A Week Of Meetings
(All emphases by Always On Watch)
The front pages of most major newspapers are filled with items such as the following:
"BETHLEHEM, West Bank --How is the rest of the world going to handle Hamas's victory? So far, recognition of Hamas as a legitimate governing force has not happened. According to the Washington Post, the meetings begin this week:
"...Here in the cradle of Christianity, the radical Palestinian movement that favors creation of an Islamic state won every parliamentary seat on Wednesday's ballot except those reserved for Christian candidates -- a lopsided victory duplicated in such secular strongholds as Jerusalem and Ramallah on the organization's way to a majority in the next legislature....
"'I have always believed in a secular Palestinian state, so I would have preferred another result,' Batarseh, a member of the Marxist-oriented Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said Friday. 'We have to accept this, whether we like it or not, because it is the will of the people.'
"The electoral triumph by Hamas, an organization that is committed to establishing an Islamic state across territory that includes Israel and whose armed wing has carried out bombings and other attacks on Israeli targets, has had repercussions around the world. It upended the Palestinian political order, complicated peace efforts with Israel and threatened the continuation of financial aid from the United States and other Western countries....
"Arafat is in a tomb in Ramallah, and inside the mayor's waiting room sit two smiling council members from Hamas, sipping tea and celebrating the results...."
"...Officials from the Bush administration, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations are scheduled to meet Monday [January 30, 2006] to begin discussing whether to continue funding a Palestinian government that will include Hamas in a prominent role.Really? Demand that Hamas renounce violence? And what of Hamas's plainly stated agenda? Here are some excerpts from Hamas's charter, from this source (The full version of the charter is here):
"Israel and the Bush administration have demanded that Hamas renounce violence, recognize the Jewish state and disarm its military wing before joining the government...."
"Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious...The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah’s victory is realised...Of course, Hamas's recent victory at the polls is but one serious matter facing the prospeccts of peace. Recently, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran has been spouting saber-rattling rhetoric. Since December 30, 2005, Iran Watch has been keeping a log of news items related to developments in Iran and today informed me in a comment that Iran officially contributes to Hamas some $3 million per year.
"The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times...
"It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine, for under the wing of Islam followers of all religions can coexist in security and safety where their lives, possessions and rights are concerned...
"The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders. It goes back to 1939, to the emergence of the martyr Izz al-Din al Kassam and his brethren the fighters, members of Muslim Brotherhood. It goes on to reach out and become one with another chain that includes the struggle of the Palestinians and Muslim Brotherhood in the 1948 war and the Jihad operations of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1968 and after...
"The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: ‘The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him...’ "
According to Pim's Ghost over at What Would Charles Martel Do?, Ahmadinejad has called for the destruction of both Israel and the United States:
"'Is it possible for us to witness a world without America and Zionism?' he asked. 'But you had best know that this slogan and this goal are attainable, and surely can be achieved.'"How is the rest of the world preparing to deal with Iran? The U. N. Security Council will meet on February 2-3. One can hope that this week's meetings on Hamas and Iran will yield some fruits, and certainly all diplomatic options should be kept open. But meetings are often pathetic substitutes for appropriate action.
In the meantime, according to this source.
"U.N. nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei on Friday [January 27, 2006] called on the United States to provide Iran with nuclear reactors and urged Tehran to declare a moratorium on enriching uranium for at least eight years.A carrot? As in appeasement? What carrot can the West offer as long as we are economically dependent on oil?
"ElBaradei said that amountof time would enable the country to earn the confidence of the international community that it was really interested in nuclear energy not nuclear weapons....
"However, Ivan Safranchuk, a Russian analyst, cautioned that Iran might be using the plan only to buy time as it fights to avoid potential U.N. sanctions.
"Asked for his advice to Western officials, ElBaradei said: 'You need to keep all options on the table.'
"But U.S. Sen. JohnMcCain appeared to rule out negotiations.
"'They're interested inacquiring weapons of mass destruction and dominating the Middle East,' McCain, told a panel. 'I don't know of any carrot that works.'..."
Update: Norway recognizes Hamas as a government.
Update 2, from the January 31, 2006 edition of the Washington Post:
"LONDON, Jan. 30 -- The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China -- along with Germany, agreed Monday night to report Iran to the Security Council over its nuclear program.
"The decision, reached in London through a compromise with Russia and China, was a victory for the United States and its European allies, who had pressed for the matter to be sent to the council. But Russia and China were able to soften the agreement by stipulating that the Security Council not take up the matter until March. That gives Iran more time to comply with U.N. nuclear inspectors and avoid the threat of sanctions....
"The agreement to report, rather than "refer," is less than Washington wanted and gives Iran another chance to negotiate a way out of the crisis. Had the matter been "referred," it would have become the immediate domain of the Security Council.
"Winning the support of Russia and China to report the matter to the Security Council does not guarantee what action the council might take. It also does not guarantee that Russia and China would vote to support sanctions or other action proposed at the council.
"Iran now has six weeks to meet the requirements of the IAEA....
"'We consider any referral or report of Iran to the Security Council as the end of diplomacy,' Iranian state television quoted Ali Larijani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council and its chief nuclear negotiator, as saying on Tuesday, according to Reuters...."
Update 3 from the January 31, 2006 edition of the Washington Post:
"DAMASCUS, Syria -- A new era in the struggle for Palestinian liberation is upon us. Through historic fair and free elections, the Palestinian people have spoken.
Accordingly, America's long-standing tradition of supporting the oppressed's rights to self-determination should not waver. The United States, the European Union and the rest of the world should welcome the unfolding of the democratic process, and the commitment to aid should not falter. Last week's victory of the Change and Reform Party in the Palestinian legislative elections signals a new hope for an occupied people.....
"Despite the pressures of occupation and corrupt self-rule, Palestinian civil society has demonstrated its resilience in the face of repressive conditions. Social institutions can now be given new life under a reformed government that embraces the empowerment of the people, facilitates freedoms and protects civil rights.
"Our society has always celebrated pluralism in keeping with the unique history and traditions of the Holy Land. In recognizing Judeo-Christian traditions, Muslims nobly vie for and have the greatest incentive and stake in preserving the Holy Land for all three Abrahamic faiths. In addition, fair governance demands that the Palestinian nation be represented in a pluralistic environment. A new breed of Islamic leadership is ready to put into practice faith-based principles in a setting of tolerance and unity....
"The Islamic Resistance Movement was elected to protect the Palestinians from the abuses of occupation, based on its history of sacrifice for the cause of liberty. It would be a mistake to view the collective will of the Palestinian people in electing Hamas in fair and free elections under occupation as a threat. For meaningful dialogue to occur there should be no prejudgments or preconditions. And we do desire dialogue. The terms of the dialogue should be premised on justice, mutual respect and integrity of the parties.
"As the Israelis value their own security, Palestinians are entitled to their fundamental rights to live in dignity and security. We ask them to reflect on the peace that our peoples once enjoyed and the protection that Muslims gave the Jewish community worldwide. We will exert good-faith efforts to remove the bitterness that Israel's occupation has succeeded in creating, alienating a generation of Palestinians. We call on them not to condemn posterity to endless bloodshed and a conflict in which dominance is illusory. There must come a day when we will live together, side by side once again.
"The failed policies of the U.S. administration are the result of the inherent contradiction in its position as Israel's strongest ally and an "honest broker" in the conflict. World nations have condemned the brutal Israeli occupation. For the sake of peace, the United States must abandon its position of isolation and join the rest of the world in calling for an end to the occupation, assuring the Palestinians their right to self-determination.
"We appeal to the American people's sense of fairness to judge this conflict in light of the great thoughts, principles and ideals you hold dear in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the democracy you have built. It is not unreasonable to expect America to practice abroad what it preaches at home. We can but sincerely hope that you use your honest judgment and the blessings of ascendancy God has given you to demand an end to the occupation. Meaningful democracy cannot flourish as long as an external force maintains the balance of power. It is the right of all people to pursue their own destiny.
"The writer is deputy political bureau chief of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas). He has a U.S. doctorate in engineering and was indicted in the United States in 2004 as a co-conspirator on racketeering and money-laundering charges in connection with activities on behalf of Hamas dating to the early 1990s, before the organization was placed on the list of terrorist groups. He was deported to Jordan in 1997. "