Sunday, April 02, 2006

Hamas leader says 'There's no room for Israel on this land'


Israel advocates have to be wary of a growing trend amongst media outlets to attempt to paint Hamas as a moderate force willing to compromise and to distance Hamas from its terrorism roots. On Friday I heard on BBC World Service a BBC correspondent joking with a Hamas minister about his new job, willfully forgetting that he belongs to an organisation that might have some social services but is overall steeped in blood and hatred. The latest comes from CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour where she tries to redefine Hamas.
Israel advocates have to make people listen to the subtleties in an interview with a Hamas representative. Constantly we are being told that Hamas want an end to the occupation, the reporter will never ask further what does the Hamas person mean, assuming that he is referring to 1967 borders. Well the cat is out of the bag.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar was quoted in a weekend interview to a Chinese news agency defending Hamas' declared goal of eventually destroying Israel.Zahar, a prominent Hamas leader sworn into the Palestinian Authority cabinet last week, told the Xinhua news agency that he is certain the goal will be realized, because "There is no place for Israel on this land."According to the interview, Zahar maintained that Palestinians have no problem with the Jewish religion, only with the Israeli occupation, and said he does not rule out the possibility of Jews, Muslims and Christians living together in one Islamic state.
Reiterating Hamas' oppositions to negotiations with Israel, Zahar told his interviewer, "Israel doesn't want peace nor does it have any peace project. Therefore, we told our people and tell them that there will be no negotiations."
This is the crux that Israel advocates have to pay attention to. Zahar says Israel don't want peace and negotiations when he said earlier that there is no place for Israel at all. The problem is many news agencies will pick up on the "Israel doesn't want peace" part without mentioning it will be a peace without Israel. (Note: The actual article only mentions Zahar saying "I dream of hanging a huge map of the world on the wall at my Gaza home which does not show Israel on it," half-way through the article, while up to then the article has focused on Israeli recalcitrance.)

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