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February 2, 2006

Egypt and Jordan Join West In Pressuring Hamas

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

Egypt and Jordan joined the West on Wednesday in pressuring Hamas, declaring that it must recognize Israel and renounce violence if it wants to lead the Palestinians. After a meeting in Cairo between President Mahmoud Abbas and President Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman urged Hamas to take three key steps: Stop the violence, they should adopt a doctrine committed to all the agreements signed with Israel, and that they have to recognize Israel.

But that's asking a lot of Hamas, after all, we're talking about an organization whose charter, which its leaders are refusing to amend, calls for Israel's destruction, and whose members have led a suicide bombing campaign responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israelis. And now, Hamas is telling Israel that it is "Opening the gates of hell," by suspending money transfers of about £30 million in customs payments which Israel collects every month on behalf of the authority - a statement that is not exactly conducive to engagement in meaningful dialogue to resolve a political issue. More, a reaction expected from Islamists and certainly the likes of Hamas.

When Hamas was founded in 1987, it put the goals of the Islamic Resistance Movement into writing: "Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model, the Koran its Constitution, jihad its path, and death for the case of Allah its most sublime belief." (And these people call themselves thinking adults???)

For this leopard to change it's spots, hell would have to freeze over. But I welcome being wrong! Here's what Daniel Pipes has to say on the prospects for peace:

The Hamas victory will have the largest impact not in relations with Israel, where its goals and those of its predecessor Fatah resemble each other, but in two other arenas. Within the Palestinian Authority, Hamas will run a very different show from the anarchic, corrupt, sloppy dictatorship bequeathed by Yasser Arafat. Expect to see a far stricter, more religious, more disciplined order, with Fatah members, including Mahmoud Abbas, sidelined and probably repressed.

Second, Arab Islamists have already achieved electoral success and takeover in Iraq, but Hamas represents the first Arab Islamist terrorist group to be legitimated through the ballot box. Comparable groups in countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco will watch and be encouraged, should there be any show of acceptance of Hamas by the U.S. and other governments.

Learn what other experts are saying about the "Prospects for Peace" in Time Magazine's Forum - in which a panel of experts tells TIME what Hamas' victory might bring. (By DENNIS ROSS, MOISES NAIM, ABDUL SATTAR KASIM, ZIAD ABU AMR, RICHARD HAASS, DANIEL PIPES)

Related: Hamas Leader Mahmoud Zahar on Al-Manar TV: "Palestine Means Palestine in its Entirety - From the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River... We Cannot Give Up a Single Inch of it... Why Should We Recognize Condoleezza Rice... or Israel's Right to Exist?" (Video - A must see!)


Posted by Richard at February 2, 2006 6:17 AM



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