Thursday, November 08, 2007

Pity the poor Hamas "moderate"

Ahmed Yousef, advisor to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, is the West's point man when trying to make Hamas look more moderate.

He's the one who wrote the Washington Post op-ed last June trying to convince Americans that Hamas was the same as Fatah and deserved a chance. He's the one who the New York Times honored with another op-ed where he asks the world to give the "hudna" a chance ("Pause for Peace.") He was glowingly depicted in the Christian Science Monitor as "moderate and cooperative."

Earlier this week, Asharq al-Awsat wrote about the divisions in Fatah and Hamas, and it wrote "
Some sources within the movement had severely criticized Yousef for his declared statements and positions, some going further to describe them as 'Fatah-inclined'."

Oooh, that's gotta hurt.

But he lived up to his reputation on Wednesday when he told reporters that the Hamas charter is obsolete, that Hamas would attend the Annapolis conference if invited and that being friendly with the United States is in Hamas' interests.

Predictably, today Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar denied everything Yousef said, saying that Hamas was against the Annapolis meeting and that its charter calling for the destruction of Israel is still in effect.

It certainly isn't easy trying to show Hamas' moderate side when that side is nonexistent.