Hamas Has Lost Its Mojo in Gaza
Talk about being obtuse. The folks at The Palestine Chronicle, a pro-Hamas propaganda outfit operating as a non-profit organization here in the US, is trying to put the best possible spin on the collapse of the “Great March of Return” protests that have petered out after almost two years of failure.
“It’s still unclear why the organizing committee has decided to scale back on the protests,” the outlet declared in a blog post published on Dec. 26, 2019.
No, it’s not unclear. It’s not unclear at all. Hamas lost. Big time.
More than three hundred Palestinians have died during these riots at the border between Israel and Gaza, with little effect on US policy or public opinion.
In years past, deaths in Gaza would have generated a tsunami of anti-Israel sentiment in the US with rallies in every major city, but not anymore.
Hamas failed to turn the move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem into a world-shaking event that would generate worldwide support for the Palestinian cause. It failed in its effort to convince Israelis to stop the blockade of Gaza and make it easier to smuggle weapons into the hands of terrorists. And it failed to convince Israel to commit suicide and acquiesce to the “right of return,” allowing Jews to become a minority in their own state.
Attendance at the protests, which began in March 2018, had been declining, but the impending collapse of the protests became undeniable when march organizers cancelled two Friday protests in a row in November.
The cancellations prompted Neri Zilber, a senior fellow at BICOM in the UK, to tell The Times of Israel that Hamas is concerned that congregations of people could turn into protests against their regime for a lack of aggressive action against Israel. According to the Times, “dozens of protesters” had marched against Hamas after the terror organization announced a ceasefire with Israel.
In March, 2019, a year after the “March of Return” protests began, hundreds of protesters took to the streets as part of the “We Want to Live” movement. This movement, which was put down violently by Hamas with firing live ammunition into the air and midnight raids on homes of protesters (which were largely ignored by indignation junkies in the West) was prompted by the economic suffering endured by Palestinians living in Gaza.
“We want jobs, we want to live. We want equality, dignity and freedom,” one protest organizer told the BBC at the time.
The upshot is that Hamas has nothing to show for itself after more than 300 Palestinian rioters who put themselves in harm’s way were killed in confrontations with Israel. Some folks apparently want more violence, but a larger number of inhabitants living in Gaza want their leaders to start building their society so they can get on with their lives, work for a living, and provide for their families.
For all of its talk about being committed to “democracy” and “free elections,” Hamas is, in practice, a collection of top-down gangsters who impose their will on the people they have promised to liberate.
Hamas is so committed to liberation and “coexistence of people with dissenting views” that its leaders can’t even allow people the freedom to gather in the streets to protest its policies. Spontaneous bottom-up protests are a lethal threat to Hamas, just as they are to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the mullahs in Iran.
Maybe, just maybe, young people in Gaza are starting to come to grips with the central facts of Palestinian national life — that Israel isn’t going away and that in their refusal to accept this reality, Palestinian elites are consigning yet another generation of young people to pointless death and suffering.
With the collapse of the March of Return movement, Hamas is learning that anti-Israel propaganda will only get you so far in the face of facts such as this. In the long run, mass ideologies only work when they explain the facts, not when they demand that people deny or ignore reality.
Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are revealing themselves as fundamentally indifferent to the welfare of the people whose destinies they currently control. As a result, the wheels are starting to come off the bus of their anti-Israel jihad, which is ultimately nothing more than a cover and a distraction for the corrupt habits and agenda of Palestinian elites.
Good luck finding coverage of that reality in The Palestine Chronicle.
Dexter Van Zile is Christian Media Analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis. His opinions are his own.