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No one wants an official peace


Hamas wins the elections
Uri Avnery Social activist
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הרי חמאס ניצח בבחירות בגדה. היו בחירות וחמאס ניצח בכל מקום. את ה"ניצח" צריכים קצת לסייג, מפני שאלה היו בחירות אישיות. נבחרו מועמדים. לא רשימות ארציות כמו שמקובל אצלנו. יש לנו שיטה הרבה יותר דמוקרטית מפני שכל קול נחשב. ובבחירות אישיות נבחר נציג וכל הקולות שניתנו לנציגים אחרים הולכים לאיבוד. אז אלה היו בחירות אישיות וזה לא שלפי מספר הקולות חמאס ניצח ניצחון מוחץ, אלא פת"ח ושותפיו לא יכלו להסכים ביניהם על המועמדים בכל מחוז. אז בכל מחוז הופיעו שניים-שלושה-ארבעה מועמדים מטעם פת"ח ואחד מתוך חמאס וככה חמאס ניצח. אני לא חושב שהחמאס אי-פעם היה לו רוב בעם הפלסטיני. אני מעריך על סמך שום דבר שחמאס עומד בסביבות של 20% של הציבור. אבל היו בחירות, הוקמה ממשלת אחדות. בלחץ אמריקה וישראל זה התפוצץ, הבחירות בוטלו, וחמאס השתלט על רצועת עזה, עשה שם הפיכה. יש לי תמיד ויכוח עם העורך האנגלי שלי. אנחנו לא יכולים להסכים על המילה מה החמאס עשה שם. הפיכה נגד מי? נגד עצמם. הם ניצחו בבחירות, אז קשה לקרוא לזה הפיכה, אבל זה כן הייתה הפיכה מפני שזה נעשה באלימות, אפילו הרגו כמה אנשים. ויש לנו שתי פלסטינות עכשיו, וישראל מאוד מרוצה. היחס של ישראל לשתי הישויות האלה הוא יחס מאוד מסובך. חמאס לא רוצה שלום, חמאס הוא במלחמה אוטומטית עם ישראל. האיסלאם עשה שלום הרבה פעמים עם מדינות לא איסלאמיות, אבל באיסלאם יש בעיה עם שטח שהיה מוסלמי. שטח שפעם היה מוסלמי לדת האיסלאם קשה מאוד לוותר עליו. יש לי פה איזשהו ספר, אטלס מוסלמי מסודר לפי מאות. המאה השישית, שביעית וכו', איפה שלט האיסלאם. ואתה רואה שכל הזמן הוא מתרחב, עד לנקודה מסוימת, ואז האיסלאם איבד שטחים, ספרד כולה. ויש לה בעיה תיאולוגית אם מותר לעשות שלום, כנראה שלא, אבל אפשר לעשות הודנא במשך אלף שנה – 50 ו-50 ו-50 ו-50.‏

There were elections and Hamas won. The elections were held in the West Bank and Hamas won. Hamas won everywhere. The word 'won' needs to be qualified, because these were personal elections. Candidates were selected. Not national lists as is customary with us. We have a much more democratic method because every vote counts. In personal elections a representative is chosen and all of the votes for other candidates are lost. So these were personal elections − and it is not that Hamas won by a landslide victory according to the number of votes, but that Fatah and its partners could not agree on candidates for each district. So Fatah had two, three, four candidates in every district and Hamas had one, and that is how it won. I don't think that Hamas has ever had a majority amongst the Palestinian people. I estimate, at a guess, that it represents about 20% of the public. But there were elections and a unity government was established. It exploded following pressure from America and Israel, the elections were cancelled, and Hamas took over the Gaza Strip, in a coup. I always have an argument with my British editor as we cannot agree on the word to describe what Hamas was doing there. A coup against whom? Against themselves? They won the election, so it's hard to call it a coup, but it was a coup because it was done using violence, they even killed some people. And now we have two Palestines, and Israel is very pleased. Israel's relationship with these two entities is very complicated. Hamas does not want peace; it is automatically at war with Israel. Islam has many times made peace with countries that are not Islamic, but Islam has a problem with an area which is Muslim. It is very difficult to surrender to the Islamic faith an area that used to be Muslim. I've got some kind of a book, a Muslim atlas, showing the past centuries and where Islam ruled in the 6th century, the 7th century, etc. And you see that it always expands to a certain point, and then Islam loses territories, as with the whole of Spain. There was a theological problem about whether the making of peace was allowed; apparently not, but you can make a hudna for a thousand years: 50 and 50 and 50 and 50.

Uri Avnery (1923-2018) was an Israeli writer, journalist and founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement. As a teenager, he joined the Zionist paramilitary group, Irgun. Later, Avnery was elected to the Knesset from 1965 to 1974 and from 1979 to 1981. He was also the editor-in-chief of the weekly news magazine, 'HaOlam HaZeh' from 1950 until it closed in 1993. He famously crossed the lines during the Siege of Beirut to meet Yasser Arafat on 3 July 1982, the first time the Palestinian leader ever met with an Israeli. Avnery was the author of several books about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including '1948: A Soldier's Tale, the Bloody Road to Jerusalem' (2008); 'Israel's Vicious Circle' (2008); and 'My Friend, the Enemy' (1986).

Listeners: Anat Saragusti

Anat Saragusti is a film-maker, book editor and a freelance journalist and writer. She was a senior staff member at the weekly news magazine Ha'olam Hazeh, where she was prominent in covering major events in Israel. Uri Avnery was the publisher and chief editor of the Magazine, and Saragusti worked closely with him for over a decade. With the closing of Ha'olam Hazeh in 1993, Anat Saragusti joined the group that established TV Channel 2 News Company and was appointed as its reporter in Gaza. She later became the chief editor of the evening news bulletin. Concurrently, she studied law and gained a Master's degree from Tel Aviv University.

Tags: Hamas, Fatah, Gaza

Duration: 4 minutes, 18 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 26 June 2017