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Palestinian Islamic Revolution – On the March

15 June 2007

By Yisrael Ne’eman

It is proven once again – small determined, ideologically driven minorities are those who change history and the world while the satiated and corrupt will eventually feel their wrath and be overthrown. This time it was Hamas vs. Fatah in Gaza and as usual it was a “no contest” as the Islamic revolutionists swept the decrepit old criminal regime from power in just a few days of combat last month. As former Fatah Palestinian minister Sufyan Abu Zaida explained on June 15 to Israel Radio, “Fatah had no will to fight.” From here he explained that although they far outnumbered (4 to 1) Hamas in men, weapons and ammunition there was no leadership, no direction and no motivation. Gaza is now Hamastan. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) of Fatah, sitting in his Ramallah office “fired” the Hamas PM Ismail Haniya, but no one in Gaza takes such directives seriously. An emergency government led by Salam Fayad replaced the Hamas dominated cabinet.

Gaza is today effectively a separate entity from the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) - for the moment. Too many commentators are speaking of a bifurcated Palestinian People and territory with Hamas ruling Gaza and Fatah the West Bank. Lest one forget, Hamas won the January 2006 parliamentary elections in the West Bank even though the secular Fatah had a better showing there as compared to Gaza. The revolution is far from complete without the West Bank.

Many in the West and in Israel are convinced that Abbas should force another round of elections leading to a Fatah victory in the West Bank thereby overturning the Hamas majority in the Palestinian Parliament. Abbas imposed emergency regulations several weeks ago and is considering their extension, the dissolution of parliament and new elections. Just this morning Abu Zaida pointed out that Fatah could lose those elections making a mockery of the entire scheme. He knows Fatah is as corrupt and reviled in the West Bank as they were in Gaza. Since the mid-1990s the Palestinian Authority education system under Fatah teaches hatred for Israel, indoctrinating the younger generation with a complete rejection of the two-state solution and the demand for the destruction of the Jewish State. Today’s generation in their teens and twenties are de facto Hamas supporters. Abu Zaida’s comment is increasingly correct as the years pass. In the end Hamas will at least capture the hearts of those in the West Bank.

Palestinian society is in the midst of an Islamic revolution and thereby it would be useful to mention certain general characteristics and stages in revolutionary theory:

Stage 1 – the collapse of the old regime as a result of financial, political, social and moral corruption leading to a loss of legitimacy recognized by those in power and exploited by the revolutionaries.

Stage 2 – is a transition period. The old regime is neither resolute in its declarations or actions and there is no police or military enforcement to keep the old order in power. Shifting loyalties and a loss of purpose eliminate the will to fight and die for “the cause” since there is none.

Stage 3 – involves the rule of the moderates. Generally idealists and realists they offer compromise and attempt to behave morally while simultaneously speaking in revolutionary terms. They move to consolidate power without being absolutist.

Stage 4 – here the revolution crests with the rise of the extremists. A small self-appointed power elite institutes a dictatorship (often using violence to do so). Elections and plebiscites are banned and the ruling clique monopolizes and dominates the media. There is an army of the disciplined who are dedicated to the purity of ideas who act on the orders given by the new elite of “philosopher killers” who justify their actions in the name of absolute ideals, secular or religious. All are expected to surrender themselves to the revolutionary ideology and to die for its implementation. The height of revolution devolves into a reign of terror.

Stage 5 – is what is called “Thermidor”. Overheated, the revolution calms down and is either abandoned or overthrown as “the people” cannot live the ideological euphoria/frenzy forced on them by the radical leadership. A non-ideological dictatorship can impose its will as long as the people are allowed to return to a more normal routine.

Up to now we are reviewing the overall guidelines to revolution. When specifically discussing dictatorial/totalitarian Islam one must remember that in addition to the above mentioned, the people are expected to go a step further to achieve true revelation and sainthood through martyrdom (to be a “shaheed”) and self-sacrifice on the battlefield for the heavenly rewards of the next world. This means the use of mass suicide-homicide bombings against the infidels. Viewing history as linear and leading to a Messianic Endtime “World Jihad” becomes the means to a final end and vindication of all true believers, especially those who died for the cause. The religious power elite engage in self-deification seeing their actions as the “will of Allah” and view themselves as Allah’s emissaries on earth. More absolute than this, one cannot be.

As a result of the universalist nature of the Islamic religion, Stage 5 is far from final in any Moslem society as a re-catalyzation of the revolution can be expected when the power elite suffers from corruption and decay.

The Palestinians are in Stage 3 in Gaza and Stage 2 in the West Bank. With well armed Al Qaeda and Khomeinist extremists arriving in Gaza through the Sinai tunnels these purists can be expected to take power in the not too distant future. Were the West Bank Palestinians to be left on their own they would shift into Stage 3 and complete the overthrow of Fatah. But with Israel and the West propping up President Abbas this will take time. The continual arrests and elimination of radical Islamists by Israeli security forces will certainly slow down the process but should not be expected to halt it entirely unless the Fayad government wipes out corruption and proves itself beneficiary to the average Palestinian. This is a long shot.

Israel is trapped into allowing humanitarian aid (food, water and electricity) reach Gaza. Hamas does not need more than that. From here the Islamic Revolution can be exported to Jordan, Egypt or even Syria. Should it succeed in one of those countries is will without doubt be a nightmarish “New Middle East” for Israel.