Hamas and the Springs of Others
The encounter between Gaza, Hamas and the Arab Spring was unique. In particular, the unimaginable events of 2011-12 in neighbouring Egypt briefly unblocked a radical geopolitical dead-end for both Gaza and Hamas since the 2008-09 Israeli war on the Strip. The week-long war of November 2012 came to crown what seemed an unstoppable, regional ascendancy for Hamas, in its various overlapping guises as national liberation and resistance movement ; de facto part of the regional Muslim Brotherhood family on the rise; sweeping winner of the last (and its only) elections ; and incumbent government without power outside of Gaza under siege. The 2013 coup in Egypt, followed by the unprecedently bloody 2014 war, put a brutal end to hopes that the regional Spring might prove Gaza’s salvation. This article examines the lasting meaning of this « 2012 moment » in Palestinian collective memory ; the relationship it reinvented between Gaza and Hamas ; and how, despite its brevity, that moment may have paradoxically reinforced the ability of both Gaza and Hamas to endure the Israeli-Egyptian siege, now a decade old.