Is there finally a voice of reason rising among the decades-old din of Palestinian victimization?
The Gaza Strip is in the grip of anarchy and Palestinians must stop blaming Israel for all their problems, a senior Hamas figure has said.
Ghazi Hamad, chief spokesman for the Hamas government, said the hope that followed Israel’s pull-out last year had been replaced with “a nightmare”.
Gaza is at the mercy of thugs, he said, and pleaded for an end to deadly clan rivalries. “Let Gaza breathe,” he said.
Such frank self-criticism is rare among Palestinian leaders, analysts say.
Mr Hamad’s comments came in an article, which was published in Palestinian newspapers on Monday.
He said they were his own views and did not represent the position of his government.
“I am not interested in discussing the ugliness and brutality of the occupation because it is not a secret. Instead, I prefer self-criticism and self evaluation,” Mr Hamad wrote.
He said life in Gaza City now involved “unimaginable chaos, careless policemen, young men carrying guns and strutting with pride, and families receiving condolences for their dead in the middle of the street.”
And he was also critical of militants who fire crudely-made rockets into Israel, saying ordinary Palestinians paid a high price when Israel responded militarily to such attacks.
Mr Hamad said Gazans should stop laying the blame for their mistakes at the door of the Israeli occupation.
“Our extreme joy at their departure made us forget the most important question: What is our next step?” he went on.
Will the publications of such statements by Mr. Hamad signal the end of his career, the end of his life or the end of a pathetic culture that has placed all problems at the feet of the Jews while achieving nothing but blood? Well, I’ll wait for a casket or several more voices joining the chorus before I believe other than Mr. Hamad, short a retraction, is simply politically through in the terrorist Hamas movement. He’s right, of course — the Hamas organization long undermined local stability among the Palestinians and Israelis while claiming it was ready to govern. Once elected, Hamas now expresses both support for and dismay at that same instability that it fostered, while seemingly surprised that the global community still remembers their historical nature and goals regarding Israel.