Saturday, February 18

Hamas is on the Road to Acceptability

Cracks are beginning to appear in the determination not to recognize Hamas. The logic behind these cracks is the growing acceptability of many countries to come to terms with the will of the Palestinian people to change their government. This they had illustrated under international supervision of the democratic Palestinian Elections on 26 January 2006. When the results of a Hamas victory became clear, the US, which had pushed for democratic elections, began to reel as a result. Those who follow the turmoil in the Middle East were least surprised. The Palestinian electorate cast the dye clearly. The Palestinian Electorate had shown their disgust with the corruption of the Palestinian Authority under Fatah rule and also its ineptitude and insensitivity to the massive economic problems that the Palestinians face. The peace process or coming to terms with Israel was not a factor in the minds of the Palestinian People. They were more concerned about their own poor economic situation and suffering. It was a matter of new brooms sweeping clean.

Many countries who maintain good relations with Israel are following Russia’s example and inviting the Hamas leadership to visit their countries. Turkey is the latest example of such a country. This does not leave much room for optimism on the ability of the US and the Quartet to isolate Hamas. Russia is even going to discuss giving the Palestinians a present of two M17 transport helicopters and 50 armored personnel carriers. Does this mean the appeasement of Hamas is fast becoming a reality? After all, Russia does not regard them as a terrorist group. "Armored equipment is also intended for stabilizing the situation," Interfax quoted the Russian Chief of Staff Baluyevsky as saying. It is surrealistic even trying to see the logic in such a statement. We all know what Hamas has done in terror operations against Israel. Giving weapons to them as a reward is absurd and dangerous. Hamas is an Islamist Fascist group of terrorists. Their charter is similar to Hitler’s Mein Kampf according to Avi Dichter, the Kadima candidate for the Knesset and ex-head of the Israeli Security Services.

One thing is certain; Hamas will receive more invitations by many other countries in the guise of helping the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians to move forward. This is an illusion. Khaled Mashal, the exiled Hamas leader residing in Damascus and visiting Turkey is now making statements that Hamas is largely misunderstood. Hamas is now whitewashed and being presented as a legitimate group of peacemakers. Time is not on the side of the US or Israel. The US is adamant in its demand of not recognizing Hamas as a legitimate peace partner. Russia by its deeds has a different opinion. The Russian snowball effect of the appeasement and recognition of Hamas is opening the way for many countries to receive the Hamas leadership with open arms. Egypt has been courting them for some time. After all Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood that is in itself a great headache for President Hosni Mubarak who also handles them carefully.

All these activities of appeasement and legitimization of Hamas will achieve nothing positive. Hamas is determined never to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Hamas is determined to continue the armed struggle against the occupation that has a very wide meaning in Hamas terms. It does not mean only relinquishing territory occupied in the Six Day War of June 1967 but also the total destruction of Israel as a Jewish State. Granting Hamas international recognition will only strengthen Hamas’s hand in carrying on terror against Israel. It will also strengthen the relationship between Iran and Hamas ruled Palestine. The consequences would be very grave indeed with further Islamist extremism becoming the order of the day in the Middle East, which means a war against non-Moslems. According to the Hamas Charter, Arab territory occupied by a non-Moslem entity (the “Zionist Entity” as they call it) is unacceptable. It is the duty of Moslems to wage war until they achieve their goal. Who is the world bluffing these days? The only concession that they are prepared to make is a long-term temporary peace treaty or hudna until they (the “Hamasniks”) have gained enough strength militarily to achieve their aim of destroying Israel.

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