The Palestinian Spring

You’d think that the single most anticipated group of Arabs throughout the Near East expecting liberation are the Palestinians, especially given how they’re portrayed as victims of capricious Zionists.  Well according to Amir Taheri the French Persian expert, there is plenty of movement throughout the West Bank and Gaza.

As they BBC and other international news agencies have reported recently, Gaza and other flash points throughout Israel proper are protests against rival political authorities.  Given the vicious contempt of the Sunni-Shiite divide it’s easy to see how these protest movements can easily become full-scale revolts.  Notice the complete lack of civil authority even after billions have been GIVEN to the Palestinians.

Hamas controls Gaza, it lost the leadership mandate among its people.  Diddo for Fatah, which controls the West Bank.  Both are mired in repression and neither has been able to develop a credible strategy to address the post-colonial, post peace process.  Top Hamas leader Khalid al-Meshaal has step down after 16 years.  Why?  Because he supported the Syrian Uprising.  Muslim Civilization in and around Israel will not permit a plurality of political opinions nor accept free association.  The twin benchmarks for developing a civil society.

As of this writing, three camps struggle over Khalid al-Meshaal’s succession.

The first consists of Hamas apparatchiks who wish to keep their privileges in the form of international aid.  These groups are really nothing more than organized crime controlling contraband into a highly profitable black market that dominates wherever aid is involved.  The leading candidate for this position is Mussa Abumarzouq, a former New Yorker who was extradited in 1996 in exchange for giving up his citizenship.

Second camp consists of mid-level activists deeply committed to sustaining the black market.  His name is Mahmoud al-Zuhar who is actively supported by the Egyptian Brotherhood.

To counter the rise of Egyptian influence in an area typically dominated by Iran, Teheran is promoting Ismail Haniyeh who heads the administration in Gaza.

What does Mr. Morsi, the Egyptians Brotherhood President wish?  He wants to eliminate Iranian influence throughout Gaza, he doesn’t want Gaza becoming an Iranian base.  Iranian geopolitical strategy is to squeeze a pincer movement at Israel from the Northeast (Hezbollah controlled Lebanon) and Southwest (Iranian controlled Hamas) simultaneously.

We have to wait to see if Iran will murder Khalid al-Meshaal he if promotes another candidate that will upset the burgeoning Irano-Egyptian rivalry for the control of Hamas.  Better yet would be for Meshaal to unite both Palestinian Fatah and Hamas into a single unified command.  A new Palestinian movement could emerge.  Don’t underestimate Saudi and other petro-monarchies throughout the Gulf region as they pay candidates to express their own political agenda.  This last option is palpable if only to overcome the paralysis that dominates this region.

About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
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