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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Hamas To Different Audiences

"The resistance and the steadfastness of our people forced the Zionists to withdraw," overall Hamas leader Khaled Meshal told reporters from Beirut. "The resistance is capable of ending the Israeli occupation and achieving all our rights. The armed struggle is the only strategy that Hamas possesses."
"Now, after the victory in the Gaza Strip, we will transfer the struggle first to the West Bank and later to Jerusalem," Zahar told a European newspaper this week. "We will continue the struggle until we liberate all our lands. This is an important day for the Palestinians and proof that the armed struggle has born fruit."

Zahar went on to explain Hamas would not stop its attacks until all of Israel is destroyed:

"Neither the liberation of the Gaza Strip, nor the liberation of the West Bank or even Jerusalem will suffice us. Hamas will pursue the armed struggle until the liberation of all our lands. We don't recognize the state of Israel or its right to hold onto one inch of Palestine. Palestine is an Islamic land belonging to all the Muslims."
Hamas is counting on rockets to do this.
"Should the Zionist army partially withdraw from the cities of the West Bank ... Afula, Hadera, Beit She'an, Netanya, Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities will all fall within the range of the Qassam rocket. ... The implication is that this rocket, which was previously looked upon with disdain by many, will serve as the weapon of choice in the coming period of time, as the acts of suicide martyrdom served as the weapon of choice during all the previous years," stated the Hamas article, translated by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies in Israel.
MEMRI - A carefully nuanced position by Mahmoud Al-Zahar. The political game has become and it seems that Hamas intends to win it. Once again, it claims that armed attacks against Israel must continue and that Hamas intends to do away with the Oslo Accord. The "calming down" will cease at the end of 2005:
Q: "Will the calming down [Tahdiah] end with the completion of the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip?"

A: "The tahdiah is scheduled to finish at the end of 2005. It was contingent on the release of the prisoners and stopping the attacks. Israel has not abided by these conditions. Our goal was not to hit Israel for the sake of hitting Israel, but to attack the occupation. I stress that the resistance was what drove the occupation out of the Gaza Strip."
It is impossible to make peace with people who don't accept it. MEMRI - Khaled Mash'al speaking at Al-Ahram's convention on Palestine:
"… Hamas controls its military wing... and despite that fact that it is one of the largest factions of the resistance, it is highly capable of keeping its men disciplined. Tahdiah means Tahdiah [and when you talk of] escalation, there is escalation. There is a commitment and it is honored... In the eyes of Hamas, Tahdiah is a trick within the resistance plans, [but] in the eyes of the [Palestinian] Authority, Tahdiah is a step on the way out of the resistance plan... but we still give it a chance... we can be patient and suffer, but not from the perspective of those who want to be free of the Intifada..."
"... Hamas's project is the resistance. [History] has not seen an occupation end without resistance... every negotiation devoid of resistance is useless... Hamas will become a political body only after an independent state is established. As long as there is occupation, it [Hamas] will combine the resistance with political activity...

"... We do not deny that when Hamas acts decisively, it often hurts the security and policy [of the PLO]. [We] make mistakes and we do not deny them. However, there are issues in which the Palestinians are not done justice, for example, the [the criticism of Hamas regarding] the timing of operations. Hamas has never carried out an operation whose purpose was to sabotage diplomatic plans."
It looks like Hamas is feeling real pressure, and saying one thing to one group and another to another. This has got to be all about money. If the flow of money directly to Hamas is cut off a viable Palestinian state will emerge. If not, the worse sort of violence and intimidation within Palestine will continue.

Now in this setting, it is fascinating that Hamas is most extreme in its statements to a European audience and most moderate in its statements to a group of Arab journalists. This highlights the awful nature of what the mainline US churches have done in announcing disinvestment in Israel. What irresponsible fools they are.

It appears as if the left-wingers in Europe lend legitimacy to violent rhetoric at this time. Read all three articles and see if you don't see what I see. To be seen as legitimate in the Arab world Hamas announces its willingness to reflect the desires of the people and its determination to fight against corruption within Palestine. To the European audience it speaks far more stridently. Quite a development.

Any and every agreement in that part of the world ends in a double cross. The Palestinians have never strayed from their desired goal -- a state in place of Israel, not next to it. Anything else you hear is simply to appease the West; there is no truth to it.
Yes, I know that.

But isn't it amazing that they feel more constrained when talking to an audience of Arab journalists than when talking to an audience of western journalists?
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