How Hamas Is Trying to Fool Everyone
In reality Hamas has not changed or relinquished its dream of replacing Israel with an Islamist state that is funded and armed by Iran. Unless Hamas changes its charter, the talk about changes in its strategy only serves to spread the movement's campaign of deception.
Is Hamas really on its way to moderation and pragmatism, as some Western political analysts and diplomats have come to believe?
And what do some Hamas leaders mean when they say that they are ready to accept a Palestinian state "only" in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem?
These questions were raised after CNN recently aired an interview with Hamas "political leader" Khaled Mashaal.
Mashaal told CNN's Christiane Amanpour: "I accept a Palestinian state according to 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital, with the right of return [of millions of Palestinians to Israel]."
The Hamas leader's remark has since been misinterpreted by some Westerners as a sign that the radical Islamist movement, which was established 25 years ago with the declared goal of destroying Israel, has now abandoned its ideology and is on its way to endorsing a softer approach.
But while Mashaal was speaking on CNN, several Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip were talking -- in Arabic -- about their intention to pursue the fight against Israel until the "liberation of all our lands, from the sea to the river."
Mashaal's remark is nothing but an attempt to mislead the international community into believing that Hamas has endorsed the two-state solution and is willing to live in peace alongside Israel.
In reality, Hamas has not changed or relinquished its dream of replacing Israel with an Islamist state that is funded and armed by Iran.
What Mashaal is actually saying is that because Hamas is aware of the fact that it cannot achieve its goal of destroying Israel now, it will take whatever land the Israelis give it and then continue the fight to "liberate" all Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
No one better than Mashaal himself expressed this view in the same CNN interview, where he stated: "Palestine, from the river to the sea, from the north to the south, it is my land. And the land of my fathers and grandfathers, inhabited by the Palestinians from a long time ago...but because of the circumstances of the region, because of the keenness to stop the bloodshed, the Palestinians today, and Hamas, have agreed on a program that accepts the 1967 borders."
What Mashaal and other "moderate" Hamas leaders are saying is this: "Give us a Palestinian state now in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem so that we could use it as a launching pad for eliminating Israel."
In an interview with Al-Jazeera this week, Mashaal admitted for the first time that Iran has been providing Hamas with weapons and money. He also revealed that Arab and Islamic countries, as well as individuals and organizations, have also been supporting Hamas militarily and financially.
Today it has become clear to most Palestinians that a future Palestinian state would be run by Hamas or Islamic Jihad. These two groups' popularity has increased among Palestinians, especially in wake of their self-declared "victory" over Israel during the recent Israel-Hamas conflict.
Hamas's effort to depict itself as a "moderate" movement reached its peak this week when Mashaal phoned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to voice support for the request to upgrade the status of a Palestinian entity to non-member observer in the UN.
Mashaal's phone call was again misinterpreted as a sign that Hamas was willing to accept a state only within the pre-1967 lines.
But as Hamas officials later explained, the fact that Mashaal had welcomed Abbas's statehood bid did not mean that the movement was prepared to give up "one inch of Palestine."
Hamas is engaged in a subtle campaign to win the sympathy of the international community by appearing as if it is ready to abandon its dream of destroying Israel. Mashaal's remarks should be seen in the context of a new Hamas tactic aimed at turning the radical Islamist movement into a legitimate and recognized player in the international and regional arenas.
Those who have been misled into believing Hamas's lies should be referred to the movement's charter, where it is clearly stated that "The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it…the liberation of that land is an individual duty binding on all Muslims everywhere. When our enemies usurp some Islamic lands, Jihad [holy war] becomes a duty binding on all Muslims."
The next time CNN or any other Western media outlet interviews a Hamas leader, it would be advisable to ask him whether his movement was willing to change its charter. Unless Hamas does so, the talk about changes in its strategy only serves to spread the movement's campaign of deception.
Reader comments on this item
|Iran, then Hamas! [12 words]||G.N. Krishnaswamy||Nov 29, 2012 07:38|
|1967? [12 words]||Olabo Breibart||Nov 29, 2012 05:23|
|Hamas fools all [46 words]||Alan Burton||Nov 28, 2012 11:16|
|Just like Arafat [38 words]||Chaya||Nov 28, 2012 08:09|
Comment on this item
by Pierre Rehov
For terrorists, the death of innocent children is irrelevant. In a society that promotes martyrdom as the ultimate sign of success, the death of innocent children can sometimes even be seen as a public relations blessing.
In every action, intent is paramount. There should never be a moral equivalence painted between the deliberate killing of civilians, and a retaliation that tragically leads to casualties among civilians.
There is, however, one small difference: in the Middle East, reporters are threatened, except in Israel. Their choice becomes a simple one: promote the Palestinian point of view or stop working in the West Bank. Keep the eye of the camera dirty or lose your job. This show should not go on.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
Since 1948, the Arab countries and government have been paying mostly lip service to the Palestinians.
"They have money and oil, but don't care about the Palestinians, even though we are Arabs and Muslims like them. What a Saudi or Qatari sheikh spends in one night in London, Paris or Las Vegas could solve the problem of tens of thousands of Palestinians." — Palestinian human rights activist.
"Some Arabs were hoping that Israel would rid them of Hamas." — Ashraf Salameh, Gaza City.
"Some of the Arab regimes are interested in getting rid of the resistance in order to remove the burden of the Palestinian cause, which threatens the stability of their regimes." — Mustafa al-Sawwaf, Palestinian political analyst.
"Most Arabs are busy these days with bloody battles waged by their leaders, who are struggling to survive. These battles are raging in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya and the Palestinian Authority." — Mohammed al-Musafer, columnist.
"The Arab leaders don't know what they want from the Gaza Strip. They don't even know what they want from Israel." — Yusef Rizka, Hamas official.
by Soeren Kern
European elites, who take pride in viewing the EU as a "postmodern" superpower, have long argued that military hard-power is illegitimate in the 21st century. Unfortunately for Europe, Russia (along with China and Iran) has not embraced the EU's fantastical soft-power worldview, in which "climate change" is now said to pose the greatest threat to European security.
For its part, the European Commission, the EU's administrative branch, which never misses an opportunity to boycott institutions in Israel, has issued only a standard statement on the shooting down of MH17 in Ukraine, which reads: "The European Union will continue to follow this issue very closely."
The EU has made only half-hearted attempts to develop alternatives to its dependency on Russian oil and gas.
by Shoshana Bryen
Proportionality in international law is not about equality of death or civilian suffering, or even about [equality of] firepower. Proportionality weighs the necessity of a military action against suffering that the action might cause to enemy civilians in the vicinity.
"Under international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute, the death of civilians during an armed conflict, no matter how grave and regrettable does not constitute a war crime.... even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur. A crime occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians (principle of distinction) or an attack is launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality)." — Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court.
"The greater the military advantage anticipated, the larger the amount of collateral damage -- often civilian casualties -- which will be "justified" and "necessary." — Dr. Françoise Hampton, University of Essex, UK.
by Irfan Al-Alawi
"Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi" is Abu Du'a, a follower of the late Osama Bin Laden. By adding the name "Al-Qurayshi" in his current alias, he is also seeking to affirm descent from Muhammad.
The allegation of theological sovereignty over all Sunnis extends to Indonesia and Morocco. The idea that the borders between Syria and Iraq will be dissolved by the new "caliphate" defies all Islamic theology and history. As the Qur'an states, "Allah "made the nations and tribes different." (49:13) Syria and Iraq have been distinct for millennia.
The "Islamic State" seeks to obliterate these diverse identities by expelling or killing all Shias and Sunni Sufis. And it does not invoke the Ottoman caliphate in its propaganda, demonstrating decisively the fake nature of the "Islamic State."
A caliphate is obsolete and the "Islamic State" is totalitarian. All Sunnis need to repudiate them soundly, even by force of arms.