December 13, 2019

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Who speaks for Gazans? Good question, but be skeptical about the answer

Israel Hayom has an article by Muhammad AlZanati and Muhammad AlBuhaisi, called “Who Speaks for Gazans?”, that is most interesting.

Their bio:

Muhammad AlZanati and Muhammad AlBuhaisi are natives of Gaza who have fled to Europe and are members of the Palestinian Opposition Coalition that is under formation.

The article says in part:

Now is the perfect time for the Palestinian populace to stand up and follow new leaders. We propose the creation of a new organization that can provide that leadership: the Palestinian Opposition Coalition.

We, the writers of these lines, are two Gazans who have fled Hamas’ hell to Europe. Both of us are computer geeks with good jobs in the EU. We have made it.

Why would Gazans choose to run an article in an Israeli newspaper? The answer is simple: No one but Israel cares what Gazans think and what Gazans want.

When UN officials open their mouths before the world’s media to speak about Gazans’ suffering, they don’t know what they are talking about nor do they know what we are striving for as human beings.

When Arab dictators bleat about our rights and how Israel is allegedly crushing us, they don’t care for us. In fact, those very Arab rulers have played the greater part in creating suffering for Gaza.

When European officials talk about the need to help Gazans, it is, in most cases, a sugarcoating of their deep-seated anti-Semitism.

We will tell you what we Gazans want.

We want Hamas out. We voted for Hamas almost 14 years ago because we had enough of the corrupt Palestinian Authority. Even Christians in Gaza voted for Hamas as the lesser of two evils. Gazans have been historically more liberal and less religious than other Palestinians. This has been known since the British Mandate for Palestine was created.

We thought our lives could improve a little under Hamas. And what did we get? Hamas is more corrupt than the Palestinian Authority thugs. Even worse, Hamas labels anyone who opposes it an “infidel.” At least the PLO would not do that.

And Hamas itself is not self-governed. It is common knowledge in Gaza is that Hamas is the Palestine chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood of Jordan.

…We are Hamas’ biggest victims. The parades you see in support of Hamas are staged. Schoolchildren are threatened: If they don’t attend, their parents will be arrested.

Except for the 5,000 people who comprise Hamas’ leadership and their children, we Gazans would love to see Israel taking over Gaza again and running it under the Civil Administration, as it did before the Oslo Accords.

We do not want the corrupt Palestinian Authority to take over Gaza again. And as much as we love Egypt and its president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, we don’t want Egyptian rule, either. We want things to return to the days before Oslo.

For those who wonder what our identity and citizenship will be: Most Gazans are educated and well-read. We know Jordan’s regime stands on shaky ground. A change in Jordan would result in an extension of Jordanian citizenship to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and then, we would have peace based on facts and reality on the ground as US President Donald Trump said when he addressed the UN in September of last year. We are willing to hold Jordanian citizenship and connect administratively to Jordan, but that will require a change of the status quo in Jordan first.

This is the truth that could set all of us free.

Everything they say seems almost too good to be true.

It’s been my experience that moderate Arabs still want independence – they might hate their leaders, but very few would say they want to be occupied by Israel.

And when two people claim, in an article asking who speaks for Gazans, that they speak for Gazans when they say they’d rather live in pre-Oslo days, we should be skeptical. If that thinking was prevalent, we would have heard about people like these years ago.

There is a small cottage industry with people who claim to speak for Palestinians in terms that are nearly identical to right-wing Zionist talking points. We want to believe this so much that some Zionists are willing to fund them. But invariably they claim to have lots of followers who don’t exist.

I hope I’m wrong. I’d love to know that there is a groundswell of Palestinians that Zionists can talk to. But when things like this come out of nowhere, we have to fight the impulse to think that an intractable problem can be easily solved.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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