It has been said a thousand times before, but had such advice – unite, rather than squabble – been heeded, could the status quo in Gaza have been avoided?
Alternatively, does the assertion of five-month-old Israeli plans to invade Gaza indicate that regardless of the level of political cohesion, oppression and occupation would have continued to run in favour of Israeli objectives?
The below quip was made by the Arab thinker Lafif Lakhdar on 17 October, 2008, in reformist e-journal Elaph:
The first step in recovering from rejectionism is [applying] self-criticism: admitting that many Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims are their own [worst] enemies, and that they are the ones who bring disasters upon themselves – not the Zionists, Imperialists, Free Masons, Communists, or else globalization or the New World Order – as claimed by the discourse that presents the Arabs as victims and drives them back to the stage of childish whining.
The inability of the Palestinian leaders so far to agree on a national dialogue plan [for conciliation between Hamas and Fatah] is the main reason why they have failed to implement their national goals. The history of the 20th century teaches us that no national liberation movement achieved victory while its people were fighting one another. The Zionist movement, [for example,] consisted of various political factions, but its armed [forces] were united, and there was one political [authority], and this… is one of the most important secrets of its success.
Be that as it may, in light of the events in Gaza it would be churlish to apportion the entirety of the blame upon Hamas and Fatah.
It is a combination of all of the points and figures above that have brought the current events to pass.
Hindsight is a remarkable thing, but the unpredictability and cheap shots inherent in politics render it as useful as a cracked bucket.