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Home arrow Palestinian Elections arrow In the Footsteps of Arafat - An Interview with Hamas' Ismail Haniya
In the Footsteps of Arafat - An Interview with Hamas' Ismail Haniya PDF Print E-mail
Feb 02, 2006 at 12:00 AM
by Amira Hass [Counterpunch, February 2, 2006]

“There was no point asking Ismail Haniya, head of the victorious Hamas list, whether his movement would recognize Israel’s right to exist, for two reasons. First, the answer was obvious — no, the movement would not recognize Israel’s right to exist. Some say for religious reasons, as Palestine is a Muslim WAQF. Others say the reason is purely nationalist — the banished party cannot recognize the occupier’s right to usurp its land. Others still say Hamas is umbilically tied to the Muslim Brothers movement, which alone is authorized — but unlikely — to alter the basic position.

The continuation to this answer is also obvious. Hamas, as a pragmatic movement, cannot ignore reality and its nation’s desires. When the Palestinian state is established in the West Bank and Gaza Strip — that is, when Israel recognizes the Palestinians’ right to a state in a practical way — there will be place to talk about the relations between the two states. Reality is stronger than any principle and theory, and if the two have good neighborly relations, why would anyone want to destroy them?

The second reason is that the question derives from Israel’s supremacist and patronizing position. From this position Israel dictates the agenda of media issues, which portray the Palestinians as yet another persecutor in a historic chain of persecutors of Jews, and Israel as a victim. The issues distort reality rather than illuminate it...”

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Does Baird even know what they are?

Israeli newspaper outlines Palestinian demands

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird has been actively supporting the "unconditional" ceasefire proposed by Netanyahu and backed by Egypt. While it appears "humanitarian", an unconditional ceasefire would mean going back to the status quo before the recent hostilities and continuing Israel's punishing blockade of Gaza. But has Baird even considered what the Palestinians are asking for? It's actually quite reasonable.

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