Hamas and the End of Palestinian National Aspirations

[New Republic, 26Jul06] Yossi Klein Halevi - Some insist on distinguishing between Hizballah and Hamas. While Hizballah is an operational extension of the Shia Iranian revolution, Hamas, they argue, represents the national aspirations of the Palestinian people. In fact, Hamas represents the undoing of Palestinian national aspirations. For Hamas, a Palestinian state is merely a means to an end: the resurrection of the medieval caliphate and the transformation of the Middle East into a single Islamist state. In rejecting mere nationalism, Hamas is returning the Palestinians to their pre-national consciousness, when Palestinians were part of an amorphous Arab or Muslim identity. The first casualty of the jihad, then, has been a viable Palestinian national identity, and, with it, the possibility of a viable Palestinian state.

2006-07-28 01:00:00

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