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Friday, April 10, 2009

Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams meets with Ismail Haniyeh

While Israel celebrated Passover, its defense ministry took an action that allowed Hamas to gain more international credibility. Defense minister Ehud Barak acceded to a request from quartet envoy Tony Blair and allowed Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams to visit Gaza. Earlier, Israel had said it would not allow Adams to enter Gaza through the Erez Crossing, because Adams would not commit not to meet with Hamas leaders. Blair told Barak that Adams had experience as a 'mediator' and could pass messages between Israel and Hamas. Why the Egyptians are suddenly no longer qualified to do that is left unsaid. But the bottom line is that as soon as Barak allowed Adams into Gaza - against the recommendation of the foreign ministry - Adams went straight to meet with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.
Adams's meeting with Haniyeh, at an undisclosed location in Gaza City, was not announced ahead of time.

TV footage from a local news outlet showed Adams sitting in an armchair next to Haniyeh. "We want to help. We support the Palestinian people," Adams said.

Following the meeting with Haniyeh, Adams said he had "outlined to him Sinn Fein's view that there should be a complete cessation of all hostilities and armed actions by all sides. The fact is that the people of Palestine and the people of Israel are destined to live side by side. I believe that most people want a peaceful accommodation," he said.

"Following my meeting with Mr. Haniyeh," Adams continued, "I believe that progress is possible. As I have said consistently, there needs to be a dialogue between the people of Palestine and their leadership and the people of Israel and their leadership. That is what worked in Ireland."
Yeah, right. We've had 'dialogue' for 16 years and all that ends up happening is that Israel concedes and the 'Palestinians' say "no, not enough."

No one should be surprised that Adams went straight to meet with Haniyeh. The IRA really does support the 'Palestinians.' Terrorists stick together.
The most enduring regional relationship forged by the Republican movement was that with the PLO. This too dated from the early 1970s, when Fatah organized arms and terrorist training for IRA and INLA operatives in Libya and Lebanon. And while Yasser Arafat attempted to distance himself from the IRA after Lord Louis Mountbatten's murder in 1979 (although a senior IRA defector has claimed the PLO was involved in financing the attack in which two teenage boys and an 82-year-old woman were also slaughtered), IRA-PLO cooperation continued well into the 1990s.

Concerns that it persisted even after the signing of the Belfast Agreement were behind the investigation by British and Israeli security services of the possibility that the IRA either trained or actually provided the sniper who killed 10 IDF soldiers with an obsolete bolt-action rifle near Ofra in March 2002. The discovery by Paul Collinson, a British explosives expert working with the Palestinian Red Crescent, of 200 "exact replicas" of IRA-issue pipe bombs in Jenin after Operation Defensive Shield aroused further suspicions of continuing paramilitary links.
Why was Ehud Barak foolish enough to let Adams into Gaza? One reason may be that Adams is smart enough to maintain an air of respectability.
Although he presides over a Sinn Fein which remains bitterly hostile to what it once termed "the obnoxious phenomenon that is Zionism," Adams, as an international peacemaker manqué, personally adopts a relatively moderate tone, leaving it to his international affairs spokesman, Aengus O'Snodaigh, to articulate the party's official positions. For example, in June 2006, O'Snodaigh described Israel as "without doubt one of the most abhorrent and despicable regimes on the planet." Two months later he claimed that the Second Lebanon War was the result of "continued Israeli aggression, expansion and occupation in the region" and called for UNIFIL's deployment on the Israeli side of the Blue Line. During Operation Cast Lead he demanded the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Ireland and compared him to Josef Goebbels.

Sinn Fein repeatedly calls for the suspension of the EU's preferential trading agreement with the Israeli "rogue state" on the grounds of its "horrific crimes against humanity" and, in February, Adams himself launched the Irish Congress of Trade Unions' "Israel/Palestine Report" in Northern Ireland's parliament buildings, which calls for an economic, political and cultural boycott/divestment/sanctions campaign against Israel. Republicans are also prominently involved in non-party anti-Israel activism, particularly in the Belfast branch of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, where Sinn Fein cadres work alongside convicted IRA terrorists and members of dissident groups such as Eirigi.
Given the IRA's history, Barak has shown himself to be politically naive by allowing Adams into Gaza. But then, this isn't the first time Barak did something politically naive. Remember the Taba negotiations? Read the whole thing.


At 2:03 PM, Blogger Thud said...

Adams was,is and always will be a terrorist murderer.

At 3:28 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Adams was fighting the British, to achieve self rule. The Irgun, and the Stern group, fought the British as well, and they were called "terrorists".

The IRA has plenty to be ashamed of, but they are not the same animal as Hamas.

Hamas intentionally targets children, and then celebrates their death. The IRA is not guilty of anything like that.

Extreme Islamic terrorism is something entirely new.

At 5:50 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The difference is the IRA never denied Great Britain's right to exist or called for genocide against the British. In contrast, Hamas denies Israel's right to exist and advocates the death of every Jew in the world. I don't think Gerry Adams could get Ismail Haniyeh to change how Hamas' views Israel and Ehud Barak was the fool from Chelm to entertain any hope of a breakthrough with the Islamists in Gaza.


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