The Impact of Palestinian Democratic Transformation on HAMAS's Political Discourse 2006-2012

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Ibrahim Mohammad Saleh Dahbour
The Impact of Palestinian Democratic Transformation on HAMAS's Political Discourse 2006-20121.63 MB

This study aims at examining the Palestinian democratic transformation, and its impact on the political discourse of the Islamic Resistance Movement "Hamas", between 2006 AD-2012 AD, who won the 2006 elections that influenced its political discourse. The researcher tries to trace Hamas' attitude change towards issues, such as: resistance, peace process, and political partnership. To answer the questions of the study, and to examine its hypotheses (that Hamas' political stances have changed after winning the second legislative elections, while still stick to its fundamental philosophy), the study tested indicators including: Hamas Charter, remarks and statements of a set of the movement leaders, ministers deputies, its election manifesto and the national reconciliation agreements it sought. The research lies in :an introduction, five chapters, and a conclusion. Content analysis approach and discourse analysis was followed. The introduction contained at the study importance, its problem,s questions, hypotheses, approach, borders, goals, justification and literature review. The first chapter discussed the theoretical and conceptual framework, such as democracy, democratization: indicators objectives, political discourse: its types, characteristics, methods and attributes, functions, objectives, indicators & problems, political participation & pluralism, and controversial relationship between political discourse, elections and democratization. The following chapter discussed Hama's history, foundation, historic heritage, relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, ideological and intellectual determinants pertaining faith, realism, moderation, and Islamization, its discourse toward a Palestinian state, resistance, citizenship, tolerance, the conflict with the Zionists, neutrality towards other countries, its ability to invest such issues for the sake of the Palestinian cause. Chapter III, discussed the Hamas discourse during Al-Aqsa Intifada, its attitude towards launching a truce with the occupation, the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, the presidential elections and the Palestinian political system, where Hamas participation in the 2006 elections was viewed as vital political shift, in addition to its discourse towards Cairo Agreement, the base ground of the second legislative elections. In chapter IV, the study discussed the internal and external motives behind the democratic transition, as the reform of the political system legitimacy, resulted from Al-Aqsa Intifada, and a way to adapt involve Hamas in the peace process so it may give up resistance approach. The final chapter, discussed the extent of stability and transformation in Hamas' discourse (after 2006 elections and the siege) towards resistance, peace process, political partnership, division and its causes. Messages of Hamas political discourse, its language and tools, the new terms emerged to keep up with the participation implications, as well as its justifications for the 1996 elections refusal, and developments led to participate in 2006 elections. The study results show that the second elections led to a qualitative shift in the Palestinian democracy, the participation of Hamas as a majority was a landmark, with acceptance to the Palestinian state interim solution, its attitude towards the Palestinian Liberation Organization readiness to become part of it on the condition of its being activated and rebuilt, participation in the elections becoming part of the existing political system, some terminology changes, such as the elections participation justifications (despite being one of the secretions of Oslo accords which it refuses), realistic compliance of Israel existence without any official recognition, its perception of diplomacy and public resistance as a form of struggle in the avoidance of the saying "Palestine is an Islamic endowment (waqf) land," a clear shift from the absolute rejection of signed agreements with the Israelis, to respecting such conventions, and that division events were no more than a correction to the path of oblique security, and that its conflict is not with Fath Movement, but with a stream within, the attribute of the ongoing division to security coordination and aid dependence Fath insists to preserve, and that its enthusiasm towards political partnership couldn't have put an end to Palestinians fragmentation and division. The recommendations of the study include: the need to uphold the supreme national interest above partisan organizational interests, to activate the reconciliation agreements to eliminate the state of division, to move the Palestinian national unity, pluralism and political partnership, from a general political discourse to political actions. And to reach compatibility on a program and a unified national strategy to reshape the relationship with the Israelis, the necessity to respect the results of any future Palestinian elections, and to re-activate the national institutions to exercise their optimal role.