Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hamas Mourns Bin Laden, Condemns his Killers

I suppose it's not surprising that Ismail Haniya, the Hamas prime minister in Gaza, responded to the killing by stating that
the operation is "the continuation of the American oppression and shedding of blood of Muslims and Arabs."
Still, surprising or not, from now on whenever someone tells us Israel must accommodate itself to Hamas, we need to put on a puzzled face and say something along the lines of "Hamas? Weren't they the ones who condemned the Americans for killing Bin Laden? That Hamas?"  If needed, one can add that Haniya is often described as a moderate Hamas fellow, not one of your militant types at all actually.


NormanF said...

Why should Israel embrace a Palestinian government one of who principal architects mourns the death of a terrorist responsible for the death of 3000 Americans?

A Palestinian unity government with Hamas in it is not a peace partner for Israel.

The Palestinians have made their choice. Israel now needs to choose its own path. There will be no peace in our lifetime.

Y. Ben-David said...

Now that there is a "unity" gov't for the Palestinians, the official Palestinian Authority is now responsible for Gilad Shalit. Israel MUST base its relations with the PA on the insistence that the PA honor international law concerning prisoners and allow the Red Cross to visit him and for him to receive letters from his family. I can't understand why we haven't heard this from our gov't.

Sylvia said...

I am afraid Norman that Israel doesn't have and has really never had the luxury to choose. It has always been the Palestinians -mainly Fatah - leading everybody by the nose both .

Sylvia said...

I am the feeling that this could happen soon Y. Ben David, but not for the reason you state.

Sylvia said...

OOps: I have tthe feeling...

Silke said...

please explain

I deeply care for that young man.

Sylvia said...

Silke, it would take a long long post to explain why. Suffice to say that in the present circumstances (Palestinian Unity and its immediate and serious consequences) both Hamas and Fath prisoners will never agree to miss the coming festival. So there will be a three-way prisoner exchange that might include Shalit. Unless of course there are impredictible developments (if more soldiers are kidnapped or the palestinian prisoners escape)
But I'll put my credibility on a limb and say that it might happen within the next two weeks.
Disclaimer: I've been wrong before:)

Silke said...

I'll keep my fingers crossed - I wish I knew a more forceful way to express my hopes

and I remember: You have been right before:)

Geoff said...

Indeed. Firing and anti-tank rocket at a school bus is a legitimate resistance tactic, but killing Bin Laden is criminal. Why should we be surprised?

chareidilite said...

Yaakov- You're so funny. When has anything any Hamas leader (or any Palestinian leader, for that matter) said been held against him by the US, or factored into any US policy?

Saul Lieberman said...

Of course. Now the world will know that the Palestinians really, really don't want peace."

Sound familiar?

It's the flip side of "if we do X, then the world will know that Israel really, really wants peace."

The world don't work that way.
(See also, "Now the world will understand Israel's targeted killings.")

Yaacov said...


No, that's not what it is.

If you assume - as I do - that the field of public discourse is one of the theaters of war Israel is engaged in, then it's necessary to be armed and trained. In this case, the Palestinians gave us a weapon we can use, so we need to use it. Not because it will change reality or end the war, rather because it won't and we can't. Not all at once. But the battle of the public discourse will eventually be won (sort of) on points, not by a knockout.

Saul Lieberman said...

Of course, the substance of your post is correct. And we might as well keep track of the points because maybe it will make a difference.
I should distinguish between taking certain risky actions in the hope that it will change world opinion (an unwise risk) and keeping track of the points (which is harmless).

Anonymous said...


I believe we need to stop talking to the world and start talking to the palestinians. Not the leaders, but the people themselves.

Today the story in every news channel was that Hamas was dragged into this unity agreement because they fear that what happened in Egypt and is happening in Syria will happen to them next. I'm not sure if I believe any of that, but I do know that Egypt and now Gaza are essentially democracies now in a way that they have not been in my lifetime.

Obviously that statement has to be qualified and I'll leave it to you to qualify it for yourself - I'm sure I'll agree with everything you think. Nevertheless, the political future of these societies is IN PLAY.

Unfortunately, Netanyahu is talking about unity being a victory for terrorism, a message that is almost perfectly calculated to fall on deaf ears. The Europeans who support unity now and supported it last year and the year before never for once believed that Hamas was going to change. They simply don't care about that and aren't going to start now.

The Israeli government needs to start making the case for peace to the people themselves. They're in control now, believe it or not. But I fear that the leadership in Israel hasn't yet gotten it's head around the changes that are taking place around them. Instead they're sounding like a broken record that nobody wants to hear any more.

Even if Hamas wins the next election, which I think it has a better than 50% chance of doing, there's no reason on earth Israel can't right now begin to put serious questions about the future of Palestine and the future of peace into the public sphere IN Palestine.

Why not force them to have that conversation out in the open? Israel can only benefit, ether because, as you say, the world will finally see clearly that peace is being rejected, or because some constituency for real peace emerges from the process.

I feel that Israel must embrace this profoundly democratic moment in the middle east. All of her diplomacy has a certain 19th century feel to it, as if the future of Israel can be won by agreements among the powers.

Those Days Are Gone. This is between us and the Palestinians now, and the Palestinian people are suddenly in a position where some kind of fruitful open dialogue might accomplish something - a situation I never saw coming but here it is.