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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

With Hamas, the more things change, the more they stay the same

The New York Times sends Ethan Bronner to Damascus with a stringer to meet with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal for a five-hour(!) interview over the course of two days. And there we have the first only amazing part of this story: That it took five hours for Meshaal to lay out the same positions he's taken before. Yes, there's nothing new in this story (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).

In the interview, Meshaal refuses to recognize Israel's 'right to exist,' refuses to revoke the Hamas charter, offers a 'ten-year truce' (subject to shortening if Hamas decides it could win a war - although he doesn't come out and say that) in exchange for Israel returning to the 1949 armistice lines and allowing itself to be flooded with 'Palestinian refugees,' and claims that he does not fear 'martyrdom.'

Meshaal also claims that Hamas has put a stop to the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip with 'only' six rockets being fired in April (how would you like to live in an area where a rocket hits without warning once every five days?).

Soccer Dad emails to ask whether I believe Meshaal's claim that it is Hamas that is stopping the rocket fire and not Israel taking more aggressive action against that rocket fire.

Yes, I believe that Hamas has ordered a stop (or a drastic slowdown) in the rocket fire. Israel cannot put a stop to the rocket fire without being in Gaza, and the IDF was withdrawn from Gaza back in January as a present for The One's inauguration.

On the other hand, Hamas has an interest in stopping the rocket fire long enough to get the Gaza border crossings reopened so that it can provide supplies to ordinary Gazans who are sick and tired of Hamas' rule.

But there's really nothing new in this interview with Meshaal. The more things change, the more they stay the same. And you wonder why the Times is going broke (Hat Tip: Instapundit). How much do you think it costs to send a reporter to Damascus?


At 4:53 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I think the fact that Israel's sanctions are hurting Hamas bad is good reason enough to tighten them. There is no reason to take the terrorist group's claims at face value - of course its willing to strangle Israel through death through attrition as much as through jihad. Would you like to negotiate with someone who wants you dead?

To most people, the answer would be obvious. The New York Times insults people's intelligence by saying that Hamas doesn't really mean what it says and the same Ethan Bronner who takes Khaled Meshaal's words on faith warns against taking
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's words on faith.

It shills for a terrorist organization and attacks Israel's new government for an alleged lack of interest in peace. How low can a newspaper go with a double standard?

Low enough to rehabilitate Hamas.


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