Spinning round and round and round…

11.29.04

Check out this headline in the Globe and Mail (from AP): Hamas calls halt to attacks on Israelis.

Big news, right?

Excuse me if my skepticism causes me to read a little further:

A senior Hamas leader indicated Monday that the extremist group is halting attacks on Israelis while the Palestinians prepare to choose a new leader (emphasis mine).

So this isn’t a cease-fire, it’s a temporary ploy for Hamas to jockey for political power in the leadership struggle among the Palestinians.

Ok, reading on:

He also said that Hamas would consider a formal ceasefire if Israel reciprocated. He said Israel must be prepared to release Palestinian prisoners, withdraw from occupied land and stop assassinations of militants.

“The truce should have a price,” he said. “There is no truce from one side. The truce should be two-way. But “a truce with continued Israeli aggression is not acceptable to us.” (All emphasis, again, is mine).

In case you haven’t read Hamas’s charter lately, “withdraw from occupied land” is Hamas-speak for all Jews out of Israel, since Hamas considers all of Israel “occupied land”. When they say end the occupation, they don’t mean Gaza, they mean Tel Aviv.

Ok, so we’re back on familiar ground here. So much for the halting of attacks and talks of truce.

But being a curious type, I decided to check out what the Israeli press has to say on the subject. This from Ha’aretz:

Senior Hamas leader Sheikh Hassan Yusef told Israel Radio that the militant Islamic organization is interested in joining a national unity government with the Palestinian leadership, and to that end would agree to a hudna (ceasefire) that would last 10 years.

So now it’s not a halting, it’s a “hudna”. I should think that the last “hudna” should have taught everyone a lesson. This article from last year should quell any lingering notions anyone might still have about Hamas’s sincerity:

Has Hamas seen the light? Has this determined band of killers finally grasped that its suicide bombings and jihad rhetoric make its goal of a Palestinian state ever less likely to be realized?

[ . . . ]

Has Hamas renounced all this — suicide bombing, martyrdom, jihad, extinguishing Israel, spreading Islam to the four corners of the globe? No, it hasn’t. Its three-month cease-fire isn’t even in any meaningful way a first step to doing so. Consequently it is still dead set against the old Arab nationalism on which the Palestinian Authority is now ostensibly based. The successor of this nationalism, if Hamas remains true to its Charter and has its way, will be its intransigent and bloody form of Islamic radicalism. Nothing indicates that this is no longer its goal.

That’s why the Hamas truce is not worth the paper it’s printed on.

And that’s why any new truce wouldn’t be, either.

But let the spin continue.

Update: Damian Penny has the story of how Canadian taxpayers are funding Hamas.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Josh 11.30.04 at 9:27 PM

Sari, it’s not skepticism – it’s being realistic and having your feet on the ground. I’m proud!

Skepticism is: waiting for Hamas to make some concessions and work towards ‘peace’.

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2 Francis N. 11.30.04 at 10:16 PM

Hamas’s “politically correct” machinations scarcely seem newsworthy anymore. Here’s to hoping their showing in Palestinian elections is negligible.

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3 Jonny 11.30.04 at 11:04 PM

I’m pretty sure Hamas will win the Palestinian elections.

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