Tuesday, February 14, 2006

More dishonesty from the left

Yesterday, Nahid Hattar wrote and amazing article titled "looking together for new horizons". In it, he outlines a view to deal with Hamas, which he says we should embrace. Why? Because Russia is talking to Hamas and the US doesn't want us to. Sounds reasonable. Moreover, he argues that the problem between Jordan and the PA was Fateh's relationship with Israel. I had to read that a couple of times to make sure that is what he said.

The dangerous part of the analysis comes at the end, where he sees the insistence of Hamas' leaders on retaining their Jordanian nationality as a willingness and desire to reunite with Jordan. Now this is where it gets scary. We should renounce both our peace agreements, reunite and demand for full Israeli withdrawal.

Now, I doubt that Palestinian voters elected Hamas so that the would come back to the Jordanian monarchy. So, under what conditions would Hamas want to reunite with Jordan (bypassing the question as to whether Jordanians want this)? Obviously, they wouldn't agree to playing a secondary role as the IAF does here. They would look to take over. So, basically Hattar is asking for a Hamas theocracy on both sides of the river, and we can live happily ever after.

I had trouble before understanding Hattar's leftist-East Jordanian world view. Now he has bastardized it even further demanding Hamas rule on the East Bank as well, so now I am totally confused. Of course, I have written before about the strange relationship between Jordanian Leftists and Islamists, and why nobody takes leftists seriously any more.

The bottom line is that leftist thought is fundamentally different from Islamist thought. A leftist shouldn't be simply a Christian Islamist. And if Christian leftists think that they will be able to ingratiate themselves with the Islamists by using cheap political stunts, they are sadly mistaken. They simply make disposable clowns out of themselves.


At 7:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The term "Christian Leftists" is new to me. I can see why you chose to use it, but it is not representative of a political group or inclination.

As far as Nahid Hattar is concerned, I think he lost a lot of sympathy following some of the blatant comments he has made over the past few years. Maybe the "qatleh" he suffered affected him a bit too. His case is reminiscent of that of Toujan Faisal in a sense: a potential opposition figure gone wrong. I would take what he writes with two grains of salt.

At 11:33 AM, Blogger Rami said...

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At 11:35 AM, Blogger Rami said...

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At 11:36 AM, Blogger Rami said...


I'd be wary of labelling people with a thick brush. Doing so obscures much of the details.

For one, many of those labels aren't mutually exclusive, and aren't in any case, well defined.

Regarding Hamas and overtaking the Jordanian government, this is an obsession on the East bank after Fateh's fiasco in 1970. If anything, the Palestinians do not want a state on the East bank for it, ironically, coincides with Sharon's view and will forever forgo their Right of Return.

Lastly, if the contest is about chairs, the Islamists have shown they are most willing to give theirs away for the general good. Hamas offered to appoint independents as Ministers, and to keep Ahmad Qurei as PM. In Iraq, the Coalition (Shia) have too shown their willingness to appoint Sunnis as Ministers even when the Sunnis have boycotted the elections. In Lebanon, Hizballah has vowed to maintain the peace and dialogue in Lebanon at the time when it is the strongest.

The examples are numerous. Islamism, unfortunately, is a Bernard Lewis term - has old is the term "islami" in Arabic is do you think? We are, sadly, Arabizing Western interpretations of us and not attempting to analyze ourselves alone.

Jordanian, Palestinian - there shouldn't be this obsession.

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Yael K said...

Khalaf --I've been reading your blog for some time and really enjoy it. I'd like to talk to you about an initiative I've been thinking about but don't want to take up your comment space describing it. Would it be possible to email? Mine is yaeli.kaynan@gmail.com

Hoping to hear from you :)

At 5:58 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Jameed: No arguement with me. Of course, there are Christian politicians represented in the entire political spectrum who are honest and true. It is just frustrating to see some, such as Hattar, looking to gain cheap political advantage, as if it will do him any good.

Rami: No arguement with you either. I didn't say that the Palestinians want to take over. I am saying that this is Hattar's suggestion. It actually will be much more devisive than the guy intended. As for giving up power by Islamists, the record is mixed. The Iranians couldn't get them out using their democratic system, and in Sudan, they will have to be carried out. Islamists are not devils or angels. They are Humans, and it bothers me when they pretend to be angels, because if you can't admit you are wrong, you shouldn't work in politics.

At 6:20 PM, Blogger Rami said...


We probably agree on more things than we disagree. Islamism is a thorny issue, not because we (the people concerned) decided it is, but because the West convinced us it is. There is a lot of fear of Islmists - justified or not - but it deserves a rational re-evaluation. The bag is mixed for sure.

I think the label Islmist, secular, nationalist...etc doesn't tell mush about the mode of governance. Afterall, Ba'athists who are progressive, socialist and secular and anything else but Islamist, turned out to be chauvinists. We should be slightly careful and wait and see, rather than issue pre-judgements.

Regarding Iran:

"The Iranians couldn't get them out [Islamists] using their democratic system"

"The Iranians" is a bit like Lebanon's majority today - it is a loud minority that is able to exaggerate its presence. We can't belittle the figures: 66% of the votes for Najad, in a turnout that was around 70% - something not even the USA ever dreamt of achieving.

Not in defense of anyone, but to show the misconceptions. Iran was ranked 1st or 2nd in terms of democratic freedoms by the UN in 2003, its only competitor was Lebanon. Many misconceptions sadly. It is a pretty progressive country if you ever care to read its literature and watch its films. I'd advise you to visit, you will be surprised.

At 6:21 PM, Blogger Rami said...

"Iran was ranked 1st or 2nd in terms of democratic freedoms by the UN in 2003"

...in the Middle East

At 9:25 PM, Blogger Ziad said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9:26 PM, Blogger Ziad said...

I've replied to your comment on my blog regarding this issue.


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