Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Another Episode Of "Hamas Is Becoming More Moderate"--With More Repeats Than "I Love Lucy"

Evelyn Gordon writes about Wishful Thinking: Hamas’s “New Direction”, the idea that Hamas (once again) is heading in a "new direction," a more moderate direction, in its approach on how to deal with Israel--as reflected in the Haaretz editorial Israel needs to listen to Hamas, and take notice

Gordon goes through some recent quotes from the Hamas leadership to illustrate how the wishful thinking once again ignores the reality of what Hamas actually says to their own people.:
o Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told those at a ceremony marking the organization’s 24th anniversary that “armed struggle” is “the strategic choice for liberating the Palestinian land, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river … The Hamas movement will lead intifada after intifada until we liberate Palestine – all of Palestine.”

Hamas “Foreign Minister” Osama Hamdan said Hamas’s recent agreement to join the PLO, Israel’s “partner” in the Oslo Accords, was aimed solely at getting the PLO to “reconsider its political program.” Hamas remains committed to “the liberation of our lands from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river,” Hamdan said, and “anyone who thinks Hamas has changed its positions and now accepts the PLO’s defeatist political program is living in an illusion.”
Hamas official Khalil Abu Leila similarly said the group was joining the PLO solely to “bring the PLO back to its correct path and the goal for which it was established, namely the liberation of Palestine,” and persuade it to scrap Oslo.
Senior Hamas official Sami Bardawil said that anyone who thinks Hamas will recognize Israel is “dreaming,” because “recognition of Israel is not only a red line but, from our standpoint, a religious-legal prohibition.”
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum denied a Haaretz report that Khaled Meshal, head of the organization’s political wing, had ordered a halt to anti-Israel attacks, saying the report merely reflected the Israeli government’s “state of despair.”
Gordon notes that Meshal, who signed the agreement with Abbas, is no longer considered to be the top leader of Hamas. Meshal's power derived from his being the go-between to get Iranian funds to Hamas and by his ties with Assad in Syria. With Assad's problems on the one hand and Iran's funds to Hamas being cut due to the lack of Hamas support for Syria on the other combined with Hamas's new patron in Egypt replacing Syria--Meshal no longer has the influence he once had.

Of course, some will say that the fact that Hamas is likely to draw closer to the Muslim Brotherhood as a positive sign that proves that Hamas will moderate its stance. However, the fact that the same Muslim Brotherhood denies claims that it gave assurances that it will honor the peace treaty with Israel gives reason for doubt

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