Hamas, in its own words

Surprise, surprise. Turns out that, despite a lot of unsavory rhetoric and actions, Hamas doesn’t sound quite so radical and irrational as it’s made out to be in the Western press. Open Zion snags this quote by Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal:

“I am the leader of Hamas. I tell you and the whole world, we are ready to resort to a peaceful way, without blood and weapons as long as we attain our Palestinian demands: a Palestinian state and the ending of the occupation and the (West Bank separation) wall.”
-Khaled Mashaal says in an interview with CNN – largely ignored by the Israeli media.

The Ynet article includes more from Mashaal:

Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal said his Islamist movement Hamas is willing to accept a Palestinian state within the 1967borders or 22% of “historical Palestine.”

According to Mashaal, this has been Hamas’ mission and what it has been fighting for since its inception. In an interview aired this weekend on CNN, Mashaal said: “I accept a Palestinian state according to the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital, with the right to return.”

Mashaal also addressed the issue of recognizing Israel, saying “I want my state. After this state is established, it (can decide) its position toward Israel. Don’t ask me when I’m in prison under Israeli pressure. You cannot ask me, as a victim, what is my stand toward Israel.”

Other encouraging signs exist as well (see first link above), including a Hamas-led investigation of “unlawful executions” of Israeli collaborators. Of course, it seems likely this will be a sham, but the very fact that Hamas feels the need to legitimize itself by carrying out some semblance of the judicial process is more evidence that the broad brush used so frequently to portray the democratically elected organization is inaccurate and out of date. One of the key contradictions of Israel’s position vis à vis Hamas is the fact that it continues to decry the organization as a fanatical terrorist group while simultaneously negotiating truces and ceasefires with it, with an eye towards a potentially more permanent settlement later on. The coexistence of those two actions is logically absurd, yet Israel and its defenders persist in perpetuating it as if it makes even a shred of sense.

(The same can be said, in many respects, in regards to Iran. In that nearly all experts agree that striking Iran’s nuclear facilities would set back progress on the bomb by only a few years at most, what does Israel get out of doing it? Given its inability to stop the technical savvy of Iran, a preemptive Israeli attack only makes sense as a deterrent — a message to Iran that further development is useless because bomb-building facilities will continue being destroyed. But if this type of deterrent measure works, then Israel’s constant depictions of the ayatollah as a fanatical theocrat operating outside the bounds of rationality simply do not add up.)

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