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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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Independent Jewish Voices Condemns Israel's Gaza Massacre

December 28, 2008

The Israeli military has unleashed its most vicious air assault against the people of Gaza in decades, killing over 280 Gazans and wounding over 700. Despite claims by the Israeli leadership that they are trying to avoid civilians the attacks have been concentrated on Gaza City and the towns of Khan Younis and Rafah. Israeli television reports that Israeli troops are massing on the border "in preparation for a supplementary ground offensive".

Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) condemns this murderous escalation of violence by the Israeli government. Diana Ralph, IJV Coordinator calls this assault "completely disproportionate to the unsupportable firing of Qassam rockets by Hamas fighters which killed one Israeli. It's important to put this into the context of the deadly siege of Gaza by the Israeli forces, which continued in violation of the terms of the recent six month truce between Israel and Gaza. In the ethics of violent conflicts, it is the responsibility of the force wielding power - the Israeli government in this case - to create the conditions for a just peace."

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