Monday, February 23, 2009

U.S. Policies Boost Hamas

Khaled Abu Toameh

Senior Hamas officials have become frequent visitors to the Egyptian capital of Cairo, where the authorities treat them as VIP's and invite them to meetings with top government officials.

Following the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip, the Egyptians have invited several Hamas leaders for talks on ways of achieving a new cease-fire with Israel and ending the rift between Hamas and Fatah. Some of these Hamas representatives have been in Cairo for weeks now as guests of the Egyptian government.

Similarly, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has launched a "national reconciliation dialogue" with Hamas for the first time since the Islamist movement kicked his loyalists out of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007. The dialogue, according to Abbas's aides, is aimed at persuading Hamas to agree to the formation of a unity government with Fatah. Hamas leaders and spokesmen have not concealed their satisfaction with Hosni Muabrak and Mahmoud Abbas's new strategy.

Until recently, the two US-backed Arab leaders had refused to engage Hamas diplomatically to avoid legitimizing the movement and turning it into a significant player in the Middle East. Both Mubarak and Abbas even worked hard to convince many countries not to deal with Hamas out of fear that such a move would boost the movement's standing.

The two even went as far as boycotting an Arab summit in Doha, Qatar, in January because of the presence of Hamas leaders. So why have Mubarak and Abbas suddenly changed their positions? And why are they themselves now helping Hamas win recognition on the international arena?

Egyptian and Palestinian political analysts believe that the change is a direct result of the departure of the former US Administration, which was vehemently opposed to any form of dialogue with Hamas. Mubarak and Abbas feel comfortable to talk to Hamas because they realize that President Barack Obama's new administration is contemplating a new, conciliatory approach toward Iran and its proxies in the Middle East, namely the Syrians, Hizbullah and Hamas, they explain.

Israel's failure to topple the Hamas regime is another reason why Abbas and Mubarak decided to end their boycott of Hamas. The two, who tacitly supported the Israeli military offensive, were hoping that it would result in the ouster of Hamas from power.

The fact that the war ended with Hamas still in power is being celebrated by the movement and its supporters as a "divine victory." True, Hamas suffered heavy casualties and its military capabilities were dealt a severe blow, but the movement has succeeded in scoring political points among many Arabs and Muslims.

Aware of Hamas's rising political power, Mubarak and Abbas obviously faced no other choice but to engage the movement. The two leaders, after all, have good reason to be worried.
The future of Mubarak's regime appears to be at stake as the challenges from home are growing. In the past few weeks, thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters have been rounded up by Mubarak's secret police for allegedly seeking to destabilize the regime by voicing public support for Hamas. There is also growing discontent on the Egyptian street with Mubarak's refusal to reopen the Rafah border crossing into the Gaza Strip and his ruthless clampdown on human rights activists, editors and pro-Palestinian activists.

Abbas, on the other hand, appears to be in a much more difficult position. First, his term in office expired in early January. As such, he has lost his credibility among many Palestinians who say he does not have a mandate to represent them. Second, Abbas is facing increased criticism at home for his failure to adopt a tougher policy toward Israel during the war.

Some Palestinians have even gone as far as accusing him of collusion with Israel and the US to bring down the Hamas government. Moreover, Abbas has come under attack for ordering a massive crackdown on pro-Hamas Palestinians in the West Bank and for preventing Palestinians from expressing their public support for their brothers in the Gaza Strip during the military offensive. In short, Abbas is being dubbed by many Palestinians as the Dictator of Ramallah.

In a desperate bid to regain their lost credibility, Mubarak and Abbas are these days pleading with Hamas to hand them a straw that would save them from drowning. Mubarak has for weeks been begging Hamas to accept an Egyptian proposal for a new truce with Israel in the hope that the calm would ease tensions in his country. And Abbas has dispatched some of his top Fatah operatives to Cairo to plead with Hamas to agree to the formation of a unity government.

Mubarak and Abbas are hoping that by engaging Hamas they would be able to divert attention from their problems at home. But what they do not realize is that by courting Hamas they are actually boosting the movement's standing and further undermining what is left of their credibility.

The fifth columnist in the White House
Melanie Phillips
Friday, 20th February 2009

After merely one calendar month, Obama's foreign policy has already been disastrous for the defenders of the free world. See Charles Krauthammer's description of how he has turned America into a

grinning Goliath staggering about sporting a 'kick me' sign on his back

with Russia, Iran and Pakistan duly obliging in quick succession.
In the past four weeks, every single one of Obama's foreign policy initiatives has appeased and strengthened the enemies of both Israel and the west, whose fates are umbilically linked. The driving motif of Obama's foreign policy has been 'engagement' with the Muslim world. Ostensibly offering the hand of friendship if that world unclenches its own fist, he is actually offering up not just the west's hand but its entire body to be kicked into submission. And I use that last word advisedly.

Now Khaled abu Toameh reports that one result of this approach has been to boost Hamas. As the Independent reported yesterday, European politicians -- including two British MPs – are now openly talking to Hamas despite the fact that it is a banned organisation by the EU (the EU has in fact been talking covertly to Hamas for years). Abu Toameh reports that Egypt's President Mubarak and Palestinian President Abbas are also now talking to Hamas, having previously refused to do so on the grounds that this would only strengthen it and weaken them. But now they are doing so principally because, according to Egyptian and Palestinian political analysts,

Mubarak and Abbas feel comfortable to talk to Hamas because they realize that President Barack Obama's new administration is contemplating a new, conciliatory approach toward Iran and its proxies in the Middle East, namely the Syrians, Hizbullah and Hamas...

Sure enough, only yesterday the US Middle East envoy George Mitchell supported the Egyptian call for a Palestinian unity government comprising the PA and Hamas. He dutifully parroted the formula that Hamas would still need to halt violence, recognise Israel and accept previous Palestinian-Israeli agreements. But Hamas has not done so and shows no sign that it will ever do so. What Egypt is proposing, and America has now endorsed, is a Palestinian government comprising people still bent upon a genocidal agenda. According to the American Jewish leaders to whom Mitchell put in a conference call, he said that

until now divisions among the Palestinians have been a major obstacle to bringing peace to the region...

What an extraordinary thing to say. Until now, the major obstacle to peace in the region has been the Palestinians' implacable goal of bringing about the end of the Jewish state. The divisions amongst them are merely about the best means of achieving this end. But this idiot went on to repeat the core delusion of those who have neither understood not learned the right lessons from recent history:

And he said that he had learned one lesson from his experience in Ireland that he believed was applicable now: the importance of having representation from all the different factions in the conflict. His remarks about the positive impact Egypt's efforts at bringing Palestinians together were made in this context.

For the umpteenth time: there is no analogy with Northern Ireland because a) the Irish Republicans did not want to conquer Britain for the Irish, subjugate the British under threat of death and turn the UK into a Catholic state, and b) the only reason the IRA abandoned terror and asked to become part of the democratic process was because the British Army had beaten it into at the very least a permanent stalemate. Peace became possible solely because terror had been defeated.

But Hamas has not been defeated: far from it. And now, far from helping to defeat this genocidal terror organisation, Obama is strengthening it by granting it legitimacy. By strengthening Hamas, Obama also strengthens its puppet-master Iran. So the enemies of America and the west are now stronger, while America and the west are now weaker.
The belief that this represents merely naivety on the part of Obama rather than malice towards Israel has taken moreover an enormous knock as a result of his decision to participate in 'Durban 2'. This is the reprise of the 2001 Durban hate-fest against Israel, which is being held in Geneva in April under the auspices of the grotesquely misnamed UN Human Rights Council, chaired by Libya and with the vice-chairs occupied by Iran and Cuba. As Gregg Rickman, the US former special envoy for monitoring and combating antisemitism, has noted:

...the council, like its predecessor, has become irrevocably tarred with anti-Semitism and bias against Israel. As the State Department's March 2008 Report on Contemporary Global Antisemitism explained about these two organizations, 'For many years before its abolition, the Commission on Human Rights had a separate agenda item focusing solely on alleged violations of Israel -- namely, Item 8, "Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine." This allowed multiple resolutions against Israel, while no other country could have more than one resolution run against it each year. No other country beside Israel had an agenda item exclusively scrutinizing it. This tradition has been continued by the new U.N. Human Rights Council.'

No free society should have anything to do with the sick farce of an 'anti-racism' conference held by such a body. This week America sent a delegation to Geneva, ostensibly 'to try to change the direction in which the Review Conference is heading.' I commented here and here on the damage this decision has already done.

But as Anne Bayefsky reports, when America got to Geneva this week it chose not to draw the poison from this process. On the contrary, it just sat on its hands. When Iran and Syria blocked an attempt to include a reference to the Holocaust, the Americans remained silent. Worse, they also remained silent when the Palestinian delegation proposed that the declaration should call for

implementation of the advisory opinion of the ICJ [International Court of Justice] on the wall, [i.e., Israel's security fence], and the international protection of Palestinian people throughout the occupied Palestinian territory.

But as Caroline Glick observes:

...the ICJ's advisory opinion on Israel's security fence claimed that Israel has no right to self-defense against Palestinian terrorism. At the time, both the US and Israel rejected the ICJ's authority to issue an opinion on the subject. On Thursday, by not objecting to this Palestinian draft, not only did the US effectively accept the ICJ's authority, for practical purposes it granted the anti-Israel claim that Jews may be murdered with impunity.

At what point will the Americans acknowledge that they cannot 'change the direction in which the Review Conference is heading'? Almost certainly, at no point. At every stage there will be doubtless overwhelming arguments for staying on in the pious hope of changing that direction – ignoring the fact that the direction of the Review conference has been set in stone, to 'reaffirm' and 'foster the implementation' of the Durban Declaration, which singled out Israel uniquely for censure and libelled it as a racist state.
Durban 2 is therefore central to the attempt by the Arab and Muslim world to legitimise the destruction of Israel. It also seeks to criminalise all criticism of Islam and suppress free speech under the guise of combating 'Islamophobia' as part of its jihadi strategy of progressively crippling all the west's defences. This is the process Obama is now validating. If anything shows beyond a doubt that America is now set on a path of both doing the Jewish people maximum harm and surrendering to the intimidation by the Muslim world, its participation in the obscenity of Durban 2 is surely it. As Gregg Rickman writes in aghast disbelief:

In encouraging this conference to reconvene and worse, leaving it in the hands of the likes of Iran, Libya and other terrorist states, the United Nations again dishonors itself by allowing these tyrants a platform to impose their racial and religious bigotry on the world. How can the United States possibly be a part of this insanity?

The answer lies in the man whom it has elected as its 44th President.
One might think alarm bells might now be ringing in the American Jewish community. On the contrary. These are the people who voted overwhelmingly for Obama (because he was a Democrat, because he was black and because he would liberalise abortion; the psychopathology of the majority of American Jews and their actual attitude towards Israel is an issue for another time). And they are the people he has now suborned. For on his delegation at Geneva, taking part in this process of delegitimising the Jewish state while pretending to put a brake on the process, is one Felice Gaer, a senior official of the American Jewish Committee.

Yes, that American Jewish Committee – you know, the so-called 'Jewish lobby' which (according to Mearsheimer/ Walt and every Jew-hater from the neo-Nazi and white supremacist websites to the pages of the Guardian and Independent) manipulates America to do the bidding of Israel. Uh-huh. So let's get this straight. Having voted this man into power, the AJC now has its head up Obama's backside while he lends legitimacy and strength to those who wish to destroy the Jewish state and the free world -- all the time pretending to themselves that they are helping to mitigate the damage.
Some lobby.

The fact is that Israel faces the nightmare scenario that it now stands alone -- and against America. Whether through naivety, ideology or rank malice, there is now a fifth columnist in the White House, delivering (however unwittingly) the agenda of the enemies of the west and undermining the cause of the free world. The vast majority of Americans who staunchly support Israel's struggle to exist in the face of genocidal attack, and understand only too well its role as the front line of defence for the free world, need to become aware of what is being done in their name.

WorldNetDaily Exclusive
Hamas to Obama: Let's talk!
Terrorist letter invites discussion of change to U.S. policy

Posted: February 21, 2009
2:07 pm Eastern

By Drew Zahn

Ahmed Yousef

TEL AVIV, Israel – After several denials and conflicting news media reports, it has been confirmed that Hamas gave Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., a letter to pass on to President Obama in hopes of changing U.S. policy toward the terrorist organization.
Ahmed Yousef, Hamas' chief political adviser in Gaza, confirmed the communication, a two-page appeal which Yousef wrote, congratulating Obama on his victory last November and petitioning the U.S. president to open dialogue with his Islamist group.
An exclusive WND interview with Yousef in November first revealed Hamas' plans to draft the letter of congratulation.

Kerry passed Yousef's letter on to the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem yesterday, after accepting it one day earlier from UN officials during a visit to the Gaza Strip. quotes Kerry spokesman Frederick Jones as claiming the Democratic senator was not aware the letter was from Hamas and only heard of its true origin from news media reports, prompting him to forward it to the consulate.
Kerry, who heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, became the most senior U.S. government official to enter Gaza since 2000. The Massachusetts lawmaker announced his trip did not signal any change in U.S. policy toward Hamas. But Mushir al-Massri, a Hamas spokesman and parliament member, told WND Kerry's visit to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip was a "big sign" of a "change" in the U.S. position toward the Islamist group.

Speaking from Gaza, al-Massri said, "This is part of a new era regarding Hamas in the international community."

"Kerry can say there is no change," al-Massri continued, "but Hamas controls Gaza. It's very important that he came here. I hope next time the U.S. can more openly support Hamas."
Hamas' official charter calls for the murder of Jews and the destruction of Israel. The Islamist group is responsible for scores of suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks aimed at Jewish civilians.

Obama has repeatedly condemned Hamas as a terrorist organization that should be isolated until it renounces violence and recognizes Israel's right to exist.

But that hasn't stopped Hamas from heaping praise on the American leader.
Just after Obama's win in November, Hamas's Yousef called Obama's presidency a "historic victory" for the world and an opportunity to change U.S. foreign policy toward engagement with America's foes.

Yousef, speaking to WND by cell phone from Gaza in November, said Hamas was drafting a letter of congratulation to be sent directly to Obama. He said the current draft of the letter praised the president-elect as "another John F. Kennedy, or great Roosevelt."
"We want to be one of the first to congratulate him," Yousef said.
The Hamas leader said Obama's job will be to "restore America's dignity in the world and put an end to the wars in the region."

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