Hamas to recognize Israel?

Updated: 21 May 2008, 23:31

Originally written: 23 September 2006

Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas spoke to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday 21 September 2006. Abbas announced that the Palestinian government would honour previously negotiated agreements between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. One presumes the honour would be the same dubious honour as that of the previous governments of the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

Abbas’ assurances are further weakened because the reference article in the Victoria Times Colonist suggests that the government coalition which Abbas has been attempting to set up is still not assured. Apparently Hamas is balking at U.S. insistence that Hamas renounce violence and recognize Israel. Strange that the newspaper article states:
The coalition talks have stalled in recent days as the U.S. seeks assurances the Islamic group will renounce violence and recognize the Jewish state.
“Stalled recently?” Renouncing violence and recognizing Israel is the primary stated issue behind the withdrawal of aid. Perhaps there is no real progress after all, except that maybe Hamas has agreed to share power with the corrupt Fatah politicians they were elected to replace. If that is the case, one might surmise that Fatah has found a way to insinuate itself back into government by offering to refrain from stirring up unrest over unpaid wages. If so, it will just show that neither side is on the side of the workers. That is what socialists have been saying for a long time.

Capitalism has forced the Hamas-dominated government to enter into negotiations with its Fatah party enemies. Abbas realizes (consciously or effectively) that the Palestinian authority is a part of the capitalist world economy and must, among other things, pay its employees. With little capitalist production, and the state as one of, if not the largest employer, the Palestinian Authority is dependent upon foreign and especially U.S. aid.

Hamas has proven that it can get elected by using the pitiful state of the capitalist economy as administered by the previous (Fatah) government, the corruption of the previous (Fatah) government, and religious manipulation. All of these tools are used by most politicians around the world.

Hamas is apparently learning that as a government it cannot escape the rules of capitalism. Not even by real or fake devotion to imaginary spirits. The huge infusion of aid into the Palestinian Authority slightly bends those rules. The donor states currently have decided this is appropriate in order to ensure that on a global scale the rules are not broken. Although war is a necessary part of capitalism, war in the Mediterranean and which has proven it will spill over around the globe, cannot be a long term reality.

As long as wars can be contained, or only become “world wars” infrequently, capitalism can manage through them, but they are not desirable in the long term. That is, they are not desirable for the capitalists of a country when they damage the interests of the capitalists of that country. But if the wars are half a world away, stay that way, and are profit-positive or profit-neutral, then the wars are not usually a significant problem for those capitalists.

The oil-rich mid-east is economically strategic for oil-hungry economies. Access to that oil is extremely important for the oil capitalists, who not only exercise state power indirectly through their wealth, but in the U.S. — undoubtedly the world’s most powerful state representative of capital — by direct control as senior executives of the state.

Hamas began its stint in government with bluster and bravado. Although it has not, and perhaps cannot, completely shed that, it is likely that it will somehow attempt to accommodate capitalism’s demands — honestly or otherwise.

The demands are capitalism’s demands, not simply the demands of the United States. The United States is the bearer of those demands. It’s status as home state for some of the world’s largest oil companies, and its unquestionable economic and military power make it an ideal broker for capital. The United States puts the interests of its capitalists first and foremost — it is not acting as a charitable broker for the capitalists of the other states. But the other states are also withholding aid for the same reasons, with the same basic conditions attached to its reinstatement.

Time will tell us what Hamas decides. Time will also show us that one way or another, capitalism’s rules will assert themselves over any Palestinian Authority government. There are many possibilities. Capitalism’s Gravediggers is not going to try to enumerate all of them. Capitalism’s Gravediggers is not going to suggest that starving Palestinians into submission is acceptable. Capitalism’s Gravediggers is not going to suggest that blowing up Israelis in markets is acceptable. Capitalism’s Gravediggers leaves those explicit and implied beliefs to those who believe that capitalism is acceptable. If capitalism is acceptable, then the necessary results of capitalism are also being accepted, whether understood or not.

These problems are problems due to the social reality built up by capitalism and by its predecessors. Only its successor — socialism — can resolve them.
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