Will armed struggle lead to victory for the Palestinian resistance? Last week Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said that “the time has come” for Arab nations to arm the group with weaponry. Speaking from Doha, Haniyeh said, “We see countries of the world pouring weapons into the occupation (Israel).
“The time has come (for Muslim states) to support the resistance with weapons because this is… not the battle of the Palestinian people alone.”
Any resistance against imperialism, which can help to destabilise the West’s domination in the Middle East, is positive. Resistance is not just a blow to Israel, but also to the system of imperialism that props it up.
The resistance group has managed to hold up for over three months, humiliating Israel despite the devastation it is causing in Gaza.
But Haniyeh’s plea is a sign as to what Hamas’ tactics are to beat back Israel and its violence, Hamas wants to retaliate militarily.
Haniyeh also said in his speech that “despite the heavy price, the massacres and the war of genocide, it (Israel) failed to achieve any of its goals”.
He added Israel had only succeeded in revealing its “bloody, murderous face to the whole world after committing all these massacres.” However, there are limitations to a military strategy for liberation.
A free Palestine won’t solely come about through trying to out-bomb the enemy. Israel has one of the largest militaries in the world, armed to the teeth by the United States.
But so do the Muslim countries that Hamas is calling on, such as Egypt and Iran. Other neighbouring countries such as Yemen, Jordan and Syria can also send military and financial assistance to aid Hamas’ resistance.
But each of these states are also wedded to a global system of imperialism and competition. In some countries government-led protests have dominated in the face of fierce repression against support for Palestine.
Egypt has also sought to hold back Palestinian support on the streets to stop it from turning against the government.
In Jordan, for instance, mass mobilisations and boycotts have erupted since October. Anger is also raging because Jordan has a deal with Israel, signed in 1994, to end hostilities between the countries.
That’s why Jordan’s government pushed back protesters, making a break for Palestine’s borders. Jordan’s government has criticised Israel and dropped medicine into Gaza.
But it still receives over £333 million from the US in military assistance and allows it to station military forces within its borders to defend Israel.
And in Iran, one of Hamas’ biggest backers, there hasn’t been mass marches on the streets partly because of its open support for the resistance. But support for rulers that say they back the Palestinian resistance may wear thin very soon, especially considering most have yet to intervene in any significant way.
If rulers in these countries refuse to send arms to Hamas as it has requested, the masses that support Palestine could feel duped by those in charge.
So while Hamas’ call for arms isn’t a direct call for the Arab masses to come to the streets, it could spark just that. For example, if the Egyptian masses rose up to demand that president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi sends arms across the Rafah crossing to Hamas, this would be a direct challenge to his rule.
This kind of big resistance by the Arab working class, that defies both Israel and its own imperialist rulers, is what’s needed. A re-emergence of a revolutionary insurrection across the region is a more effective route to liberation for the Palestinians than bombs and guns will ever be.Original post