hamas: politics make strange bed friends - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Jean-Luc Ngarambe
    • 16.06.05 | 13:55 (IDT)

    Finally a sensible move: politics is about talking. Like it or not (I don't like it) Hamas has shown that it has so deep roots in the Palestinian polity that it can't be shunned. Hamas is in the position to block any move to peace if it want so. So what else should be done than this two-pronged policy: engage the political echelon of Hamas while repressing its terrorist branch. EU is just doing what should have been done at least 15 years ago by the governments of Israel. The argument that Hamas doesn't recognize the right of Israel to exist his simply stupid because it can be said of many of the Israelis in the Likud, Moledet, Tehiya, Shinui, Kach, YESHA and other organisation simply do not recognize the existence of a Palestinian independent identity let alone the right of the Palestinians to have a meaningful state. Engaging Hamas, or better the mayors that have been elected on Hamas lists is a mean that will permit too the more moderate wing of Hamas to emerge has the real leadership and begin to call the shots in the organisation. Even if all of Hamas members share the idea that Israel should not exist, There are some differences in the implementation of that idea that can and should be exploited, some are die hard willing to fight relentlessly till Israel will be destroyed, others are open to various options, and last but not the least there are those who are ready to wait for god to do the job. The second and third camp are to be engaged if Israel has to have peace for Sderot or other cities. Those two groups can be convinced that it is not in the Palestinian national interest to go on with this war for the time being. Accusing Europe of appeasement is completely stupid and the reason you cite is even worse: Muslim minorities of Europe are not that interested in what happens in the Middle-East as every election has shown: by some studies Arabs in Paris gave for the Mayoral election 75% of their vote to the Jewish candidate (Delanoe) who his a supporter of Israel while the Jews gave him only 70 %. This pattern has been replicated all over Europe (like in Amsterdam) where Muslim minorities are living: local concerns are more of an issue. It is true that the war in Iraq has determined for the first time some links between policies in the Middle-east and local election has for Galloway in England but I beg to remember that it is still a lone exception connected to a very particular situation where the official labour candidate was a supporter of the war, a contemptor of Palestinian rights and an absentee MP who forgot that all politics is local and he managed too be all of that in area where Muslim are 30% of the population among a population which made of 90% British citizens with roots in the third world the main constituency against war. Hamas has been deemed a terrorist association, which is true but it is also a civic movement that provides social services, a religious association, a political movement. The Yishuv was exactly the same thing it has its terrorist groups like Irgoun and Lehi, its civic movement the histadrout, its help organisation the Magen David Adom, its legitimate security services and some underground like Palmach and Haganah. Hamas is a complex movement, to write them of is sheer stupidity

    from the article: Foreign Ministry protests EU contacts with Hamas officials
    First published 00:00 16.06.05 | Last updated 00:00 16.06.05
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