As an Islamic resistance movement, there are certain expectations from the Hamas leadership. It must conduct itself in a manner that evokes confidence not only among its members but also its supporters elsewhere.
Given the divergent interests of regional players and their shifting agendas, it is not easy for Islamic movements to navigate through these minefields. Yet, it is not unreasonable to expect a principled stand from a movement like Hamas.
In recent weeks, the Hamas political leadership’s conduct has aroused concern. Take Khaled Meshaal’s highly publicized visit to Saudi Arabia to meet the rulers there. Does it behoove the leader of a Palestinian Islamic movement to embrace and kiss the agents of imperialism and Zionism?
Has Hamas learned nothing from the experience of the Ikhwan in Egypt who tried to ingratiate themselves to the Saudis, only to be kicked in the teeth when their wily “benefactors” subsidized the Egyptian military’s crackdwon against them?
Meshaal’s Saudi visit is worrying for another reason. For decades, the Islamic Republic has supported the Palestinian struggle with the liberation of al-Masjid al-Aqsa as its central plank. Islamic Iran’s support is for principle, not for realpolitik, and so it is not unreasonable to expect the Palestinian Islamic leadership to conduct itself in a more dignified manner.
Consorting with the likes of the Saudis who are in bed with the Zionists and imperialists and are busy slaughtering innocent Yemenis hardly strengthens confidence in the Hamas leadership.