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Thread: Hamas recieve Qatari head and GCC aid, after condemning Syria.

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    Politics.ie Member Thac0man's Avatar
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    Exclamation Hamas recieve Qatari head and GCC aid, after condemning Syria.

    In politics it takes a while for things to come out in the wash, but this was always expected. After severing its relations with Iran due to pressure to align itself with the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt, Hamas is now openly reaping the rewards of it realignment. It first expression was Hamas condemnation of Assad, which drew a public line between Hamas and Tehran. Once armed and supported by Iran, Hamas is now drawing the endorsement of the GCC, and with that some lucrative development and financial support too. The visit of Qatari head of state Skeikh Hamid, is the first visit by any head of state to Gaza since Hamas took control there in 2007, ending 5 years of political isolation. But it is highly symbolic for many other reasons too:

    The emir of Qatar has arrived in the Gaza Strip - the first head of state to visit since the Islamist group Hamas came to power there in 2007.
    Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is expected to launch a $254m (158m) construction project to help rebuild the war-torn Palestinian territory.
    BBC News - Qatar ruler begins landmark visit to Gaza

    The PLO dominated PA has "expressed reservation" about the visit, but not in stark terms, perhaps for fear of alienating possilble Arab backing for its control over the Westbank. Instead they have called for a new start to peace talks between the PA and Hamas.

    This visit and the investment that goes with it, no doubt mark the start of a more committed relationship between the GCC and Hamas, between whom the interlocutor is Egypt, both is political and geographic terms. Both the Hamas leadership and Egypts President Moursi were persent at the recent AKP conference in Turkey. At least now we know what was being discussed besides their new found hatred of the Assads.

    Until now the GCC has simply used the Palestinian problem as a public platform to bolster its regional credability, without actually doing anything. Now with the GCC directly involved in Gaza, and apparently favouring Hamas over the PA, they seem to finally be pulling a chair up to the table.

    How will this affect GCC backed militant Sinni groups the operate in Gaza outside the direct control of Hamas? How quickly they are brought under rein might indicate how much direct influence the GCC has on Sunni militant groups. The miltia it now backs and will be funding in the strip, is Hamas, which is a startling turn around from just two years ago, when Iran's Ahmedinejad could crow about his governments support for Palestiians, via that same organisation. Tehrans influence is now confined to Lebanon, and the increasingly shakey Syria. Will Hamas come to resemble a more 'Sunni' militant organisation if these various groups are absorbed instead of withdrawn or expelled?

    - Does this realignment of Hamas, or refinement of their alliances, mean a backdoor is open to the US via the GCC? Does it mean Isreal will not be the only voice influencing US policy towards Palestinians?

    - If there is to be any progress in that regard, would there not have to be another attempt at reconciliation between Hamas and the PA?

    - Might we see Hamas fighters enter Syria on the side of the FSA?

    - Does this man that Palestinians in Lebanon may align themselves more with neighbouring anti-Assad forces?

    - Will any reconsiliation that replaces Tehrans sponsorship of Hamas with GCC money, mean any unified Palestinian representation will be more Islamist? That this move comes directly after the mandate for a new PA has been voted on could be no acccident. The PA keeps its mandate, while Hamas get their boots under the table with the aid of GCC cash. But to quote the Hamas leader from March this year where he expressed support for ""the heroic people of Syria who are striving for freedom, democracy and reform". So is Hamas to be the unelected military wing of the Palestinian cause, while the PA remains its political voice?
    Last edited by Thac0man; 23rd October 2012 at 01:53 PM.

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    This is a very important development. Israel are obviously ok with this visit as they keep a tight grip on the Gaza concentration camp. Shifting sands. The money offered is small beer by Qatari standards bur evidence of the undue sway that cleptocracy wields.
    Qatar and saudi Arabia seem to be separately jockeying for power and influence and the Sunni/Shia split suits them both.
    I guess the Palestinians will be further divided.

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    Politics.ie Member Thac0man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mary_queen_of_the_gael View Post
    Qatar and saudi Arabia seem to be separately jockeying for power and influence and the Sunni/Shia split suits them both.

    I guess the Palestinians will be further divided.
    There is no indication that any meaningful divide exists beyond the historic and current PA and Hamas one. That rift is one that is slated to be examined, with a view to ending it. So more, not less unity, seems on the cards for Palestinians.

    I would also would not draw a line between Qatar and the Saudies as regards influence. The former has acted increasingly as ambassador for the GCC in recent times, while the latter is the GCC's undisputed leader. Where goes Qatar these days, Saudi is found as well.

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    Interesting.

    I'd like to point to the following article called Hamas Rising for some more reading . The title says it all really, it fits quite well with the developments described in the OP (albeit it is an article from nearly half a year ago):

    Hamas Rising - By Jonathan Schanzer | Foreign Policy

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    Politics.ie Member gerhard dengler's Avatar
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    Great OP, ThacOman.

    A very interesting and worrying development.
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    Well constructed OP, and seemingly informative.

    You ask a lot of questions in the OP; might you be able to offer some opinions on those questions?
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    Politics.ie Member Thac0man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShoutingIsLeadership View Post
    You ask a lot of questions in the OP; might you be able to offer some opinions on those questions?
    Well what is immediatly striking is the obvious dichotomy between what has been claimed about Hamas, and what Hamas actually really was and still is. Leaving aside any judgement about the organisation itself, it has been claimed by many when Hamas and the PA split violently, that Hamas represented not only the true democratic voice of the Palestinian cause, but a multi-denominational force within it. Facts on the ground rarely backed up those claims, and now there seems a distinct lack of will for anyone to repeat them. Much support Hamas enjoyed in parts of the west, seems to have stemmed from its relationship with Iran.

    How Hamas will proceed is anyones guess. As the GCC throws money at Hamas, the PA continues to crumble for lack of finance - the GCC never delivering on promises of cash aid to them. The timebomb in the room is obviously Hamas getting stronger as the PA and PLO are reduced in strenght and infleunce. So Isreal may have to moderate its cavalier treatment of the PA, or risk Hamas walking into power by default, thus completeing their coup to take over the entire apparatus of Palestinian statehood, rather than just the reins of government.

    In the short and mid term, the GCC hijacks Irans Palestinian PR platform, and also gets to add the extensive Palestinian presense in Lebanon to its column, in what it can count on being on its side in any possible future civil war there. If the worst does happen, then with Assad gone and Hezzbollah probably routed, the GCC has Isreal in a vice like grip. Its power, not Irans, will be the one that surrounds Isreal. Post Assad, Turkish, Syrian and Egyptian cooperation, will fill out the political map of the ME.

    Now sorry to end on another question; but whose agenda will Israel have to service to maintain peace? All involved will have their demands, and the likelihood of Isreal continuing to simply pretend that no one elses opinion matters except theirs, seems unsustainable. Change is coming, but I will be darned if I can forcast whether it will be dicated in the long term by either the GCC, or nations like Turkey and Egypt. The only thing that is clear is that Hamas decided shift is historic and has massive implicaitons.

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    Politics.ie Member Partizan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerhard dengler View Post
    Great OP, ThacOman.

    A very interesting and worrying development.
    A worrying development indeed. It is worthy to note that Israel did not block or impede the visit in any way seeing that it is in Israel's interest to see the Palestinians divided. The Israelis had allowed and encouraged the growth of Hamas in the 1980s seeing them as a counterweight to the secular Fatah and the Marxist PFLP led by George Habash. The wider ramifications are profound. With the Fatah administration in the West Bank crumbling for lack of cash, the GCC influence and getting on board with the Islamist Hamas by providing them with cash is worrying for the secularist forces that represent the Palestinians.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thac0man View Post
    Well what is immediatly striking is the obvious dichotomy between what has been claimed about Hamas, and what Hamas actually really was and still is. Leaving aside any judgement about the organisation itself, it has been claimed by many when Hamas and the PA split violently, that Hamas represented not only the true democratic voice of the Palestinian cause, but a multi-denominational force within it. Facts on the ground rarely backed up those claims, and now there seems a distinct lack of will for anyone to repeat them. Much support Hamas enjoyed in parts of the west, seems to have stemmed from its relationship with Iran.

    How Hamas will proceed is anyones guess. As the GCC throws money at Hamas, the PA continues to crumble for lack of finance - the GCC never delivering on promises of cash aid to them. The timebomb in the room is obviously Hamas getting stronger as the PA and PLO are reduced in strenght and infleunce. So Isreal may have to moderate its cavalier treatment of the PA, or risk Hamas walking into power by default, thus completeing their coup to take over the entire apparatus of Palestinian statehood, rather than just the reins of government.

    In the short and mid term, the GCC hijacks Irans Palestinian PR platform, and also gets to add the extensive Palestinian presense in Lebanon to its column, in what it can count on being on its side in any possible future civil war there. If the worst does happen, then with Assad gone and Hezzbollah probably routed, the GCC has Isreal in a vice like grip. Its power, not Irans, will be the one that surrounds Isreal. Post Assad, Turkish, Syrian and Egyptian cooperation, will fill out the political map of the ME.

    Now sorry to end on another question; but whose agenda will Israel have to service to maintain peace? All involved will have their demands, and the likelihood of Isreal continuing to simply pretend that no one elses opinion matters except theirs, seems unsustainable. Change is coming, but I will be darned if I can forcast whether it will be dicated in the long term by either the GCC, or nations like Turkey and Egypt. The only thing that is clear is that Hamas decided shift is historic and has massive implicaitons.
    Very interesting; thanks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thac0man View Post
    Well what is immediatly striking is the obvious dichotomy between what has been claimed about Hamas, and what Hamas actually really was and still is. Leaving aside any judgement about the organisation itself, it has been claimed by many when Hamas and the PA split violently, that Hamas represented not only the true democratic voice of the Palestinian cause, but a multi-denominational force within it. Facts on the ground rarely backed up those claims, and now there seems a distinct lack of will for anyone to repeat them. Much support Hamas enjoyed in parts of the west, seems to have stemmed from its relationship with Iran.

    How Hamas will proceed is anyones guess. As the GCC throws money at Hamas, the PA continues to crumble for lack of finance - the GCC never delivering on promises of cash aid to them. The timebomb in the room is obviously Hamas getting stronger as the PA and PLO are reduced in strenght and infleunce. So Isreal may have to moderate its cavalier treatment of the PA, or risk Hamas walking into power by default, thus completeing their coup to take over the entire apparatus of Palestinian statehood, rather than just the reins of government.

    In the short and mid term, the GCC hijacks Irans Palestinian PR platform, and also gets to add the extensive Palestinian presense in Lebanon to its column, in what it can count on being on its side in any possible future civil war there. If the worst does happen, then with Assad gone and Hezzbollah probably routed, the GCC has Isreal in a vice like grip. Its power, not Irans, will be the one that surrounds Isreal. Post Assad, Turkish, Syrian and Egyptian cooperation, will fill out the political map of the ME.

    Now sorry to end on another question; but whose agenda will Israel have to service to maintain peace? All involved will have their demands, and the likelihood of Isreal continuing to simply pretend that no one elses opinion matters except theirs, seems unsustainable. Change is coming, but I will be darned if I can forcast whether it will be dicated in the long term by either the GCC, or nations like Turkey and Egypt. The only thing that is clear is that Hamas decided shift is historic and has massive implicaitons.
    Hard to disagree with many of your facts but I doubt Turkey or the leaders of the cleptocratic Gulf sates want a fight with Israel. I imagine Israel is just a bogeyman they use for personal consumption. Though their anti Jewish TV programmes are infamous in their rabidness, I reckon their prime motive is to hem in Iran's Shai influence. But you are right, big stakes and who can second guess those at the poker table?

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