FRESH AIR

UPDATES

Welcome to electioneering… Palestinian-style

Aug 12, 2016 | Gareth Narunsky

Welcome to electioneering… Palestinian-style
A still from the Hamas video

For many of us, elections evoke images of big promises, political attack ads, leaders debates and corny images of politicians kissing babies.

In the Palestinian Authority, however, where Fatah and Hamas are due to contest municipal elections on October 8, campaigning works a little differently.

One example is political parties listing their achievements. A very normal part of a campaign – indeed, prior to Australia’s recent election, the government boasted about various successes – real or embellished – in border security, trade and other matters.

Fatah is boasting about its achievements too. But it’s not boasting about improving the lives of West Bank Palestinians or the infrastructure they rely on.

No, the so-called “moderate” Fatah organisation boasted on its Facebook page last week that it has killed 11,000 Israelis. It also boasted of sacrificing 170,000 martyrs and being the first Palestinian group to carry out acts of violence in both the first and second intifadas. In the culture of hate Fatah has helped to create, this is what it thinks will win it votes.

While the number of Israelis killed is fortunately grossly exaggerated, such a Facebook post should be very sobering to anyone who thinks of Fatah as moderate, or insists Mahmoud Abbas – who, 11 years into a four year presidential term is yet to face fresh elections himself – is willing and able to be Israel’s peace partner for a genuine two-state resolution of the sort most international observers envision.

The Islamist terror group Hamas, which rules Gaza with an iron fist after coming to power in a mini-coup, is also boasting. What is surprising though, for an organisation whose charter welcomes the death of Jews, is that a key boast it’s making has nothing to do with murdering Israelis or achieving “martyrdom”. Well, maybe a little.

As part of its social media campaign, Hamas has released a video portraying Gaza as a paradise. It features beautiful mosques, modern apartment buildings and shopping centres, glittering beaches and smiling Palestinians holding placards that read #ThankyouHamas in Arabic. Amongst that footage, a rocket monument pays tribute to Hamas’ deadly intent to murder Israelis.

Aside from the fact that the video contradicts Hamas’ message to the world – so easily believed by anti-Zionists in the West – that Israel’s actions have turned Gaza into an impoverished open-air prison – Hamas’ claim to be a positive force making Gaza a paradise for its residents is just absurd. Far from building infrastructure and looking after the citizens of Gaza, Hamas diverts cement and other building materials meant for civilian projects to its military infrastructure and terror attack tunnels, and currently faces fresh allegations of diverting international aid money into its own coffers.

This is in addition to the regime’s systematic human rights violations since it violently seized totalitarian control of Gaza in 2007, such as suppressing free speech, executing citizens suspected of “collaborating” with Israel and using Palestinians as human shields. #ThankyouHamas for exactly what?

The fierce rivalry between Fatah and Hamas, who have accused each other of trying to sabotage the elections, shows no signs of abating, and the losers will be the Palestinian people themselves. Even the terrorist group Islamic Jihad has spoken out and is demanding the two heavyweights reconcile for the good of the Palestinian people.

Indeed, the municipal elections come at a time when the hopelessly corrupt Palestinian Authority is struggling to even maintain its authority over parts of the West Bank. With no succession plan in place for the 81-year-old Abbas, should he exit the picture any time soon – with infighting and anarchy almost certain to ensue – the forthcoming municipal elections may end up not meaning much at all.

Gareth Narunsky

 

Tags:

RELATED ARTICLES


(Credit: akramalrasny/ Shutterstock.com)

Yemen’s ceasefire will likely have disastrous consequences

Jun 29, 2022 | Featured, Fresh AIR
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Backgrounder: The Temple Mount “Status Quo”

Jun 29, 2022 | Featured, Fresh AIR
Israeli PM Naftali Bennett (R); Alternative PM and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (C) and Defence Minister Benny Gantz  (L) (Photo: Noam Moscowitz / Knesset spokesperson)

Some key points to understand about the dissolution of Israel’s Government

Jun 22, 2022 | Featured, Fresh AIR, Resources
Image: Shutterstock

Unhealthy obsessions return to the annual World Health Organisation assembly – yet there are signs of positive change

Jun 17, 2022 | Featured, Fresh AIR
IAEA head Rafael Mariano Grossi briefs the press on Iran (Image: Dean Calma/Flickr)

IAEA Board rebukes Iran, Iran unplugs IAEA cameras

Jun 10, 2022 | Featured, Fresh AIR
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and head of Iran's Atomic Organisation Mohammad Eslami (R) speaking to media during a visit to Bushehr nuclear power plant, in the city of Bushehr, southern Iran, 8 October 2021. (Image: EPA/AAP)

New revelations: Iran apparently spied on the UN nuclear watchdog

Jun 2, 2022 | Featured, Fresh AIR
While Iran's economy is currently in poor shape, estimates are that a nuclear deal could provide Teheran with up to US$275 billion within a year and US$800 billion over five years (Image: motioncenter, Shutterstock)

International implications of Iran’s economic unrest

May 31, 2022 | Update
Hezbollah does not hide its open affiliation with Iran - as these Hezbollah youth demonstrate - but the Middle Easterners are tired of the poverty, war and chaos that Iranian proxies bring to the countries they operate in. (Photo: nsf2019, Shutterstock)

Election setback for Hezbollah

May 21, 2022 | Update
Shireen Abu Akleh, the well-known Al Jazeera journalist who was killed during a firefight between Palestinians and the IDF in Jenin under unclear circumstances on Wednesday, May 11 (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Controversy follows tragic death of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

May 13, 2022 | Update
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Italian TV: "Hitler also had Jewish blood. It means absolutely nothing…the most ardent antisemites are usually Jews." (Photo: YouTube screenshot)

The implications of Israel’s recent spat with Russia

May 7, 2022 | Update
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hosts Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in January: A new Iran nuclear deal would be a boon to Russia and allied anti-democratic forces (Photo: ITAR-TASS News Agency / Alamy Stock Photo)

Are the Iran nuclear talks deadlocked?

Apr 29, 2022 | Update
Supporters of Hamas and Islamic Jihad gather in Khan Yunis, Gaza, on April 8 to celebrate the attack on a Tel Aviv bar by Raad Hazem (Photo: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo)

Incitement and the latest terror wave in Israel

Apr 14, 2022 | Update

SIGN UP FOR AIJAC EMAILS

RECENT POSTS

India has historically had a distant relationship with Israel, but this has changed dramatically in recent years, as evidenced by the close relationship between former Israeli PM Netanyahu and Indian PM Modi (Image: Isranet)

Essay: Israel looks East

The struggle to succeed 86-year old PA President Mahmoud Abbas is consuming Palestinian politics (Image: Shutterstock)

Does Mahmoud Abbas finally have a successor?

Image: Shutterstock

Polls suggest yet another deadlocked election

The UN Human Rights Council in session (Image: US Mission/Eric Bridiers/Flickr)

Deconstruction Zone: A UN Commission’s war on Israel

(Credit: Shutterstock)

Noted and Quoted – July 2022

India has historically had a distant relationship with Israel, but this has changed dramatically in recent years, as evidenced by the close relationship between former Israeli PM Netanyahu and Indian PM Modi (Image: Isranet)

Essay: Israel looks East

The struggle to succeed 86-year old PA President Mahmoud Abbas is consuming Palestinian politics (Image: Shutterstock)

Does Mahmoud Abbas finally have a successor?

Image: Shutterstock

Polls suggest yet another deadlocked election

The UN Human Rights Council in session (Image: US Mission/Eric Bridiers/Flickr)

Deconstruction Zone: A UN Commission’s war on Israel

(Credit: Shutterstock)

Noted and Quoted – July 2022

SORT BY TOPICS