August 31, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9525

Hamas Journalists, Former Officials Discuss Lessons Of Taliban Victory: Uncompromising Resistance Is Only Way To Expel Occupiers

August 31, 2021
Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 9525

Following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban's rise to power there, Hamas, its leader Isma'il Haniya and other officials in the movement were among the first to congratulate the Taliban on "expelling the occupiers" by means of their "jihad," while claiming that this was proof of the effectiveness of resistance. The movement also hastened to publish photos of a meeting between Isma’il Haniya and Taliban officials in Doha, Qatar, as a message of support for the Taliban, and thereby exposed Hamas’ longtime contacts with this movement.[1]

In the days since then, former Hamas officials and  journalists affiliated with the movement published articles discussing the lessons Hamas must draw from the events in Afghanistan regarding its own struggle against Israel. The writers claimed the Taliban managed to dictate terms to the enemy, and to impose a humiliating withdrawal on a strong superpower like the U.S., thanks to its persistent resistance and refusal to compromise with the American occupiers and their agents. The Palestinian resistance, they said, must follow a similar path: it must reject any proposal of ceasefire or compromise, and persistently pursue its goal of expelling the occupation and establishing an independent state.

Addressing the issue of the Taliban's negotiations with the U.S., one of the authors, Yousuf Al-Lidawi, wrote that negotiations were just another form of struggle for the Taliban, a means of achieving goals "that cannot be attained by force or by means of the gun." The concessions made by the Taliban for the sake of their people and country are only proof of their greatness as resistance fighters and of their strong will, he added. He remarked, however, that while the Taliban’s negotiations with the U.S. were legitimate, Palestinian negotiations with Israel constitute treason and compromise. Al-Lidawi added that, with the Taliban controlling Afghanistan, and in light of Hamas’ relations with it, Afghanistan may even become another base of operation for Hamas.   

Another writer, Gazan journalist Fayez Abu Shamala, criticized the Gazan resistance leaders for agreeing to ceasefires with Israel. The Taliban's experience in Afghanistan, he said, as well as Hizbullah's experience in Lebanon and the past experience of the Palestinian resistance itself demonstrate that the resistance must not agree to any ceasefire or truce with the enemies, which removes the sword from their necks. He called on the resistance leaders in Gaza to launch an ongoing war against Israel, even if this means that Gaza will suffer daily bombings until the goal is achieved.

Haniya's meeting with Taliban delegation (Source: Twitter, Ebrahemmuslam, August 15, 2021)

The following are translated excerpts from these articles.

Hamas Former Official And Columnist For Hamas Mouthpiece: The Lesson Of Afghanistan Is That The Resistance Always Wins, Even If Victory Is Delayed

Yousuf Rizqa, formerly Hamas' information minister in Gaza and an advisor to Isma'il Haniya, wrote in his column in Hamas’s mouthpiece Filastin:  "The lesson we can learn from the Taliban… is that resistance always defeats the occupier. An occupier, even one as big and strong as the U.S., will necessarily be defeated, and national resistance, wherever it takes place, will necessarily triumph. Victory may take a while, and its cost may vary, but the result will [always] be victory granted by Allah to those who faithfully served their homeland and religion and stuck to the path of their God.

"The Palestinian resistance has surely learned the lesson of Afghanistan and drawn conclusions regarding the national [situation] in Palestine and Al-Aqsa. It has learned that it too will triumph, like the Afghans who rose up against the Russian [Soviet] occupier and then against the American occupier and against [its] agents [in Afghanistan].   The Afghans triumphed because they cleaved to the [Islamic] lifestyle and essence, and did not betray their cause, unlike the collaborating government of [former Afghan president Hamid] Karzai. Having paid the cost and made many sacrifices, [the Taliban] have now entered the capital in triumph and restored their Islamic state, for which they have been striving since its establishment by Mullah 'Omar.

"This Afghan victory is not strange, nor is it a great miracle. It merely reflects reality, just like past uprisings, of the Algerians [against France] and the Vietnamese [against the U.S.]. The strange [exception] is our own revolution, which preceded those [two], and which enjoyed much greater financial support. How can it be that it has not yet achieved its victory, while [they] have?!

"The Palestinians' victory tarries because of the nature of the occupation that has settled on their lands, or else because of flaws in the Palestinian revolution [itself], which harbors the virus of corruption and bargaining with the occupier, and of [elements] that collaborate with it in the name of nationalism, for there is nothing patriotic about acting as an agent of those who usurp the land and massacre the people! Karzai was [such] an agent in Afghanistan, serving the foreign occupation and fighting the Taliban and others with the help of the U.S. and the West. But the truth was revealed recently, when the Afghan resistance remained steadfast and loyal to its cause, and the result was that [Afghan President] Ashraf Ghani, who succeeded Karzai as the agent [of the Americans], fled from Kabul to Tajikistan, leaving the capital and the presidential palace to celebrate the arrival of the Taliban. The West labeled them terrorist and fanatical, but today it has been forced to recognize their Islamic state…

"The great lesson the Palestinians must draw [from this] is that we, the Palestinian resistance and people who oppose the occupation and its agents, will likewise attain our state and our victory, even if the Jews and the West label our activity and our jihad as terror. The [Islamic] lifestyle and essence are slow to materialize only when they lose their hold on the hearts of the resistance-fighting citizens  and of the resisting people."[2]  

Former Hamas Representative In Syria, Lebanon and Iran: The Taliban Won Because, While Holding Negotiations, It Relinquished None Of Its Principles And Never Stopped Its Attacks

In a series of articles, Dr. Mustafa Yusuf Al-Lidawi, a Palestinian writer and researcher and Hamas's former representative in Syria, Lebanon and Iran, likewise examined the Taliban’s policy vis-à-vis the U.S. and called on the Palestinian resistance factions to learn from it. In an August 19 article, he wrote: "The attitude towards the Taliban movement must not be wholly negative, seeing only its faults… and judging it only based on its past while ignoring its new characteristics and its development. [Today’s] Taliban is not [like] the old Afghan jihad [movement], although it grew directly out of it. Over the last 20 years, during which it was excluded from the government, it evolved into a revolutionary movement that seeks to liberate [the country] from the American imperialism and eliminate it, and to [establish] an independent state and liberate the national government from subordination to the West in general and to the U.S. in particular…

"We Palestinians, and all the Arab resistance forces, perhaps need to urgently examine this [Afghan] experience, which is no less [relevant] than other experiences we learned from, like those of Vietnam, Algeria, South America and other cases. Afghanistan is the most recent and richest example, representing the pinnacle of contemporary imperialist American greed, in which America did not hesitate to use its most deadly and advanced weapons, including hellish bomb [sic, perhaps a reference to the Hellfire missile], which it employed more than once. Yet despite all this, America [eventually] withdrew from Afghanistan…  Israel’s great preoccupation with the recent developments in Afghanistan… causes us to wonder why it is so afraid, considering that Afghanistan is far away…"[3] 

As Long As Negotiators Stick To Their Principles, Negotiation Can Be An Effective Tool – But Not In The Case Of Palestine

In another article in the series, from August 21, Al-Lidawi wrote: "Negotiating [with the enemy] is no shame. It does not [mean] abandoning [the cause], renouncing Islam, perpetrating treason… surrendering or making concessions. On the contrary, if [the negotiators] follows the rules, safeguard their principles, stick to their terms, avoid harmful compromise and reject terms aimed at limiting or hobbling them, negotiation is in fact a form of resistance and struggle. Thanks to the negotiators' wisdom and experience, and their adherence to their positions and rights… negotiations may yield achievements that cannot be attained by force or by means of the gun. In writing this, I do not refer to the Palestinian issue. This model does not apply to it… because the Palestinians' negotiations with the [Israeli] enemy do constitute treason, contempt [for the Palestinian rights] and concession… 

"The Taliban managed to impose its will on the U.S. administration and forced it to make painful concessions it never thought to make… [For its own part,] the Taliban movement, which was accused or narrow-mindedness, political rigidity and radical conduct, never  thought to find itself sitting at the negotiation table with those who killed [its members], occupied its land and sparked civil war and crises there. Yet eventually, it found itself agreeing to the American proposal and to the options it offered. 

"[But] although the movement agreed to negotiate and talk, it set out a series of terms and demands and forced the U.S. to meet and accept them. [Moreover], it never stopped fighting, but continued to carry out high-quality attacks against American and [Afghan] government targets. [At the same time], it did not remain silent over any violation by the Americans or the government, but responded to them forcefully and violently. It firmly refused to stop its fighting as long as the Americans and their allies persisted in theirs – and that is what actually happened. 

"The Taliban charged the negotiators [of the other side], and the people on whose behalf they spoke, to release thousands of its members from the jails and prisons of the Afghan government. It refused to [even] start negotiations until it saw [these prisoners] released, without being pursued or besieged even if they [re]joined their units fighting in the mountains and on the fronts. It rejected the limitations, terms, and lists of names submitted by the Afghan government. It placed on the table a list of all the detainees, and insisted that they all be liberated – and this is exactly what happened [sic]…

"The mere fact that a superpower [like America], armed with every kind of weapon and with the world's most advanced technology, humiliated itself, tarnished its reputation and gave up its military arsenal [which stayed behind in Afghanistan]… demonstrates clearly that the [Taliban], which did well and had the upper hand on the battlefield, also had successful negotiators who achieved everything they hoped for. Perhaps they did make [some] concessions for the sake of their people, and promised to implement them for the sake of their country. [Perhaps] they promised [to allow] political partnership and respect human rights – but that is not a humiliating compromise or surrender. In fact, it only demonstrates the greatness of the resistance fighters and reflects the confidence of those who trust in their own victory…"[4]

In an article published one day later, Al-Lidawi wrote: "The Taliban… was clear, honest and direct in announcing, for the past 20 years, its determination to expel the American forces and their allies from the country. It defined them as occupiers who had invaded its land, killed its people and sowed ruin and destruction among them, and who must therefore be fought, opposed and expelled by force. Even the disparity in power [between the U.S. and the Taliban], which some people exaggerate, and the [Americans'] perceived superiority in arms, gear and numbers did nothing to discourage the movement, weaken its resolve or change its decision.  

"The Taliban characterized the [American-]appointed governments as… illegitimate and illegal. It believed [these governments] were subordinate to the occupiers, implementing their goals… and collaborating with them, and that the elections that had brought them to power were fake and did not reflect the will of the people… [The Taliban] therefore contended that, just as there was need to uproot and expel the occupier so as to liberate the land and the people, there was also need to overthrow any government the occupier had formed…

"The U.S., and all the other forces that follow in its footsteps and think like it, and occupy lands not their own, make the mistake of thinking that they can break the will of the [occupied] peoples, deflect them from their goals and ambitions, distort their future… and force them to remain silent and accept the [occupiers'] presence… These occupiers forget that the land belongs to its [rightful] owners, and that peoples do not remain silent when their freedom of choice is taken away, their rights are usurped, their future is mortgaged and their reality is distorted.  They forget that all occupiers, no matter how strong and cruel, are too weak to impose their will and endure [forever], and that their final destiny is to end and disappear, even if this takes time.

"The U.S. administration tried, directly and through its helpers, to move the Taliban from its positions and cause it to accept changes in its land, in return for promises and commitments… Mediators relayed generous American offers to the Taliban, and rosy dreams of a shining future and a prosperous economy which the Americans would guarantee if [the Taliban] only laid down its weapons, relinquished its resistance, joined the negotiations and accepted the proposed solutions… But the Taliban refused to give up its goals or negotiate over its rights, but rather adhered to its declared [objectives], for which it had been founded and for which it fought. Neither American enticements nor European promises could deflect the Taliban from its goal, sway it from its path, tarnish its reputation or change its truth. [The Taliban leaders] were offered jobs and positions, and given privileges and grants, promises and pledges… But the perks and privileges of power did not interest them. They wanted only to expel the occupation from their land and gain independence for their country. They began negotiating effectively and skillfully, just as they were competent and creative in fighting and waging resistance. That is what forced the U.S. to respect them, even against its will, surrender to them and their terms and agree to their demands.

"Clear goals are a necessity, persistence in [pursuing] them is [a source of] strength, and adherence to them leads to their attainment. Conversely, negotiating over goals leads to defeat and loss and to losing the rights and the land... Small concessions lead to large ones… Congratulations to the [Afghan] people, whose leadership was steadfast…"[5] 

Afghanistan Under The Taliban May Become Another Base Of Operations For Hamas

In an article from August 25, Al-Lidawi suggested that Afghanistan may now become another base of operations for Hamas. He wrote:  "The Israelis did not think [for a moment] that the events in Afghanistan had nothing to do with them, and did not harm or threaten them because Afghanistan is far away… In face, they [indeed] found themselves greatly impacted and harmed by these events and their implications, and very alarmed by them… What increases their fear is the meetings that have taken place between the Taliban and Hamas leaderships in the Qatari capital, Doha; the reports that [the two movements] coordinate and share expertise,[6] and the clear joy felt by Hamas' leadership and supporters [at the Taliban's victory].  This joy was reflected in the message of congratulations conveyed by Hamas to the Taliban, and the message conveyed in response by the head of the Taliban’s political bureau, Mullah ‘Abd Al-Ghani Baradar, to the head of Hamas’ political bureau, Isma’il Haniya, expressing the Taliban’s solidarity with Hamas, its support for the Palestinian cause and its readiness to fight alongside the Palestinians until they achieve their aims and liberate their homeland…

"It is not unreasonable [to assume] that Afghanistan will become a new base of operations for Hamas… whose gains will multiply as a result the Taliban rule there. For Hamas met with the Taliban leadership for years during their joint stay in Qatar, and formed close ties with it that can be characterized as natural and expected. Hamas will also gain credit with its allies, its affiliates, those who benefit from its ties [with other elements] and those who seek to expand the resistance axis. Iran, [for example], has an interest in ensuring its security and the security of its border with Afghanistan, and Hamas can play a significant role in this context and gain considerable achievements that will count in its favor and burnish its reputation…"[7]

Columnist For Hamas Mouthpiece: The Resistance Leaders In Gaza Must Learn From Hizbullah And The Taliban, Refuse Any Ceasefire Or Truce With The Enemy 

Another Filastin columnist, Fayez Abu Shamala, wrote: "Hizbullah did not sign a truce or agree to any ceasefire with the Israeli enemy in South Lebanon, but continued the war for the liberation of the south until that unforgettable day in 2000 when Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, defeated and expelled, announced a withdrawal from South [Lebanon]. Throughout the years of the conflict, the facts proved that the occupation could not attain a lull [in the fighting], or impose a truce or any kind of ceasefire. The sword of the resistance remained aloft, held over the necks of the South Lebanon Army, the servant [of Israel], and later over the necks of the officers of the Zionist army [itself].

"[Likewise,] the Palestinian resistance organizations in Gaza did not sign any truce or ceasefire [agreement] throughout the years of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, which lasted from 2000 until 2005. The popular resistance, [armed with] simple [means], continued until the unforgettable day when Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, defeated and expelled, announced his withdrawal from Gaza. The Israeli government withdrew [from the Gaza Strip] and dismantled the settlements, because, throughout the years of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, it had failed to attain any lull or truce in the daily fighting, and the sword remained aloft, held first of all over the necks of the submissive [Palestinians] and those who doubted the efficacy of the intifada, and then over the necks of the occupiers and settlers.

"The Taliban in Afghanistan did not [agree to] any lull, truce or ceasefire for 20 years, but continued to fight against the enemies of the Afghan people… until that unforgettable day in 2021 when U.S. President Joe Biden, defeated and expelled, announced a full withdrawal from Afghanistan. The sword of the Afghan revolution remained aloft, held first of all over the necks of the Afghan governments that served [the U.S.], and [then] over the necks of the multinational occupying [forces].  

"[These are] three schools [teaching] unremitting resistance, which taught [us] a practical lesson in crushing occupiers. Three schools that produced generations of men capable of imposing their will on the enemy without surrendering to the claim that the 'balance of power' [is not in their favor]. Three revolutionary schools which opened their doors to anyone willing to learn the lesson and take full control of the [struggle] for liberating [the land] from the occupiers and for kicking out the usurpers of the land… Three revolutionary schools that wrote the history of the era in bright red blood, saying: 'Any lull, truce or ceasefire with the enemies before they withdraw from the land means leaving the situation as it is, and this serves the interests of the occupiers much more than it serves the interests of those who oppose the occupation.

"Have the leaders of the resistance in Gaza learned [the lesson] of history regarding the drawbacks of a ceasefire? Do they anticipate, based on their fighting experience, the drawbacks of [agreeing] to a ceasefire without attaining full victory? Have they studied the book of contemporary Arab history [and understood] how Palestine was lost amid truces and ceasefires? Amid visits of international envoys and meetings with humanitarian delegations? Amid fact-finding missions and committees for assessing the damages?... What was achieved by all these moves, which [only] turned the ceasefires into ladders that the Zionist gangs could climb in order to capture Palestine by force?

"Why shouldn’t Gaza consider living under daily bombardment, sleeping amid the roar of the [Israeli] jets, breathing the smoke of the bombs and stroking the heads of its children amid the thunder of missiles?  Why does Gaza not launch a long-term war of liberation, constant and with a clear objective, which refuses to accept a ceasefire until the result is attained, even if this leads to surfing the open sea [of peril] and sailing right into the heart of danger?"[8]


[2] Filastin (Gaza), August 17, 2021.

[3], August 19, 2021.

[4], August 21, 2021.

[5], August 22, 2021.

[6] On August 16, the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar cited a senior Hamas official in a report on a meeting between Haniya and Taliban representatives in Qatar a year ago, around the time that the U.S. began talks with the Taliban for a political settlement in the country. According to the official, the Taliban representatives told Haniya during this meeting about the U.S.'s intention to withdraw from Afghanistan, and revealed to him that they would move to retake the country but would not repeat their past mistakes. The report added that Haniya praised the Taliban for their jihad’s success in forcing the U.S. to coordinate its withdrawal with them and that the Taliban representatives had responded, "What happened for us can happen for you – you [too] can force Israel to withdraw from Palestine.” The representatives stressed that jihad for the sake of liberating Palestine is a commandment that is incumbent upon every Muslim and promised to help Hamas with it. Al-Akhbar (Lebanon), August 16, 2021.

[7], August 25, 2021.

[8] Filastin (Gaza), August 19, 2021.

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