Articles > > Glad Tidings

Articles - Addostour - Date: 2020-09-02
By: Oraib Al Rantawi

The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) brought glad tidings to the Palestinian people, especially the Gazans, of an agreement for a tahdi'a [lull or calming down] in the Strip that will ease the blockade, initiate development projects, and bring in more energy and fuel.
 
The new tahdi'a marks the end of over two weeks of rough skirmishes on the besieged Gaza Strip's borders, with incendiary balloons from one side, and air strikes and artillery shelling from the other. These skirmishes will clearly be ended with a tahdi'a based on the familiar rules that Israel has long deliberately contravened and breached, and none of the parties wants to slide into an all-out confrontation or get involved in a new war.
 
We do not know how much time will pass before the new tahdi'a falls apart and meets the same fate as its predecessors. Israel is clearly very comfortable with keeping two million [Gazan] Palestinians stuck between poverty and despair, and there is no doubt that Hamas is pouring all its efforts into prolonging its de facto authority over the Gaza Strip. I do not believe either side would object to continuing the tahdi'a-escalation-tahdi'a cycle for many years to come.
 
Amid all the news on the 'deal of the century' and the annexation schemes, over the past several weeks and months Palestinian discourse (from Hamas in particular) has been teeming with promises to launch resistance and threats of escalation until the conspiracy is defeated. We have heard resounding speeches emphasizing 'armed struggle' as the sole Palestinian resistance option, only to end up with a new tahdi'a agreement that is considered an achievement and a victory worth celebrating.
 
The new tahdi'a agreement takes us back to a question we raised in an article a few days ago: How did the resistance shift from proactivity and attrition to defense and deterrence? This leads to many more questions about the need to descend from the tree-tops of grandstanding slogans and reach a national consensus to adopt specific forms of struggle to deplete the occupation, provided that the Palestinian people are capable of bearing the consequences and paying the costs. They must be daily resistance tactics and not a 'seasonal' resistance that escalates for a few days before abating for months and years.
 
A few days ago, I listened to a Hamas spokesperson threatening to impose a siege on millions of Israelis if Israel does not lift the blockade on Gaza, and even to force them into bomb shelters under a barrage of resistance missiles. Well, if they are capable of doing so, why need a tahdi'a? Why not pursue that option directly? This is reminiscent of statements from Iranian, Lebanese and Iraqi resistance fighters that the next war with Israel will be the last, which immediately prompts the question: What are you waiting for? Let us get it over with and relieve everyone and ourselves.
 
I believe the time has come to impose high taxes on free threats, empty slogans, and unfettered remarks. The time has come to interrogate the Palestinian mind instead of simply stirring youthful urges.
 
The time has come to think with a calm mindset and act with a firm will.