Monday, March 27, 2006

Words of peace from Hamas leader

"I've never sent anyone on a suicide mission," Ismail Hanieh, the leader designate of the new Hamas government in the Palestinian Authority, said to the CBS TV Channel on March 16th.

"If one of my sons came to me and asked me that, I wouldn't even consider giving him my blessing."

According to CBS: Hamas hasn't sent any suicide bombers into Israel for more than six months. But if it restarts its terror campaign, Haniyeh will be at the top of Israel's hit list. He narrowly escaped assassination once before — three years ago, an Israeli F-16 bombed a house where he was meeting other Hamas leaders. So what would it take for Hamas to renounce violence and recognize Israel's right to exist? "That depends on Israel's recognition of a Palestinian state within the boundaries of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem," he said. "Only then can there be room for talks." Israel calls all that "double talk." It says Haniyeh is the smiling face of Hamas' public relations campaign to soften its murderous image in the West. But when asked if he could foresee a day when he would be invited to the White House to sign a peace agreement with the Israelis, he answered, "Let's hope so." Words of hope and not hatred are a new vocabulary for Hamas.

These are important words of peace that everybody around the world, including the Danish government and the EU, ought to listen to. Hamas should be removed from the EU terror list. The Danish government could take an initiative and raise the matter in the EU. After all EU got a common foreign policy with the Maastricht treaty. It has been more or less dead, but it might be reinvigorated now.

What the Hamas leader demands is not much more than what has been agreed in international treaties and the UN. According to the Camp David accords and resolution 242 Israel shall withdraw to its borders before the 1967 war.

Watch the complete Ismail Haniyeh interview

14 Comments:

Blogger Sophia said...

It is unlikely to happen but lets hope so. Some worries however: Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah who were rejected by the palestinian people for their corruption might be Hamas's biggest problem. Pushed by the US and some EU countries and feeling empowered by their support, Abbas is declaring that big money will not be given to Hamas but will stay in his hands.
I am afraid that people who want to doscredit Hamas will use the most corrupt elements in the palestinian political establishment to do the dirty work for them, provoke internal tensions inside the palestinian territories and just forget about Hamas's new stance toward peace. I hope Hamas and the palestinian people will resist the temptation of internal warfare.

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It'll take more than a few words to get them removed from the list, actions speak better.

2:26 AM  
Anonymous Constant opposition said...

Finally, I seem to start realizing why I'm in constant opposition with this blog (despite being a regular reader). It's the double standards, Comsic Duck, I see you apply all over here. When I read your posts they really make the Danish government look like the most xenophobic, dangerous, lethal and whatever political grouping in the world, and yes, then you try to paint Hamas as a peace group. Whatever credibility there is here is harmed by the double standards. You should treat Hamas and words their leaders utter at least 10% as hard as you treat the Danish government. Heck, these people are terrorists, hate mongerers and responsible for killing innocent civilians by suicide bombs and they're calling for the destruction of an internationally recognized country... and ready to renounce violence after certain conditions are met.

If you treat Hamas and the Danish government with double standards as I think you do, it lessens the credibility of the good points you have anywhere around your blog. Moreover, double standards are inherently racist, like giving the image that as much can't be expected from a Palestinian government as from a Danish one... because Palestinians and Danes are different... We must expect the same from every human being and scrutinize everyone by the same standards.

Would you yourself rather live as an ordinary citizen in Rasmussen-led Denmark or Hamas-led Palestine? In which of the two do you think you would have the freedom of speech you exercize here, corruption-free government (Hamas will be corrupted as long as they get to power), respect for human rights, minorities and tolerance, which government do you think is closer to representing your views and ideals?

12:26 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

Constant opposition.

Your comparison does not hold. Frantz Fanon said that an oppressed people is always right. That of course is a sligth exaggeration. But if they are not entirely right, they at least have a right not to be oppressed. And how do we help them to achieve that.

These people have been evicted from their land by Western colonial powers and the Jews who settled in Palestine according to plans set up by those powers. They have at least as much right as the Israelis - if not more - to live off the fat of the land. When they stretch out their hand for negotiation and peace we have an obligation to accept the outstretched hand.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Constant opposition said...

CD, you simply don't want to reply to my questions. (Well, keeping silent is included in everyone's freedom of speech/lessness.)

I'll have another one, then. Would you support oppressed, colonialized Greenlanders and Faroese doing suicide bomb attacks in Copenhagen then?

Oppressed peoples must be supported but only when they're themselves not oppressors (like Hamas will be in power) and when they are credibly represented. Terrorists with no respect for human rights, dissent and the dignity of life are no credible representants of anyone.

I don't know what the official - if any - definition of oppression is but that would also apply to Denmark, recently threatened by representatives of a religion of a billion, threatening a nation of five millions with deaths, violations of diplomatic property and economic sanctions due to an internal matter of that country. The oppressor:oppressed ratio is far worse (200:1) than with the Israelis and Palestinians.

CO

7:05 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

CO.

You might say so. But it is also a question of the size of the asymmetry between oppressor and oppressed, which is particularly big in the Palestinian/Israel relationship.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Constant opposition said...

How many Arabs are ther per Jews in the Middle East? The ratio anyway is particularly big but for the favour of the Arabs. On the other hand, while considering for example Danes/Greenlanders it might be like 100:1, for the Faroese even much more.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

CO

Asymmetry should be measured in power - economic and military. Israel is a strong Western outpost in the Middle East. It is much stronger economically and militarily than the neighbours and the Palestinians. The country also has nuclear weapons.

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Constant opposition said...

CD, what do you think of this:

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/1A014B78-768C-4775-B28F-297DD4A3C2DB.htm

Some new "peaceful" words from Hamas...

CO

8:09 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

CO.

I have noticed the following from your link: "His comments stood in contrast to a more conciliatory speech by Haniya on Monday in which he stressed the new government's push for peace and dialogue". It says something about the difficult position he - and other conciliatory politicians - are in.

Israel, the US and the EU ought to support the conciliatory forces. That is the only way to bring peace forward.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Constant opposition said...

Sure, on that we agree. What we disagree on, however, is that I don't see Hamas as a conciliatory force. Some nice words to appeal to the US and EU (who finance the Palestinian government anyway) every now and then shouldn't overshadow their hate mongering in words and deeds elsewhere.

Surely Putin has talked somewhere about peace and democracy, as have Bush, the Chinese leadership and dozens of other more or less despotic leaders (Bush is not a despot, I just dislike him for other reasons) elsewhere but also them I judge by their real deeds.

CO

11:59 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

CO.

Do not demonize a political movement that started out as a freedom movement struggling for the rights of an oppressed people. No wonder, they may appear "hate mongering". They are representative of large layers of the population. And there's usually a reason for their "hate mongering".

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Constant opposition said...

Whether a political party or movement started as whatever and whether they are representative of large layers of the population has nothing to do with the correctness of the movement's words and deeds. Hitler was more or less democratically elected to power which doesn't mean that we should not demonize Nazis and question the Nazi hate mongering by putting that into brackets. And it most certainly doesn't justify the Nazi hate mongering as you think the same by Hamas is justified.

I'm again seeing your double standards in a kind of action here. You praise Hamas for occasional nice words (and forget all the rest) and now in your newest post criticize the Bush administration not because of their own words but by their deeds.

Honestly, it's sad that constantly using these double standards is harmful to the credibility of whatever else you're writing here (and you've got interesting stuff as well on your website).

Yes and I just want to stress again that I was against the war against Iraq and would never vote for Bush (if I were an American citizen which I'm not).

CO

4:14 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

CO.

You don't have to justify yourself by saying you would never vote for Bush. Whether you vote for one or another US politician does not validate or invalidate your arguments.

What is basically wrong in your argumentation, which also by the way contain many merits, especially in your pinpointing fallacies of logic, is the comparisons you make. The comparison with nazi Germany is missing the point.

The point is that the Palestinians are an oppressed people. I admit that my remark about an oppressed people being always right was silly and pompous. In this case, however, you are confronted with an oppressed people which is not right per se, but which has a strong moral case deriving from the fact that they were evicted from their land in the first place.

Now this people is obstructed from moving about in the area by a strong Israeli army. A precondition for a modern economy is freedom of movement. It is fatal that the Israelis won't allow this. The international community cannot let the Palestinians down by not doing anything. Here you have a people getting more and more embittered. Producing terror actions is not justifiable, but it is perhaps understandable when confronted with such a reality. Therefore the West should start acknowledging the rights of the Palestinians, continue supporting the PA economically and take them off the terror lists.

10:16 AM  

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