Friday, January 9, 2009

Talking to Hamas

The Guardian announces today, rather breathless from excitement, that Obama will initiate talks with Hamas. Although if you read their own article carefully, it's hardly clear how much this will be new:

"You could do something through the Europeans. You could invent a structure that is multilateral. It is going to be hard for the neocons to swallow," he said. "I think it is going to happen."

But one Middle East expert close to the transition team said: "It is highly unlikely that they will be public about it."

The gloating is fine; everybody needs a good gloat now and then. The substance is more important. Israel has long been talking with Hamas through intermediaries, primarily the Egyptians; the Guardian fails to note that the group which stands to lose the most from a political rehabilitation of Hamas is Abu Mazen's government, a move Obama may be wary of taking even if it would make the Guardian happy.

I have no problem with the Americans hearing directly from Hamas how Hamas sees the world. After all, assuming they start talking, they're going to have to talk about something. If they stick to global warming and economic measures for stimulating the economy, who cares? Once they approach the subject of Hamas living with Israel, what exactly will they talk about? A Hamas demand that Israel disband all its settlements in Gaza as a confidence building measure, perhaps? More likely, the American interlocutors may find Hamas is the problem, not Israel. Amir Taheri reminds why.


Anonymous said...

The Guardian had this Meshal piece first and now this less than palatable German newspaper has him too
due to the different transcription this may fly under the radar as the paper is presumably very small and read only by the extreme part of the German public - hopefully somebody the Guardianistas listen to will rub in it in to how nice the company is they find themselves in now
Wir werden nicht schweigend sterben
Israels Krieg wird den palästinensischen Freiheitswillen nicht besiegen
Von Chaled Meschaal

Anonymous said...

Just thought i'd see how open you are to differing opinion being published on your blog (seeing so many here seem to be so sure they have truth on their side)

I find it endlessly (and horrifyingly) amusing to see hasbarites dig themself into the hole where they prove that THEY actually are the very evil they profess to be fighting

using an example of a previous blog of yours ... all it takes is a simple word replacement.

"Cole Plumbs New Depths: Israelis to Blame for 9/11"

" What Cole (HASBARA) has just told us is that his mind can live with the explanation that Mohammad Atta (ISRAEL) murdered thousands (MASSES) of people in New York (GAZA / or casting back to 2006 BEIRUT), because five years (WHENEVER) earlier he'd (THEY'D) been absolutely and totally furious at an Israeli (HAMAS / ?HEZBOLLAH) killing of one hundred (VERY FEW IF ANY) people in Lebanon (ISRAEL). Moreover, Cole (ISRAEL) implies, it is well likely that another act of Israeli (HAMAS ) killing (TOY ROCKET ATTACKS) today will have a similar result sometime down the road."

Surely any form of critical thinking can find the very black humour in Israel's propaganda of victimhood - yet you seem to be able to write without any point of reference regarding the quantum truth

Why ?

Anonymous said...

Beth, in order to serve as a thought experiment, your replacements should have been: "What a Syrian/Iranian historian has just told us is that his mind can live with the explanation that a British/French/German/Italian/Russian/US American Jew murdered thousands of people in Damascus/Teheran, because five years earlier, he 'd been absolutely and totally furious at a Palestinian killing of people in a country where he had never been. Moreover, the historian implies, it is well likely that another act of Palestinian killing today will have a similar result sometime down the road." – Does that make any sense to you?


Anonymous said...

er No Judith it doesn't make sense to me, maybe you can explain it

Though i must admit i have little interest in "thought experiments" at this time.

I was merely (and knowingly out of context in relation to the specific topic "Talking to Hamas") expressing my total loss of patience with the self-justification of israeli arguments/ explanations / hasbara relating to ANY acts of aggression relating to their situation. . . and the seeming denial of they themselves being the perpetrators and foementers of the current disgrace in which they are involved

Yaacov said...

Anyway, Beth, the point is that it wouldn't occur to me to censor your comments. Why, we even have a few regular haters of Israel on this blog; I never block them. On the contrary: I carefully read what they write, and sometimes even use it to demonstrate some interesting aspect of their pathologies. So fee free to post your comments; maybe one day I'll even quote you.