Hamas leader to step down just as his relative moderation most neededAs long as you don't count the suicide bombing murder of 73-year old Lyubov Razdolskaya in 2008. Its Hamas mastermind was killed by Israel a few months later. Shhhhh.
Mr. Meshaal will leave office at a sensitive time, just when his relative moderation may most be needed.
The quiet, intense man has been pivotal in efforts to reconcile with the secular Palestine Liberation Organization, and even has prodded Syria’s embattled President Bashar al-Assad to usher in political reforms rather than attack his own people. His strategy has led to Hamas’s estrangement from its long-time benefactor, Iran.
Compared to Sheik Yassin and Dr. Rantisi, both refugees in Gaza camps, Mr. Meshaal, born in a village north of Ramallah in the West Bank, is a moderate, and this may explain his voluntary swan song now.
This moderation became evident in early January, 2009, in the middle of Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza, which followed a Hamas campaign of firing rockets into Israel.
With hundreds of Gazans killed by Israeli aerial bombing, rocket and mortar attacks and few Israeli casualties, many thought Hamas would bring out the one weapon in its historic arsenal to have claimed many Israeli lives and struck fear in the whole country – suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. Beginning in 1994 and ending in 2005, Hamas had carried out several dozen such attacks and inspired other groups to do the same.
But Hamas members of parliament said that Mr. Meshaal had ordered an end to such attacks in 2005. Despite the pummelling Hamas was enduring in Gaza, he had no intention of resorting to the deadly tactic that gave Hamas its notoriety for violence, according to those parliamentarians.
Indeed, not during that time, nor any time since, has Hamas carried out a suicide attack against Israeli civilians. It’s now coming up to seven years.
As Honest Reporting notes, the reason that suicide bombings has gone down because of Israeli security measures, including the security fence, a fact acknowledged by Islamic Jihad.
But forget that. In the twisted minds of Western journalists, people who support shooting thousands of rockets at Israeli cities, targeting innocent civilians, can be called "moderate." People who continue to brag about their suicide attacks are "moderate." Shooting a laser-guided missile at a school bus, killing a teenager, and bragging about it - not even claiming it was a military target - is a mark of "moderation."
In defense of the reporter, Patrick Martin, he did try to make sure he threw in the word "relative" most of the times he said "moderate."
That's what makes his report is only moderately disgusting.