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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hamas word games

From The New York Sun:
The Word Games That Hamas Plays
The MEMRI Report

By STEVEN STALINSKY
March 28, 2007"I am confident that the siege will be partially broken, which will give our people an opportunity to be prepared for the forthcoming stage." — Khaled Meshaal, Asharq Al-Awsat, February 2

Has Hamas moderated? Or are the Palestinian Arab organization's leaders following in the footsteps of Yasser Arafat, discussing peaceful intentions in talks with the West while declaring jihad in Arabic?

During a press conference in Tehran with President Ahmadinejad on March 4, the political leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, said he supported the recently signed Mecca Accords for power sharing between Hamas and the Fatah Party of Arafat and the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas.

Mr. Meshaal also spoke in favor of other Palestinian Arab objectives, such as the establishment of a state with the 1967 borders and Jerusalem as its capital, and the so-called right of return.

Mr. Meshaal reiterated Hamas's position against official recognition of Israel, and he promised to continue the group's resistance. With a smile on his face, Mr. Ahmadinejad told the Hamas leader: "The Zionist entity is in the worst period in its history, and is headed toward crumbling. … The divine victory … will soon be revealed."

At an address at Al-Murabit Mosque in Damascus on February 3, 2006, Mr. Meshaal said publicly what some Palestinian Arabs have been talking about for some time with their press outlets: They will be patient in their battle against Israel. He promised, "Muslims will take over the world," and he explicitly said his organization's plan is to deceive Israel with semantics.

In his speech, the Hamas leader explained that his people are willing to continue fighting Israel even if it takes 1000 years for victory. Mr. Meshaal also said one aspect of Hamas's current strategy is to rely on such tools as using statements like "we love peace" or "we have given up the option of war," while still planning Israel's destruction.

Mr. Meshaal also promised: "Before Israel dies, it must be humiliated and degraded. … We will make them lose their eyesight, we will make them lose their brains."

Besides Mr. Meshaal, many Hamas leaders have been discussing the coming "stage," or battle against Israel. A member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and columnist for the Hamas organ Al-Resala, Younes Al-Astal, called the Mecca Accords " Sulh Al-Hudaybiyya," alluding to a temporary peace agreement from the early days of Islamic history.

He wrote on February 15: "We are optimistic that the new Mecca agreement will be the key to many achievements, which will provide the internal security that is necessary to renew the siege on Khaybar [ Israel], and to subjugate the Zionists to the demands of the resistance."
There is no doubt that Norway and other countries now clamoring to recognize the "moderate" Hamas know about these statements as well. The problem is that they choose to interpret the "peaceful" statements as being accurate and the terrorist statements as rhetoric for the Arab audience.

The reason is, once again, that the desire for peace in the Middle East is so strong that wishful thinking trumps sober analysis of the truth. People believe what they want to believe and they pick and choose the facts to back up their beliefs, and this is the major reason that the world believes Arab lies and half-truths, over and over again, no matter how many times they are proven wrong.