I wrote this in March 2008, before the most recent Gaza massacre, and also before the deployment of ‘morality patrols’ in Gaza. Whilst these patrols have no official authority and have usually (but not always) dispensed their advice politely, they still give off the unpleasant whiff of Saudi Arabia, and seem at best like a diversion from more pressing problems. I support Hamas unconditionally in its resistance to Zionism (and now to Wahhabi-nihilism too), but unconditional support does not need to be uncritical.
I’ve written a great deal about Israel’s crimes. Here I’ll write about what Hamas should do. I won’t criticise its choice to resist, which I see as entirely legitimate so long as there is no real peace process, and I won’t discuss its evolving methods of resistance, because I don’t think that’s my business or area of expertise. I won’t criticise the so-called ‘coup’ in which it took sole power in Gaza, because it is now common knowledge that it did this to pre-empt an American-Israeli-Dahlan coup against its democratically-elected government, and to restore some kind of order in the territory. And I’m not writing this in an attempt to be ‘objective’ or ‘balanced’; when faced by obvious injustice I see no point in equating the occupier and ethnic cleanser with the occupied and the refugees. I offer the following criticisms as advice, in the hope that it will help the resistance meet its goals.