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Hamas Will Never Recognize Israel – Haniyeh


Hamas’s Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh was visiting Iran this week to thank the Iranian leaders for their continuing support of the Hamas movement. There, he made some bold statements that Israel would never be recognized by Hamas, and that all Palestinian lands would eventually get liberated from the presence of Israel. These statements came as Haniyeh was on a regular visit in Tehran, and are not that surprising knowing the goals of the organization. But what do these statements mean for the long term peace in the region, especially with the upcoming election, and how will the other nations react?

According to Haniyeh, “they (West) want from us to stop resistance and acknowledge Israel but I herewith announce that this will never happen.” That’s what he said through an interpreter while on his visit in Iran. These are of course the thoughts of many Palestinians, but to hear them once again from the leader of the movement means there is no doubt what their policies would be, should they win the upcoming Palestinian election. While at the ceremony marking the 33rd anniversary of the Iranian revolution, both Haniyeh and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met in private to discuss policies, along with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It’s clear that the statements were aimed at supporters, adding “our message and the message of all those who lost their blood in the Palestinian lands is that all occupied lands will eventually be liberated from Israeli occupation.”

Two years ago, a ground breaking Palestinian election paved the way for future peace, but ended up in violence, like so many things in this region. After a year of fighting, Hamas ended up victorious, but it didn’t change much for the ordinary people living in Gaza. Again, we’re facing yet another upcoming election, and already tensions are high. Hamas will once again face Fatah for control of the Palestinian lands, but neither Israel nor the west recognize the legitimacy of Hamas, seeing them as a terrorist organization, which isn’t helped much when western leaders hear statements like that, basically calling for the eradication of an entire country. While there hasn’t been any direct response from other world leaders as to what Haniyeh said, it’s likely to add fuel to the fire, and make the upcoming elections even harder than they will almost certainly be.

In the end, regardless of whether the statements are public or not, it’s clear what the organization wants, and there’s little doubt that more violence will come, and as usual the ones paying the price are usually the innocent bystanders.

And then reality sets in…

On Tuesday, thousands of flag-waving Palestinians in Gaza celebrated the homecoming of hundreds of prisoners exchanged for Shalit, chanting for Hamas to seize yet more Israeli soldiers! “The people want a new Gilad!” they chanted.

They must have been fond of the young Jewish man.

Bradley burst-out-laughing Burston blogged the following blurb in blatant Palestinian approval over at Haaretz:

“The deal is a remnant of an Israel which is fast disappearing. It is a remnant of a particular brand of quiet, exceptional courage. It is an expression of a national character that goes generally ignored in a media environment which prizes the extreme over the honorable. It is evidence of a people true to values which time and sectarian agendas may appear to have diluted and erased.”

He goes on:

“The list of the terrorists being released is unendurable. The numbers are beyond understanding. Until you consider that this is how it’s always been.”

And on:

“In Israel’s nine prisoner exchanges with Arab enemies, dating back to the first, 54 years ago, Israel has freed 13,509 prisoners in order to win the release of a total of 16 soldiers. An average of well over 800 for each one. This is the price.”

Meanwhile, early Sunday morning, rightist activists broke into the home of Justice
Minister Yaakov Neeman to protest the deal they deemed perilously disproportionate.
The rightist activist Baruch Marzel commented on the protests, saying Neeman “has done absolutely nothing” during his term and that his first act is “giving amnesty to 600 murderers.”

Protests were also held at the home of President Shimon Peres.

In another corner of the Shalit story the despotic Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reportedly telephoned Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas to extend congratulations on the terror organization’s victory which he said in a statement to Arab press is the “fruit of strong and continued resistance against the Zionist regime… No doubt this is a great victory for the Palestinian nation and all Muslims and for freedom- and justice-seeking people of the world, and independent nations are as happy as the oppressed Palestinian people over this issue…”

In the statement Ahmajinejad’s reference to Haniyeh as the “Palestinian Prime Minister” without making any reference to Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Help on the Way

The Jewish Country recently unveiled a huge makeshift detention center in Ashdod, the state’s main southern port, announcing the end of intense naval maneuvers, vowing to stop a flotilla of hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists who are trying to break a 3-year blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Masked naval commandos are to greet the eight ships deep out at sea, which was held up in Cyprus on Saturday, to escort the vessels to port and give each activist a choice: either leave the country or go to jail.

750 activists, including a Nobel peace laureate and former U.S. congresswoman, have set sail for the Gaza coast recently, carrying 10,000 tons of humanitarian supplies. They say they will find a way to succeed, even if faced with Israeli ultimatums.
They are bringing “desperately needed materials to the area,” that has been under blockade by Israel and Egypt since Hamas began to call the shots in June of 2007.

Hamas Honcho bringing Fascism into fashion, Ismail Haniyeh said:

“If the ships reach Gaza, it’s a victory for Gaza…If they are intercepted and terrorized by the Zionists, it will be a victory for Gaza, too, and they will move again in new ships to break the siege of Gaza.”

Zionist Spokesman Mark Regev said:

“If they were really interested in the well-being of the people of Gaza, they would have accepted the offers of Egypt or Israel to transfer humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza…Instead, they have chosen a cheap political stunt.”

This marks the ninth time that the Free Gaza Movement, the pro-Palestinian organization behind the effort, has sent a flotilla of supplies to the strip. Israel permitted five deliveries to reach Gaza, but has not allowed any ships through since the military offensive that ended in January 2009.

(viewer discretion is strongly advised for the video shown below)

Shot in the Dark

Hamas Deputy Political Bureau Chief Moussa Abu Marzouk is accusing the Mossad of the January 20 assassination of Hamas founder and military commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai.

The Hamas statement released from Damascus on Friday failed to mention how the assassination was actually carried out. Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was responsible for the kidnappings of IDF solders Ilan Sa’adon and Avi Sasportas more than twenty years ago.

The arch-terrorist’s body arrived in Damascus Thursday night after he was found dead on January 20 in Dubai, where he was serving as a representative of the Hamas military wing abroad. Al-Mabhouh had been expelled from Israel in 1989 for involvement in terrorist activities.

Hamas has announced that it has opened an investigation into the circumstances of his death and that the Islamic terrorist group is working closely with local authorities to catch who they believe to be an agent of the Israeli Mossad.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told mourners in a eulogy in the northern Gaza region that the slain terrorist was the first to plan the act of abducting Israeli soldiers.

Both Avi Sasportas and Ilan Sa’adon were kidnapped and killed during the year 1989 by Hamas fighters loyal to al-Mabhouh. Sasportas was kidnapped at the Hedaya junction while on his way home to Ashdod. He was shot in the head and then buried on the side of the road. Three months later, Sa’adon was captured at a junction near Kiryat Malachi. The day after searches began for Sa’adon, the body of Sasportas was discovered. Sa’adon’s body was found seven years later buried eight meters deep under a paved road south of Rishon L’Tzion.

Hamas insists that the Mossad is responsible, and headlines declare Israel’s hand in the assassination. Hamas vows revenge but

Israel has not yet commented.

Only Fools Rush In

Alright, alright…Calm down! What’s that, boy? Really? Hamas will recognize Israel? After the vast oceans of blood and tears? Why, that’s great, boy! What else boy? Hamas will nullify the charter that calls for the destruction of Israel? Good boy!

The word came from Aziz Dwaik, Hamas’s most senior representative in the West Bank. Go here to add him on your Facebook.

Well, slow down, let’s analyze things a little…

Dwaik’s remarks should be taken in the context of Hamas’s attempts to win recognition from the international community. He was released a few months ago after spending nearly three years in an Israeli prison.
He was among the dozens of Hamas officials who were rounded up by Israel after the abduction of Gilad Schalit near the Gaza Strip in June 2006.
Dwaik put it this way:

“The [Hamas] charter was drafted more than 20 years ago….no one wants to throw anyone into the sea.”

Well, habibi, thank you for clearing that up, ’cause, like, people were beginning to talk.
Dwaik also expressed Hamas’s desire to engage in a dialogue with the European Union. He also confirmed that Hamas was receiving financial aid from Iran. Good to know!

Some might consider Dwaik, as speaker of the PLC, to be the acting president of the Palestinian Authority, sin Mahmoud Abbasce‘s term was officially expired on January 9.

These latest remarks were made during a meeting held in Hebron with British millionaire
David Martin Abrahams
.

“The fact that there is a possibility for recognition of Israel is a symbolic gesture…We can all look for good in people and we can all look for bad in people. I always look for the good…People might say that I’m naïve, so let them. But I’m prepared to give them [Hamas] a chance because I’ve got faith and confidence in Dwaik and Haniyeh. We can’t allow 1.5 million to be festering in the Gaza Strip while the majority of them are good and well-educated.”

Abrahams said that his decision to engage Hamas was aimed at

“preventing bloodshed on both sides.”

“I recently published an article in the Jewish Chronicleto test the temperature of the water within the Jewish community about Hamas…I found a lot of support among Jews for dealing with Hamas and I was pleasantly surprised.”

Abrahams added,

“Hamas is different from al-Qaida…Hamas is no threat to Western interests.”

During the meeting in Hebron, Dwaik stressed that other Hamas leaders, including Damascus-based Khaled Mashaal and Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, have voiced their support of the idea of establishing an independent Palestinian state within the pre-1967 boundaries.

Jimmy Carter and the Two State Solution

Former US. President Jimmy Carter went on a three hour tour of Gaza on Tuesday, in which Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told him that “Hamas will accept the two state solution if Israel is ready to return to the former, pre-1967 boundaries”. Haniyeh also spoke to Carter about the case of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and said he welcomed Carter’s offer to mediate in this affair, which Haniyeh referred to as a “human and political episode we would all like to come to an end”.

Carter in GazaCarter was given a tour of areas where major damage had been inflicted during the January Operation Cast Lead military action, in which the former President said ” the severity of damage inflicted here has brought tears to my eyes”. Carter also said that the war had brought “death, destruction, pain and suffering to the people here”. He wasn’t taken on a tour of either Sderot or other places in Israel where the same terms could also be applied, however.

In regards to Gaza’s present situation, where most of the damage has been left in tact as a “showplace” for VIP visitors such as the former President, Carter said: “tragically, the international community ignores the cries for help, while the citizens of Gaza are being treated more like animals than like human beings”.

But it was the remarks made by Haniyeh that his organization would be willing to accept a Palestinian state providing Israel open up the borders with Gaza and “accept a Palestinian State within the 1967 borders” that suddenly brought something very rational to light. When Dr. Haniyeh spoke about the “pre-1967 borders” he forgot that When Israel pulled out of the Strip in 2005, that part of Palestine was reverted back to the 1967 borders. So here is where a possible “two state solution” would work out beautifully! Why not create two Palestinian states, one in the West Bank, called East Palestine and controlled by Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah organization, and the other, West Palestine, controlled by Hamas. Haniyeh and his friends will get their wish in that their “little state” (as Israeli P.M. Binyamin Netanyahu referred to Palestine in his address on Sunday) will be 100% “within the pre-1967 borders”.

As for “East Palestine”, a territorial agreement will be worked out with Abbas and Co. taking the large Israeli settlement blocks into account. Israel will not have to pull out of the entire section of the West Bank and Jerusalem would remain united, with special consideration being given to the people of East Palestine for visiting, living in, and even having some governmental offices in the city’s eastern sectors. The Status of the Old City would remain as it is today, with Jews remaining in the Jewish Quarter and having full access to the Western Wall Plaza. The Wakf Islamic Trust would maintain control of Karim al Sharif , otherwise known as the Temple Mount.

This new “two state solution” should be acceptable to everyone, especially West Bank Palestinians (who really don’t like the Hamas people anyway – and vice versa). And as for Gaza, maybe they can get to rebuilding all the damage incurred to “their little state” which will not only provide jobs for a lot of Palestinian workers but result in their not having to keep all those piles of rubble lying around to “impress” gullible people like Jimmy Carter.

What happened in Italy last night

What happened in Italy last night

We didn’t expect what you see in this picture. This is the square of the Italian Parliament in Rome, Piazza Montecitorio: You can see the Palace on top of the square, and in front a lot of Israeli flags. That was last night from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. What you cannot see here, is the extraordinary number of members of Parliament, about 100 from all political sides, that took the stage during this time: for about three hours we were speaking about the role of Israel, its right to self defense, its moral height, its fight on behalf of us all, of our civilization and values, against the wild hate of the Islamic jihad represented by Hamas.

It seems to me that for the first time in the too long history of the Arab/Israeli conflict, apart from a minority of crazy leftists and fascists that took the street with anti-Semitic slogans, we have achieved a huge consensus on one critical point: this is not a local conflict, there is nothing in it that reminds us of a peace theme that has characterized the Palestinian issue. This is an attack against the western world, and Iran is behind it.

The change of attitude is great: the terrorist and religious nature of Hamas and the democratic, civilized nature of Israel are seen face to face for what they really are at least by the European elite at large, dead and wounded notwithstanding, and there rises an identification with Israel against a regime that uses human shields and promises slaughter of Jews in its charter.

What happens today, at least in Italy, is the defeat and fall of the leftist ideologies: ideology that has allowed justification of all the most violent crimes and most disgusting verbal attacks. If Arafat launched the terrorist Intifada, if he promoted the martyrdom of children in public speeches, the ideologists were ready to justify him with the issues of occupation, the Palestinian misery and loss of any hope. Not so with Hamas.

History, in Italy, has brought to a profound crisis the ideology of revolution and the justification of any cruel attack against a so-called unjust imperialist order. That time is over, nobody will see Hamas as the resolution of the problem and not even as the problem itself. I think that the word “peace” has lost that healing meaning that it once had. The new non-ideological point of view sees that there is no peace when one of the contenders doesn’t want it, and that even if the world in the short run asks for a truce, in the long run it hopes for the defeat of Hamas.

Last night, many people, Ministers and Members of Parliament, composed a very new, interesting mix of opinions. I think that when you are not overwhelmed by exotic thirdworldism, the images of children educated as hate machines, the speeches of jihad leaders, from Ahmadinejad to Nasrallah, to Haniyeh, that deny the holocaust and promise death to Jewish and Christians alike, you are left only with disgust. Westerners, thank God, can still be disgusted by uncivilized levels of political speech.

But most of all, in the Parliament square, many of the Parliament Members said: “I love Israel”.

You can’t imagine how many.

Fiamma Nirenstein

Fiamma Nirenstein, a journalist and some-time resident of Jerusalem, is a new Member of the Italian Parliament who is outspoken on Israel’s behalf. She writes below that there is increasing understanding of what Israel is facing in its current war against Hamas.

Hamas In Their Own Video

This is a cute viral video being sent around by people and offered by MemriTV.org. I guess you could say it provides a little background on the current dismemberment Hamas is going through…



Bethlehem Celebrates Brightest Christmas In Years

Bethlehem Celebrates Brightest Christmas In YearsThe Palestinian city of Bethlehem, located a few kilometers south of Jerusalem, may be celebrating its best holiday season in years. Reports from merchants and hotel reservation desks say that the number of pilgrims and tourists visiting the city of Jesus’ birthplace are at least 50% more than in 2006. Times haven’t been good for this biblical city made so popular by the event that supposedly took place about 2010 years ago, and tourism has been a far cry from what it was in prior years; especially in the “heady” years following the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1994. The city that used to see many thousands of foreign visitors converge on it during Christmas time became as still as the above words in the immortal poem by Father Philip Brooks in 1865.

Following the beginning of the Second Intifada Palestinian uprising in September 2000, foreign visits took a nose dive; and tourism was further complicated when a number of hard-line Palestinian militants held up in the Church of the Nativity for days before finally surrendering to Israeli army troops who were surrounding Manger Square. Once boasting a large Christian population, Bethlehem is now predominately Muslim. With the main source of income for the city being tourism, the city had fallen on hard times, and has only begun to show signs of recovery in the last couple of years. During the first few years following the historical handshake between Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on the U.S. White House Lawn, Arafat himself and his wife, Sulha (a Christian) attended Christmas Eve midnight masses held in the Church of the Nativity. That all changed following the start of the Second Intifada when Arafat became a virtual prisoner in his West Bank Ramallah. headquarters.

To make matters worse, the Palestinian Authority has now been split into two parts, one in Gaza and under the control of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, and the other in the West Bank under the control of P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas. Following some improvement in relations between Israel and Abbas’ Palestinian segment, tourism to Bethlehem has begun to improve, much to the relief of Bethlehem’s merchants, many of whom have shops in the center of town not far from Manger Square. Many of the items they sell are exclusively tailored for foreign Christian pilgrims including religious motifs carved from olive wood, jewelry and amulets, carpets and clothing with religious and other logos and slogans connected with the historical legend of the town. As Christmas is the most important time of the year for them, Bethlehem merchants have to bank heavily on a large influx of visitors to tide them through the lean months until summer when tourism again picks up for a while.

For those who want to purchase them, Palestinian flags, pictures of P.A. Authority and Charismatic Arab World leaders, and other nationalistic mementoes are also available.

One of the better hotels in Bethlehem, the Jacir Palace Intercontinental, reported that they are nearly full for the first time in years. “Yes, thank God, we have something to smile about this year”, said Farid, one of the hotel’s reception employees. Concerning what will be happening in the future, “it’s anybody’s guess” said Samir, another hotel employee. And rightly so, as current fighting between Israeli and Palestinian forces in Gaza could well spill over into the West Bank, including Bethlehem. Although the city of Christ’s birth has had fewer problems than other West Bank cities, including Ramallah, Nablus, and Jenin, the situation there during the period immediately after the uprising in September, 2000 was very unpleasant, and the Church of the Nativity suffered considerable damage in the wake of its takeover by Palestinian militants.

Israeli border checkpoints have tried to make it easier for pilgrims to come and go this year as a good will gesture to President Abbas. Still, it isn’t like walking into the Old City in Jerusalem, which for many pilgrims has been an alternative Christmas season destination following the 2000 Palestinian uprising.

In any event, Christmas 2007 does seem to be much better for the citizens of Bethlehem, and is much improved over previous years. And for those who so much depend on this annual inflow of visitors, and foreign currency, they can only hope for the best.

The Palestinian Prime Minister’s Three Israeli Sisters

Ismail Haniyeh
Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader who was recently elected prime minister of the Palestinian Authority. Credit: Mohammed Salem/Reuters

Never let it be said that life in the Middle East lacks irony. According to this article, Ismail Haniyeh, the recently elected prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, has three sisters who are Israeli citizens.

Haniyeh is a senior activist in Hamas, the Islamist party with a charter that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Hamas was behind many suicide bombings against Israeli civilians; for the past few months it has held to a declared truce, but the party refused to condemn the April 17 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv that was committed by the Islamic Jihad, calling it a legitimate act of self-defense. Hamas is on the U.S. State Department’s list of terrorist organizations.

But Haniyeh’s three Israeli sisters, who refused to be photographed or interviewed for the article, don’t have much to say about their militant brother. They live in the Bedouin village of Tel Sheva, near Be’er Sheva. According to their neighbours, the sisters are “generous and nice.”

“They are known and lend a helping hand when needed. They live in good houses and their financial situation is excellent. Two live close to one another.”

Salam Abu-Rakik, former head of the Tel Sheva council, and a successful businessman said that “Ismail’s sisters are much respected in the village.” Abu-Rakik is related to the Ismail Haniyeh’s sisters.

“Two of them have a lot of children, and all – I have to say – are successful. Some of them are successful businessmen, others are successful in education, and all are good people and respected in the community,” Abu-Rakik said.

According to the article, Haniyeh used to visit his sisters before the intifada – when travel between Gaza and Israel was relatively easy. But they haven’t seen him for years, and have no intention of relocating to Gaza.

Abu-Rakik says:

“Despite familial relation with people in Gaza, I see myself as a loyal citizen of the State of Israel. It is good for us here, and we are faithful to the States’ laws. However, I wouldn’t be ashamed if a relative was elected as the prime minister of Palestine.”

One of the sisters’ sons said: “Maybe we can be a bridge for peace between the two people.”

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