Sunday, January 29, 2006

Ballots & Bullets: Hamas' Rise To Power

Ballots & Bullets: Hamas' Rise To Power

11:32 AM 1/29/06 Sun

Without question the big event of the week - perhaps the entire year - was the landslide electoral victory of the terrorist group Hamas, in the Palestinian Parliamentary Elections over the old guard Fatah Movement, the organization founded by the late Yasir Arafat. These events have put the Bush Administration in a very ticklish place, with regard to its stated policy of promoting Democracy in the Middle East and larger Islamic World; the old phrase comes to mind, "be careful what you wish for; you might get it!".

Back in the 1960s, the slain civil rights leader Malcolm X gave a speech entitled "The Ballot, or the Bullet", where he discussed the two principle choices given to any people anywhere in the world, on whether they would have a role to play in their own affairs. Of course, he was speaking to and in the main, about African Americans, still dealing with state sponsored segregation , disempowerment, disenfranchisement and victimisation - but Brother Minister Malcolm clearly understood the other key struggles extant in the world at the time he gave his famous speech. Malcolm said plainly, that people will either choose the ballot, or the bullet, when it came to the right of that people to govern themselves. The ballot, Malcolm acknowledged, was much more preferrable; but the bullet could not be ruled out, when more peaceful means were not available.

In the current case with Hamas, a longstanding organization that advocates armed resistance against and the destruction of the State of Israel, it seems that, for now, the ballot has finally won out over the bullet. But the heads of Hamas, only days after their stunning electoral victory, have already gone on record as saying that they will not recognize the Jewish State, nor will it "demilitarize" their armed wing. These and other actions, like the recent meeting that took place between the Hamas heads and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Dasmascus, have led the United States and Israel to publicly state that they will not negotiate with Hamas, and the Bush Administration has announced that it will "review" its funding of the Palestinian Authority. All of this, following on the heels of Ariel Sharon's massive stroke, puts the so-called "roadmap" in serious trouble of being derailed.

As we all know, there is no state for the Palestinian people, and hence in my view, no "birthchart" upon which to make an analysis. But we do have a few "stand-in" charts that document very well these dramatic events. The first such chart we'll examine, is the Jupiter-Saturn Great Conjunction Chart of 2000, set for the very, very important city of Jerusalem, on May 28 2000, at 6.03PM EET; Placidus 1 Sag 17.

This chart suggests strongly, the struggle between the Palestinian Authority and more radical elements that threaten to topple the ruling Fatah Party from power: note the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction itself in Taurus, representing land (getting a state) in the 6th House of the military and security forces as well as civil services, in square aspect to Uranus, strong in its own Sign Aquarius, in and ruling the 3rd House of communications, mindset, and, as it turns out "leaflets" - as in the leaflets that were handed out on the day when Hamas was officially founded. We'll take a look at the astrology of Hamas in a moment. But for now, the current map under consideration gives us even more clues...

We see the Sun in the JSC chart, which represents the president or prime minister, is opposed by Pluto - a classic aspect of power struggles. That this aspect takes place along the 1-7 House axis suggests even more the tensions between the Fatah controlled PA and the more radical elements who were successful in riding the wave of public discontent with Fatah on the basis that it was not only old, but corrupt and impotent in delivering any goods and services to the Palestinian people. Last week's elections coincided with the transit square of Uranus to the JSC Sun(!) signifying a "course correction" with regard to leadership in the Palestinian Territories, in a shocking, surprising, even brutal way. Surely, you've seen the "live feed" of rioting going by Fatah supporters, demanding that senior officials in the party step down in the wake of the election loss.

The Uranian role that Hamas plays is further exemplified when examining its foundation chart: Dec 14 1987, 12PM EET, in Jersusalem (NOTE: the time and place have been selected by me, since no time has been mentioned; and again, Jerusalem has both temporal and religious significance to both the Muslim and Jewish peoples. Source for the date itself: Tel Aviv University website). There is a FOUR planet cluster in Sagittarius, with the Sun in conjunction with both Saturn AND URANUS, ALL IN THE 9th HOUSE!!! Here is the "radical" signature that Hamas is known for; the very word "hamas" is Arabic for "zeal" and the founders of Hamas wanted to actively agitate for change, up to and including using armed resistance and a "one state solution" in the region. This chart, with the aforementioned Sag stellium, a Pisces Asc, an Asc ruling Neptune in the 10th square a Libra Moon in the 7th, and a rising Jupiter in Aries trine the planets in Sag, all points to an organization that is dynamic, fiercely devout, deeply politically involved and motivated, and ideological to an extreme yet has mass appeal to the Palestinian public and to a large extent, the wider Islamic World. Finally, we see the Mars-Pluto conjunction in Scorpio...there's the "armed resistance" that Hamas is so well known for. In the 8th House, this conjunction represents Hamas' willingness not to directly engage Israeli troops in firefights in the disputed territories, but also employing suicide bombers among the Israeli citizenry as well. At the time of the electoral vicory last week, we note the transit of Pluto applying to exact conjuction to the Hamas MC and square its Asc; this is a major watershed time in the life of Hamas. They've successfully turned the corner; no matter what Bush or the Israeli gov't may say, Hamas is for real and has arrived as a major player in the fate of the Palestinian people, of Israel, indeed, of the entire Middle East.

Aside from its "armed resistance" activities, Hamas also has a strong reputation in the Palestinian communities for rendering much needed social and health care services, strongly promoting women to run for office, and for bringing a strong Islamic influence back into the public square. It charges the Fatah Party not only with corruption and old ideas, but with being too cozy with the West and in particular, America, and promises the Palestinian people a new day in the way things are going to be run.

It's extremely difficult for President Bush and his advisors to back out on the democratization of the Middle East now; too much has been invested in the grand plan. Nor can he simply "freeze out" Hamas, given the fact that the Palestinian people have duly elected Hamas to lead them into the foreseeable future. Despite saber rattling and tough sounding rhetoric, in the end, both the Bush team and the Israelis know, that they at least have to try to negotiate with Hamas. Not doing so would be even more disasterous than it was when Arafat was still alive.

And as for Hamas, now the fun really begins - providing healthcare and social services in a few provinces and towns is one thing, but to run a state apparatus and all that comes with it is something else entirely. Hamas will have to work with other elements of the government it has now won, in order to get anything done; it will have to learn the art of compromise. Many analysts around the world see this as a potential "maturing process" for Hamas, that they can learn to moderate its stances regarding Israel and the use of terrorism, by having to meet the day to day demands of getting the trash picked up on time and keeping the lights on. And then there's the very important and urgent need to continue to attract foriegn investment in the West Bank and elsewhere, if ever the Palestinians are to be an economically viable state. In any event, as it stands now, the election of Hamas is in many ways a victory for the Bush team, in that it proves that through the democratic process, marginalized voices can have their place at the table - and that more than anything, is much more preferrable than terror.

But who's going to take the first step in getting the roadmap back on track - the USA, Israel, or Hamas??? From an inspection of the charts, it's highly unlikely to expect Hamas to make a first move. First of all, it just won the elections; two, it's horoscope shows a decided lack of Earh element and a somewhat "muffled" Saturn placement, while at the same time it's top heavy in the Fire and Water elements. This suggests that Hamas lacks the pragmatic forebearance to know when to reign the extreme elements of itself in, and when to let it rip, as it were. Hamas has too much invested in "the revolution" and simply cannot see itself let that go...not without a lot of help.

The USA's astrology shows, at this time, transit Pluto moving away from Neptune in the 9th, while transit Uranus just squares the USA Uranus again, ruling the 3rd. The USA will eventually come along to the table, but not right now; the scene is still too hot.

But Israel, undergoing the Neptune transit in opposition to its Saturn, while its undergoing a 2nd Saturn Return, will have to be the one who extends the olive branch to one its most sworn enemies. While the official state position is that it will talk to Hamas, there are already reports of polls taken among the Israeli people that they are willing to hear what Hamas has to say. It's difficult to assert oneself strongly during a time when both Saturn and Neptune are making significant movements over one's chart, and this is true for either a regular or a country. Israel will indeed be the one to make the first move.

With the Iraq War continuing to play centerstage in the Bush Administration's calculations, with Osama Bin Laden's return via cassette tape message, with the Muslim Brotherhood winning major seats in the Egyptian governmental elections recently and the recent election of President Ahmadinejad in Iran, the stakes are very, very high. The United States simply cannot afford to sit back on the sidelines with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, like it did during the Arafat Era. And with the contacts between its chart and that of Hamas, there is some hope that some progress CAN be made.

In any event, the past week's events in particular, have been an object lesson in the meaning of the Astrological Uranus, which represents rebellion, radicalism, revolution, and perhaps most importantly, representative democracy.

More needs to develop before I can elaborate further. But what is clear, is that as Malcolm X said, this whole matter can be settled by only one of two ways...

The Ballot, or The Bullet.




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