Hamas’s newly announced political document, prefaced by months of leaks and endless subtleties, will stir a massive debate over its implications and political inferences amidst Arabs, be it statesmen, officials, political parties, or intellectuals.
Naturally, two main currents will dominate the debate, and they have already begun to over flood the social and traditional media.
First, there are those who claim Hamas did not abandon its goals or principles as much as they may have had to develop their political rhetoric, in accordance still.
Oppositely, there are those who say that the movement is taking the steps of Fateh, the PLO, and other organisations, forfeiting principles to realistic pragmatism.
Personally, I would say it is neither.
Neither one of those two positions are even close to understanding the core values of the Hamas’s new document and the transformations it refers to.
It is beyond the current political moment and position, far deeper.
Hamas is seeking to fundamentally redefine itself in accordance to the developments and conditions undergone by the generality of political Islamism, as movements, particularly in the aftermath of the ‘Arab Spring’.
Of course, one cannot simply dismiss the regional pressures which have long been pushing Hamas into accepting the floor of international resolutions; the 1967 border.
Years into the seemingly endless struggle, this is exactly what Hamas indirectly agreed to in their new documents, while withholding any direct acknowledge of Israel.
The document also defined the Promised Palestinian State as one bordered by the River, to the east, and the sea, to the west, while also clenching to the right of return.
For once, at least, let us unveil the illusion. This document is inadmissible to Israel, the Americans, and a numerous Europeans; political powers I mean.
On the other hand, this will not appeal to the official Arab system, which do not only oppose Hamas on the basis of the movement’s position from Israel, but on a far scarier basis; fear of the Islamic alternative.
In short, the core of this shift is briefly put; politicisation.
The movement, whose primary covenant was formed in the later eighties on a solid ideological basis of religious struggle with Israel and Jihadism, is reconsidering.
Back then, Hamas was set to distance itself from politics, somewhat.
The movement confined itself to being a part of the Muslim Brotherhood, complimenting their part in regards to Jihadism and combating Israel.
That is in the stead of getting mixed up in the struggle to build an Islamic alternative to secularism and the secular Palestinian liberation movement.
Now, Hamas has fundamentally redefined itself as a national Palestinian liberation movement, just like any other anti-occupation and anti-colonial movement. That is on the side to being of national Islamic background.
Notably, this is an invaluable transformation, and I claim; even necessary.
Hamas, over the years, has outgrown the frameworks of previous alliances and approaches. The entirety of the current situation has.
Thus, the movement need to reconstruct their own new dynamics in accordance to the realistic, perhaps, changes and shifts in the positions and ideas of the movement!
What Hamas did is pry the doors open with their new documents, to be politically accepted, as movement, both regionally and internationally.
In the midst of all this, Hamas seems to have outmanoeuvred the topic of peaceful settlement.
More importantly, the movement has made a leap in regards to its position on democracy, pluralism, and national partnerships. They have made a transmutation to political professionalism by accepting these values and concepts.
Of course, Khaled Meshal played an invaluable role in the achievement of this momentous turn at the end of his journey as leader of Hamas.
He did not want to step down without having left an outlasting print on the discourse and future of his movement.
So, he mounted Hamas on an ideological-political slingshot that may shoot Hamas to places it has never been before.
This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.