of Gaza are victims suffering from a brutal occupation. There is little focus on Gaza, however, as long as Israel is not shooting back. And the ignorance regarding the nature of the Hamas borders on the maliciously intentional. For many, they are "freedom fighters", involved in a justified struggle against Israeli aggressors and, at the very least, the democratically elected government of Gaza.

Founded in 1987 as Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Hamas can trace its roots back to the 1940s, when the Muslim Brotherhood founded their first branch within Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood itself can be described as the pan-Arabic version of fascism, as far as this umbrella term goes to include movements of the far right who espouse a radical, chauvinist and authoritarian ideology rooted in national rebirth mythology. Because it summons the semi-mythological past of the first Caliphate, Arabic fascism is heavily loaded with political religion and a pan-arabic nationalism rather than a particular. It also draws heavily on antisemitism for its political ideology, expressed in pogroms such as those happening in Egypt during 1938.

Similiarily, the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood participated in the Arab revolts between 1936 to 1939. Violence against Jews, such as the murder of sixteen jewish dockworkers on the 19th of April 1936, was an integral part of these years, making it part anti-colonial uprising, part antisemitic pogrom. A fateful symbiosis that should carry on till this day. It also echoed similiar developements within Europe, which should culminate in the murder of at least six million jews during the holocaust. Antisemitism was and remains, a global phenomena which prospers during economic crisis.

Let's note at this point that all this was well before the foundation of Israel. Zionist settlers were targeted as much as jews whose families had lived in the region for centuries - and the jewish migrants who came to Palestine did so because they hoped to escape antisemitic violence in other parts of the world. They were not the collaborateurs of imperialism which Islamists and Stalinists alike painted them to be, because their dream of an idependent jewish homeland was in itself a threat to the British supremacy of the Palestinian lands. In fact, secular Palestinian Nationalists had voiced their support of jewish immigration, hoping to draw in the support of well-educated and well-connected, maybe even wealthy, European jews to support their anticolonial struggle.

Fast forward to the eighties. The Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, their fight against Jews defeated repeatedly by Israeli military forces, had withdrawn largely to caritative and social works, hoping to establish a lasting base amongst the population. Secular nationalists, supported by the Soviet Union, had dominated the political landscape for the longest time in the region. It was the rise of Islamism in Iran and the occurence of the First Intifada which prompted the Brotherhood in Palestine to abandon their political - and military - inactivity. Radical members had left the Brotherhood after the revolution in Iran to take up armed struggle, including a number of murders of Israeli civilians. Similiar groups propagating armed struggle were founded by Fatah. The inner-Palestinian political landscape shifted to the right, notably marked by the violent takeover of the Islamic University in Gaza by Islamist militants.

The Muslim Brotherhood did not wish to be left out on this developement and founded Hamas in 1987 - initially without announcing their political connection to the new group, to avoid a backlash should the project fail. Only in 1988, when Hamas had established itself as political actor in Palestine, they revealed themselves as part of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas political strategy has been dominated by its antisemitism, which is integral and undeniable part of its political manifesto and all its publications. It is important to note that Hamas is not fighting a war for a two-state solution or for political or social rights of the Palestinian people, nor and end of jewish settlement or to lift the Gaza blockade. Hamas political doctrine is aimed at the extermination of jewish existence. The denial of the holocaust, as with all holocaust-denial movements, is part of this programme only to enable it to be repeated. Supported by Iran, its ideological brothers and idols, Hamas has turned Gaza into a missile-base, from which in 2012 alone, by the time the recent Israeli airstrikes started, about 800 missiles had been fired into Israel. Terrorbombings and suicide attacks have been part of the Islamistic armed struggle for decades now. Hamas and its ideological brothers do not discriminate between military or civilian targets in Israel. In their antisemitic worldview, all jews are the same, paradise can only come after the last jew took its last breath.

But Hamas violent campaign does not only extend towards jews. In a similiar eliminatory fashion, Hamas roots out all signs of "moral decay" amongst its own population. It's a horribly ironic joke that Judith Butler, that posterwoman of the queer-movement, has decried the achievements of the LGBT-movement in Israel as mere state-controlled "pink-washing", while attributing some sort of progressive momentum to Hamas. Islamists offer only one thing to homosexuals: death. Similiarily, it is a mockery of even bourgeoise democracy when stating that Hamas is a legitimately elected government of Gaza. While it is true that Hamas won a majority in the 2006 elections, that was followed by the violent coup d'etat in 2008, ever since when the Hamas is ruling Gaza with unquestioned authority and by force. Six men had to suffer the consequences of this rule, though they are probably just the tip of the iceberg: they were executed by Hamas gunmen on the day the ceasefire with Israel was declared. One man was chained to a motorcycle and dredged through the streets of Gaza. Supposedly they had been supporting Israel with information from within Gaza. Naturally, there was not even a sham-trial.

The rule of Hamas in Gaza has all signs of a fascist dictatorship. Even kids are raised and trained to become fighters against Israel. It is truly worrying that groups and individuals throughout the world, who believe themself emancipatory, consider Hamas a valid ally. But not only a movement still heavily chained to the old Leninist dogma and Soviet state doctrine of anti-imperialist struggle, which can see Israel only as a tool of western colonialism and not as an independent jewish reaction towards the genocidal antisemitism in Europe, can befriend the Islamist movements of the world. Torn between the fact that the western states themselves are targeted as enemies by the Islamists, and their need for an auxilliary corps in a region that is fundamentally important for the global market, but to whose population said market has little to offer, the western world ends up increasingly supporting the radical right of the Arabic world. Close allies of the NATO states, like Saudi-Arabia or Qatar, funnel money and weapons to a plethora of militant groups in the region. Wherever Islamism is opposed by the west, such as the EU including Hamas on their list of terrorist organizations, this is not expression of a fundamental opposition to their ideology and political actions, but rather rooted in a geopolitical struggle with Iran.

Similiarily, capitalist nationstates have relied on Islamic Fascism in the past to secure continued existence of a capital accumulation from which most of the population had been excluded anyways. Despite mixed experiences in the past - the most popular example here would be Afghanistan, primarily because the United States later had to fight the very same political movement it had helped to seize power - it seems that the core of the capitalist world has little other options. In face of economic crisis and a now longstanding inability to expand the accumulation of value fast enough to allow for broader parts of the population to receive a share, there is but one way to ensure the undisturbed business for those strata still benefiting from it. And Islamism is the only mass-movement in the Arab world which is both powerful and ruthless enough to take on this role.