Hamas: Just The Beginning
The Palestinian Authority and Egypt's new military regime are begging Hamas to agree to the appointment of Salam Fayyad as prime minister of a Palestinian unity government.
The main reason the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority wants to keep Fayyed in power is that they are afraid that the US and EU will suspend financial aid to the Palestinians.
That is why the Fatah Central Committee this week voted in favor of nominating Fayyad as head of a unity government with Hamas.
Fatah now needs Fayyad to ensure the continued flow of American and European taxpayer money.
The Palestinian Authority wants Fayyad as prime minister, while Hamas says it will never sit in a government with him in it.
Many Fatah officials and activists do not even like Fayyad. They are opposed to Fayyad because his efforts to establish good government and combat financial corruption have deprived them of money.
In other words, Fatah does not like Fayyad because its representatives are unable to steal financial aid, as they were under Yasser Arafat.
But Fatah has one little problem: Hamas does not want Fayyad -- not as prime minister, not as finance minister, not even as a junior minister -- in any government.
Ever since the signing of the Egyptian-sponsored "reconciliation" accord between Hamas and Fatah in early May, the two parties have been squabbling over the identity of the prime minister who would head the unity government that they agreed to establish.
Hamas does not want Fayyad: they see him as a "puppet" in the hands of the US and Israel, They also hold him responsible for the security crackdown on supporters of Hamas in the West Bank.
In the past few weeks, the Palestinian Authority has been literally begging Hamas to accept Fayyad. Nabil Sha'ath, a senior Fatah leader, visited the Gaza Strip and met with Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in a bid to convince him to change his mind, to no avail.
Hamas and Fatah representatives who met in Cairo this week also tried to solve the dispute over the identity of the future prime minister, but without success.
In wake of Hamas's insistence on rejecting Fayyad, the two parties are planning a summit between in Cairo next week between Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas's Khaled Mashaal. At the meeting, Abbas will try to explain to the Hamas leader why it would be a bad idea to exclude Fayyad from a unity government.
Abbas has sought the help of Egypt's ruling military dictatorship in convincing Hamas to change its position. Hamas officials who met with government officials in Cairo the past week said that the Egyptians were putting heavy pressure on them to accept Fayyad's nomination.
Hamas leaders have every right to be satisfied. They have the power to determine who will head the unity government. This is just the beginning. In the future, Hamas will have the final say on more important issues concerning the Palestinians and the entire region.
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by Khaled Abu Toameh
"Armed robbery in broad daylight." — Palestinians, after Hamas "seized" $750,000 from Gaza bank.
Fatah accused Hamas of "squandering" $700 million of financial aid earmarked for the Palestinian victims of war. Fatah wants to ensure that the millions of dollars intended for the Gaza Strip will pass through its hands and not end up in Hamas's bank accounts. Relying on Fatah in this regard is like asking a cat to guard the milk.
The head of the Palestinian Authority's Anti-Corruption Commission revealed that his group has retrieved $70 million of public funds fund embezzled by Palestinian officials. Arab and Western donors need to make sure that their money does not end up (once again) in the wrong hands. Without a proper mechanism of accountability and transparency, hundreds of millions of dollars are likely to find their way into the bank accounts of both Hamas and Fatah leaders.
by Mudar Zahran
"If Hamas does not like you for any reason all they have to do now is say you are a Mossad agent and kill you." — A., a Fatah member in Gaza.
"Hamas wanted us butchered so it could win the media war against Israel showing our dead children on TV and then get money from Qatar." — T., former Hamas Ministry officer.
"They would fire rockets and then run away quickly, leaving us to face Israeli bombs for what they did." — D., Gazan journalist.
"Hamas imposed a curfew: anyone walking out in the street was shot. That way people had to stay in their homes, even if they were about to get bombed. Hamas held the whole Gazan population as a human shield." — K., graduate student
"The Israeli army allows supplies to come in and Hamas steals them. It seems even the Israelis care for us more than Hamas." — E., first-aid volunteer.
"We are under Hamas occupation, and if you ask most of us, we would rather be under Israeli occupation… We miss the days when we were able to work inside Israel and make good money. We miss the security and calm Israel provided when it was here." — S., graduate of an American university, former Hamas sympathizer.
by Ben Cohen
Now, with the Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate having captured key oil wells in the Middle East this year, foreign oil has become an even more lethal financial weapon-of-choice for those seeking to destroy democracy and further escalate the War on Terror.
That President Barack Obama failed even to mention oil as a critical factor in the war against IS during his speech to the nation on September 10, is an omission both revealing and dangerous in terms of how his administration wants to depict the stakes involved in this latest confrontation with the jihadis.
by Lawrence A. Franklin
One Pakistani recruiter of child suicide bombers describes these children as "tools provided by God."
Another Muslim cleric in a madrassa [Islamic boys' school] describes child suicide bombers as "a gift from Allah that we have an unlimited number willing to be sacrificed to teach Americans a lesson."
Using children as suicide bombers will stop when... they stop "condoning the killing of innocents."
by Denis MacEoin
"No religion condones the killing of innocents." — U.S. President Barack Obama, September 10, 2014.
"Islam is a religion of peace." — U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, September 13, 2014.
"There is a place for violence in Islam. There is a place for jihad in Islam." — U.K. Imam Anjem Choudary, CBN News, April 5, 2010.
Regrettably it is impossible to re-interpret the Qur'an in a "moderate" manner. The most famous modern interpretation by Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966), the Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, leads the reader again and again into political territory, where jihad is at the root of action.
If they deviated from the true faith -- as we are seeing in the Islamic State today -- "backsliders," like pagans, were to be fought until they either accepted Islam or were killed.
In India alone, between 60 and 80 million Hindus may have been put to death by Muslim armies between the years 1000-1525.