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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What Hamas Is Seeking

You have to admire the consistency of the American mainstream media. They have yet to find a terrorist to whom they are not willing to give a platform. The latest is the Washington Post, which in this morning's editions gives a soapbox to Mousa Abu Marzook. Does the name ring a bell, Americans? For those of you who have forgotten, the Post reminds you (at the end of course) who he is:

The writer is deputy political bureau chief of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas). He has a U.S. doctorate in engineering and was indicted in the United States in 2004 as a co-conspirator on racketeering and money-laundering charges in connection with activities on behalf of Hamas dating to the early 1990s, before the organization was placed on the list of terrorist groups. He was deported to Jordan in 1997.
That's great. At least he was deported, unlike Sami al-Aryan, who was tried and acquitted on most counts. Of course, let's not forget that Marzook could have been deported to Israel rather than to Jordan, in which case he'd be a bit less likely to be writing op-eds in the Washington Post, or more likely he'd be writing them from a jail cell.

Anyway, here's what Marzook has to say this morning:

Our society has always celebrated pluralism in keeping with the unique history and traditions of the Holy Land. In recognizing Judeo-Christian traditions, Muslims nobly vie for and have the greatest incentive and stake in preserving the Holy Land for all three Abrahamic faiths. In addition, fair governance demands that the Palestinian nation be represented in a pluralistic environment. A new breed of Islamic leadership is ready to put into practice faith-based principles in a setting of tolerance and unity.

In that vein, Hamas has pledged transparency in government. Honest leadership will result from the accountability of its public servants. Hamas has elected 15 female legislators poised to play a significant role in public life. The movement has forged genuine and lasting relationships with Christian candidates.

As we embark on a new phase in the struggle to liberate Palestine, we recognize the recent elections as a vote against the failures of the current process. A new "road map" is needed to lead us away from the path of checkpoints and walls and onto the path of freedom and justice. The past decade's "peace process" has led to a dramatic rise in the expansion of illegal settlements and land confiscation. The realities of occupation include humiliating checkpoints, home demolitions, open-ended administrative detentions, extrajudicial killings and thousands of dead civilians.

The Islamic Resistance Movement was elected to protect the Palestinians from the abuses of occupation, based on its history of sacrifice for the cause of liberty. It would be a mistake to view the collective will of the Palestinian people in electing Hamas in fair and free elections under occupation as a threat. For meaningful dialogue to occur there should be no prejudgments or preconditions. And we do desire dialogue. The terms of the dialogue should be premised on justice, mutual respect and integrity of the parties.

Hope you're all not laughing too hard to realize that there will be people on the left who will take this as a sign of Hamas' 'reforms.' Of course there's no mention of suicide bombers....

Update 7:05 PM:

At Little Green Footballs, Charles points us to a related story: the Chicago Tribune is trying to interfere in the trial of one of Marzook’s cronies: Chicago Judge Urged to Open Hamas Hearing.

The Chicago Tribune has urged a federal judge to reject the government’s request for a closed hearing for a man accused of laundering money for the Palestinian militant group Hamas.


Federal prosecutors want to use as evidence against Salah a confession that Israeli agents obtained from him in 1993 after he was arrested there. The agents’ testimony could help clear up the question of whether Salah confessed only after being tortured, as he claims. Besides closing the court, prosecutors want the Israeli agents to be allowed to testify under aliases and wearing “light disguises.”

Salah’s attorneys argue that their client has a constitutional right to confront his accusers. The Tribune brief, filed by attorney Natalie J. Spears, took issue with a government claim that there was no alternative to closing the courtroom. “Justice does not mean doing what is most convenient,” it said.