I only just discovered that Yezid Sayigh’s paper on the unexpectedly (for many westerners) good quality of Hamas’s governance of Gaza is now up on the website of Brandeis University’s crown Center. PDF here.
Close readers of JWN will recall the post I wrote back in March, about the presentation Sayigh gave at the Palestine Center in Washington DC, in which he compared the quality of the governance in Gaza and by the (actually, unconstitutional) administration led by Salam Fayyad in Ramallah– to the favor of Gaza’s Hamas government, which ws elected in January 2006.
The summary posted on the Crown Center website concludes thus:
- Prof. Sayigh argues that Hamas has demonstrated its ability to innovate and survive. He concludes that the international sanctions policy has created a durable stand-off: Rather than spark mass discontent leading to the collapse of the Hanieh government, it enables Hamas to enhance its ruling party status.
The very well-documented, eight-page paper itself gives a wealth of detail obtained from the public record and from a week-long research trip Sayigh made to Gaza back in January.
It looks as though Brandeis did just a little bit of “political” editing of the piece– at least, by comparison with the way Sayigh spoke during his presentation at the Palestine Center.
Thus, he spoke openly at the Palestine Center about the bifurcation of power between Gaza and the West bank back in June 2007 having been primarily the responsibility of “”the president’s men [i.e. Abu Mazen’s men– though notably not Abu Mazen himself] and certain people here in the Bush administration.” And he referred to the Ismail Haniyeh government in Gaza as being “partly constitutional”, while saying the Fayyad government in Ramallah was wholly unconstitutional.
In the Brandeis/Crown paper, responsibility for the bifurcation of June 2007 is vaguely directed elsewhere, with the relevant events being referred to only as “The assertion [by Hamas] of exclusive control over Gaza in June 2007… ”
Yeah, well. It was not so much that Hamas asserted exclusive control, as that there had up till then been a Saudi-brokered National Unity Government under Haniyeh’s premiership… but Mohamed Dahlan and Elliott Abrams together mounted a Contras-style coup to topple it. The elected Hamas leaders were, however, able to rebuff the coup attempt.
Ah well, that seems to be the main point on which there seems to have been some political intervention by Brandeis/Crown. The rest of Sayigh’s analysis is well developed and well documented in the published version.
Interesting that it is the major Jewish university in the U.S. that sponsors such work, eh?