Friday, May 15, 2009

Hamas, the Hudna and the thereafter (Helena Cobban and Azzam Tamimi)

From Damascus, the Hayat people report that Khaled Meshaal "sent an implicit political message to Pres. Obama" when he told a press conference held by the "Palestinian National Conference" in Damascus that,
Hamas and most of the Palestinian forces accepted, through the 2006 document of national agreement the principle of establishing a fully sovereign Palestinian state on all the land occupied in 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital, after the dismantling of all the settlements, and along with attainment of the Right of Return and [the state having] full sovereignty over the land and airspace and borders and crossing-points.

He stressed that his movement "still rejects the conditions of the international Quartet because they are oppressive and they cannot lead to the attainment of Palestinian interests."

On the 'Hudna' and the thereafter:
It is usually assumed that a long term hudnah will likely last for a quarter of a century or more. That is seen as too long a time for someone to predict what may happen afterwards. There will always be the possibility that the hudnah will come to an end prematurely because of a breach. If that happens it is highly unlikely that the breach will come from the Hamas side for the simply reason that it is religiously binding upon the Islamic side to honor the agreement to the end unless violated by the other side. Should the hudnah last till the prescribed date, one scenario is that those in charge then will simply negotiation a renewal.

Azzam Tamimi on the recognition issue:
The world needs to think about what the demand for us to recognize Israel really means. For me as a Palestinian, if I say I recognize Israel, then I'm saying that what happened to my people in 1948 was legitimate, and this I will never say.

We can proceed by having a de-facto relation between us. In that way, we could have a longterm peace, even without any recognition of Israel.

Hamas says it would need a total withdrawal to the lines of 4th June 1967 for that truce to go into effect. Israel might say they would need security guarantees. We're open to discussing that. But honestly, the best security guarantee they could have would be Hamas's signature on a truce document, because once they have that it becomes a religious obligation for all Palestinians to respect the truce.

On the dreaded Hamas charter, from the longer excerpts of the NYT - Khalid Meshal encounter:
The most important thing is what Hamas is doing and the policies it is adopting today. The world must deal with what Hamas is practicing today. Hamas has accepted the national reconciliation document. It has accepted a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders including East Jerusalem, dismantling settlements, and the right of return based on a long term truce. Hamas has represented a clear political program through a unity government. This is Hamas's program regardless of the historic documents. Hamas has offered a vision. Therefore, it's not logical for the international community to get stuck on sentences written 20 years ago. It's not logical for the international community to judge Hamas based on these sentences and stay silent when Israel destroys and kills our people.


At 1:33 PM, Blogger Alex Stein said...

Well at least that clears that up: Hamas remain as rejectionist as ever.
Btw, did you see your hero Galloway in action here?

At 1:38 PM, Blogger Gert said...

C'mon Alex, be serious: how much more water do these people have to put in their wine before Israel makes even the slightest bit of a 'concession'?

You're sounding like Ariel Sharon here, not Alex Stein.

I'll watch that video now.

At 1:57 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Since when has the JC come to rely on HP for material? This is quite an old clip too, months at least.

Galloway's comments are entirely just. Dispatches are perfectly within their rights to make such a doc and Galloway is entitled to criticise them for it.

What, do you think would happen, if I made a documentary about the more extremist side of the Zionist blogosphere where hundreds of Zios spout the most demeaning nonsense about Palestinians, Arabs or even Muslims in general? Where they openly nurture their wet dreams of Greater Israel? I would get shot down in flames and in all likelihood be called an anti-Semite. More reasonable Zios like you would politely point out I was being 'one-sided'.

To Galloway's critics I say this: this man organised a massive aid convoy to Gaza (and is now doing the same with Viva Palestina US), what have you done? Oh and the JC, are these the same w*nkers that published this little gem of a poll? Seems they are...

At 3:39 PM, Blogger Alex Stein said...

I don't deny that the current Israeli government is rejectionist; you seem to.
As for your documentary, I wouldn't call you an anti-Semite - stop arguing with the straw man. Galloway's arguments were absurd.

At 3:53 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Alex, I know you wouldn't call me an anti-Semite, but others would. For sure. See the Goldhagen test. No straw man here.

I find criticism of Galloway of this kind petty.

At 5:30 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

I join Alex in saying that this is proof that Hamas is still rejectionist, and I'm dead serious. They expect us to agree to all of their demands - including the right of return to Israel itself (the "two Palestinian states" solution), and even then it wouldn't be an end to the conflict.

"Should the hudnah last till the prescribed date, one scenario is that those in charge then will simply negotiation a renewal."What will the Palestinians demand in 25 years in exchange for the Hudna, if there is already a Palestinian state and a right of return? A piece of Israel proper?

This is totally unacceptable.

At 7:02 PM, Blogger Gert said...

At the start of any process of negotiation the negotiating sides tend to take 'maximalist' positions. The actual negotiations are designed to create a compromise. Ever sold a car or a house?

'RoR' can mean a lot of things. Literally (as you interpret it - and which is why the both of you would make bad negotiators) this will not be applied. The purpose of negotiating is to lower that bar (among other things of course).
Despite Hamas' position already softened, Israel still refuses to even talk to them (well, at least overtly).

Quarantining Hamas because of their democratically obtained election victory has made us lose three years during which their politisation could have made much progress. Who benefited from that? Poor old Israel, who else?

At 8:25 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

"At the start of any process of negotiation the negotiating sides tend to take 'maximalist' positions. The actual negotiations are designed to create a compromise. Ever sold a car or a house?"So I guess you aren't one of those who demand a public declaration of support for the two-state solution from Netanyahu?

At 2:43 PM, Blogger Gert said...

You're misunderstanding me [boo hoo hoo!]. Netanyahu's current position can be seen as 'maximalist' in itself. Of course he'll climb down and I'll applaud that. If he doesn't, he risks jeopardising the US-Israel relationship (an Israel 'going it alone' would be a true nightmare IMHO).

O/T: I notice you're having the same problem with the italic tag neutralising a hard carriage return. Something's up with Blogger.

At 3:59 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

I don't see Hamas's position as any less maximalist than Netanyahu's. Hamas is saying the most it would accept is a long-term truce, just like Netanyahu says the most he'd accept would be more autonomy under Israeli rule. Either that's really the most both sides are willing to do, or both are just playing hard to get.

Both Netanyahu and Hamas need to accept the idea of peace (not just a Hudna) between two states.

At 4:43 PM, Blogger Gert said...


I'm not really disagreeing that Hamas' position is 'maximalist' but it can't be denied that their 'Palestinian state along 1967 borders' is relatively recent ('bout 3 years), contradicts their charter and doesn't get much publicity in the West.

The Ziosphere e.g. refuses to acknowledge that shift in emphasis, instead concentrating on "they're the sons of Hitler" (a la Jerkowitz). To me that's borderline racist: opponents have the right to be heard to, Islamist or not. Zios want to create equivalence with Al Qaeda: "you can't talk to these people", that's unfair and unproductive.


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