Monday, March 22, 2004

Israel and Palestine

On March 22, 2004, Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was killed by the Israeli Air Force, which fired three missiles into his car. This move by the Israelis not only has a great affect on the Hamas terrorist organization, it may affect Palestinian head-honcho Arafat himself. “He is like a man who was hit on the head because they killed Yassin and now they could kill him,” said one of Arafat’s aides, “He feels his turn is next and he is sad and worried.” Arafat’s being sad doesn’t matter so much, but his being worried does – it may force him to keep his word regarding agreements with the Israelis, and also force him to reign in the Palestinian terrorist organizations. But is there really any point in making further agreements with the Palestinians?

Understanding the mentality of the terrorists is vital; in the following paragraphs, I will ask some questions, using for answers excerpts from “The Covenant of the Hamas,” which was written in 1988.

First, is it possible for the Palestinians and the Jews to live together in Israel? Hamas would answer ‘No’, as they write in Article 6: “The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] is a distinguished Palestinian movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and whose way of life is Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.”

Next, does Israel have a right to exist? Again, Hamas would answer ‘No’ as they write in their Preamble: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it.”

What does Hamas consider the duties of Moslems to be? They write in Article 15: “The day the enemies usurp part of Moslem land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Moslem. In the face of the Jews’ usurpation, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.”Would Hamas accept a peace settlement between the Jews and the Palestinians? The answer is ‘No,’ as they write in Article 13: “[Peace] initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement… Those conferences are no more than a means to appoint the infidels as arbitrators in the lands of Islam… There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. Initiatives, proposals, and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility.”What does Hamas think about Jews in general? Article 7: “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: ‘O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.’”

Unfortunately, these views are not only to be found in the radical fringes of Palestinian society. When I was looking through the October 8, 2001 issue of The Weekly Standard, I found a horrifying picture spread on the last page. Included was the following caption: “Palestinian students visit a reenactment of the Aug. 19 Sbarro pizza restaurant suicide bombing in Jerusalem, replete with body parts and pizza slices strewn around the room, during the opening of an exhibition at Al Najah University in the West Bank town of Nablus, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2001.” One of the photographs show an outside view of the exhibit, in which there is a Sbarro pizza sign above door posts smeared with fake blood. Then there is an inside view of the display, where you see a visiting Arab woman gazing up at an amputated arm hanging from the ceiling. Visible in the background is a pair of jeans sitting on a stool with blood flowing out at the waist (the body’s torso is missing). Also at the exhibit was a mural depicting the explosion.

These are the people the Israelis are negotiating with, and that is the reason why the Roadmap to Peace has failed to get anywhere. How can you make peace with someone who denies you the right to exist?

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