Saturday, December 9

P.M. Ismail Haniyeh's Visit to Iran and its Implications

P.M. of Palestine, Ismail Haniyeh has embarked on a trip to Iran to visit his ally President Mahmoud Ahmadinajad. The purpose of this visit is obvious. Rather than toning down his anti-Israel rhetoric, he visits a common bedfellow who shares his intense, uncompromising hate for Israel in the hope of getting funds from Iran which are denied Hamas from the EU, the US and the UK. It is well known that Ahmadinajad wishes to see Israel wiped off the face of the earth. The Hamas-ruled coalition in the Palestinian Authority shares the same goal. This leaves President Mahmoud Abbas in the unenviable position of being further weakened in his attempt to form a national unity government which would recognize Israel’s right to exist as one of its planks.

The tactics of Ismail Haniyeh in his hate-filled speech against Israel in Teheran serves to erode President Mahmoud Abbas’s negotiating stance with Israel even further. He has outlined his hate-for-Israel rhetoric so clearly at Teheran University that it makes it almost impossible for any form of reconciliation between the Palestinians and Israelis. He has further legitimized the armed struggle Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh vowed on Friday 8th December 2006 that his Hamas-led government will never recognize Israel and will continue to fight for the liberation of Jerusalem.

"The world arrogance (US) and Zionists... want us to recognize the usurpation of the Palestinian lands and stop jihad and resistance and accept the agreements reached with the Zionist enemies in the past," Haniyeh told thousands of Friday prayer worshippers in a speech at Tehran University. Haniyeh continued "I'm insisting from this podium that these issues won't materialize. We will never recognize the usurper Zionist government and will continue our jihad-like movement until the liberation of Jerusalem," he said.

If this is the attitude of Hamas, it comes as no surprise that he will receive a sympathetic ear from Ahmadinajad. This form of rhetoric encourages further violence. Hamas is leading the Palestinian People down the road to disaster! Israel will see this speech as encouragement for more Hamas, Islamic Jihad terror directed towards Israel’s citizens.

Haniyeh sees Iran as an ally of the Palestinian People. There is none as blind as those who will not see! Iran will never alleviate Palestinian suffering! Iran has one goal –domination of the Middle East, replacing Sunni Islam with an extreme form of Shia Islam that serves Iran’s interests of colonization! The only commonality between Iran and Hamas is their uncompromising hate for the Jewish State and its people. Haniyeh has failed his people miserably. His anti-democratic attitude towards his people by prolonging their suffering because of the occupation is his source of strength. It is a great pity that so much energy is wasted in hate-filled rhetoric instead of adopting a pragmatic attitude towards Israel’s existence. Iran has a nuclear programme which is a threat to the world and this includes all the peoples of the Middle East. Nobody is immune from the nuclear war head!

Hamas has not done anything to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians! They have not embarked on any programme to rehabilitate their people to eventual statehood. They have not encouraged the development of democratic government nor made any movement towards human rights. Many Palestinian civil workers have not received salaries for months. Why? Hamas blames the US and Israel for the crisis of the Palestinian People. In reality they (Hamas) are largely responsible for the situation. The money that arrives is used for terror and not for reconstruction of a future Palestinian state. One cannot have responsible government when it is also involved in terror!

The fragile cease-fire is still being violated by both sides! This means that international monitoring of the cease-fire is a matter of urgency. While there is a cease-fire, Israeli and Palestinian lives are saved. There is no trust between Israelis and Palestinians. How can there be when Hamas is so intransigent in her attitude towards Israel? Surely the time for the false Hamas sense of self prestige is over! If there was a genuine indication between both sides to mutual recognition and respect and a true desire for peace, negotiations could start and much could be achieved in alleviating Palestinian suffering. Palestinians deserve far better. Everyday lives of innocent Palestinians who suffer from the occupation must be addressed. The road blocks, severe economic hardships, humiliating security checks, delays in receiving medical attention and travel restrictions are all the results of the insensitivity of both sides to reach an agreement. Israel also shares part of the blame for this despicable situation.

The “developing friendship” between Iran and the Palestinians is an illusion. It will create further strife for the Palestinian People. Israel will also view this as adding fat on the fire of hate. When will Hamas adopt a policy of “real politic” and show a true desire for negotiations with Israel? They must cease their fantasy of destroying Israel. While they do not change their attitude they will prolong the suffering of the Palestinian people which in the short term is their strength but in the long term it will prove to be their weakness.

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