With the Palestinian elections approaching and inspired by their Hezbollah mentors, the Islamic Shiite movement that asserted itself as a major force in Lebanese politics saw a political future as the only way forward according to Dr. Nashat Aqtash hired by Hamas to give it a kinder gentler face. Poised to take the reins of Palestinian power and explaining what a good thing that is for all concerned. Hamas is recognizing that the media war is more important than the actual war on the ground, and so far in the media they were losing, Israel was able to give them a bad image.
Dr. Aqtash was hired as a consultant for a month-long campaign leading up to Wednesdayâ€™s parliamentary elections, earning $180.000. no doubt with the approval of Hamasâ€™s leader in exile, Damascus-based Khaled Mashal, who hired him to re-brand the movement for western consumption.
To hear Aqtash tell it, the change in Hamas started after the assassination of Sheik Yassin, when discussions among the Hamas prisoners in the Israeli jails debating the wisdom of pursuing military victory over Israel, and according to Aqtash the conclusion was that they lost. But Aqtash spin takes Hamas only so far, anxious to sell the partyâ€™s election manifesto, he demurs when asked about long-standing Hamas principles not listed in campaign materials, the eventual, if delayed, destruction of Israel and creation of an Islamic state are talking points the â€œnewâ€ Hamas does not wish to engage.
Aqtash is evasive when asked about the words expressed by the late Hamas hardliner, Rantisi of removing Israel from the map, or when asked who approves his message, he says he has never spoken to the Hamas leader in Damascus since consultations arenâ€™t necessary. Recent Palestinian polls show support for Hamas surging, with some analysts suggesting a dead heat with Fatah. What it all will mean afterward even Aqtash cannot say.
Hamas may or may not be persuaded to part with its weapons, Hamas may or may not be willing to sit down and negotiate with Israel.
I personally believe Hamas did not change its policies and the hardliners within Hamas will emerge empowered by democracy to reject any compromise with Israel.
January 24, 2006 at 7:42 pm
Interesting blog I doubt if they will succeed in changing their image.
January 24, 2006 at 9:58 pm
Hamas is copying the infidels? thats a change.
January 25, 2006 at 8:09 pm
I wonder if their new gentler face will
stand the test of today’s election.
January 30, 2006 at 4:40 am
Abbas brought these savages to power. He failed at peace, ending corruption, and making things generally better. Anyone who wanted to know how the vacuum was going to be filled with the death of the savage Arafat now has their answer.
The good news: Israel can wipe these Muslim savages off the map now. They have shown their true colors. Israel should bomb the entire West Bank to ZERO population. Next, drive all non JEWS from Israel.
Result: A victor. You will never have peace until you have a real victory. Go study how the USA destoryed the Indians. Can you say Scorched Earth Policy! No one is getting an arrow throught their neck as we won!…Israel needs to bomb to victory. Totally destory the Palestinians in the territories and West Bank. Oh, and there is a
Palestinian state….it is called JORDAN. Jordan is 90% Palestnian. These savages just want to kill JEWS. Fuck ISLAM! Israel should give them all 48 hours to move to their state, JORDAN, or be delivered to the DEVIL via a body bag.