Mid-East Realitieswww.middleeast.org


MER - Washington - www.MiddleEast.Org - 3 February: Tuesday this week, the day the American President gave his State of the Union speech in the evening, the resistance and liberation movement known as Hamas presented its view in the morning. Writing from Damascus where they have both been in exile the top two political officials in Hamas spoke that day on the editorial pages of The Guardian (UK) and The Washington Post (Washington). Mossad had tried to poison-assassinate Khalid Mish'al some years back in Amman. And the Israelis and Americans had imprisoned Moussa Abu-Marzook before failing to indict him and instead expelling him from the U.S. At that time in 1996, when MER had a weekly TV program, by special arrangement MER extensively interviewed Abu Marzook in the federal detention center near Chinatown in New York about Hamas and the 'peace process'. We encourage news media organizations to get in touch with MER if interested in that lengthy multi-hour interview full of insights into how the Hamas victory was carefully orchestrated over the past decade. Then last evening in Washington, the solidly establishment World Affairs Council held a kind of emergency forum about the 'Political Earthquake' of the Hamas electoral victory in Occupied Palestine. But they seem to have learned little for it was the same old friendly gang of long-time appologist commentators they turned to -- all old friends and buddies in fact...Rami Khouri, David Makofsky, and Sibley Telhami -- without even having the meager courage at such a critical time to get even one person who could claim to being a real Muslim and a Hamas supporter to speak up. And then they wonder why such things as the Hamas victory surprise them so. Note: To subscribe, unsubscribe, or change your email address with MER use MiddleEast.Org/subscribe


We will not sell our people or principles for foreign aid


Palestinians voted for Hamas because of our refusal to give up their rights. But we are ready to make a just peace

Khalid Mish'al

Tuesday January 31, 2006 - The Guardian

It is widely recognised that the Palestinians are among the most politicised and educated peoples in the world. When they went to the polls last Wednesday they were well aware of what was on offer and those who voted for Hamas knew what it stood for. They chose Hamas because of its pledge never to give up the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and its promise to embark on a programme of reform. There were voices warning them, locally and internationally, not to vote for an organisation branded by the US and EU as terrorist because such a democratically exercised right would cost them the financial aid provided by foreign donors.

The day Hamas won the Palestinian democratic elections the world's leading democracies failed the test of democracy. Rather than recognise the legitimacy of Hamas as a freely elected representative of the Palestinian people, seize the opportunity created by the result to support the development of good governance in Palestine and search for a means of ending the bloodshed, the US and EU threatened the Palestinian people with collective punishment for exercising their right to choose their parliamentary representatives.

We are being punished simply for resisting oppression and striving for justice. Those who threaten to impose sanctions on our people are the same powers that initiated our suffering and continue to support our oppressors almost unconditionally. We, the victims, are being penalised while our oppressors are pampered. The US and EU could have used the success of Hamas to open a new chapter in their relations with the Palestinians, the Arabs and the Muslims and to understand better a movement that has so far been seen largely through the eyes of the Zionist occupiers of our land.

Our message to the US and EU governments is this: your attempt to force us to give up our principles or our struggle is in vain. Our people who gave thousands of martyrs, the millions of refugees who have waited for nearly 60 years to return home and our 9,000 political and war prisoners in Israeli jails have not made those sacrifices in order to settle for close to nothing.

Hamas has been elected mainly because of its immovable faith in the inevitability of victory; and Hamas is immune to bribery, intimidation and blackmail. While we are keen on having friendly relations with all nations we shall not seek friendships at the expense of our legitimate rights. We have seen how other nations, including the peoples of Vietnam and South Africa, persisted in their struggle until their quest for freedom and justice was accomplished. We are no different, our cause is no less worthy, our determination is no less profound and our patience is no less abundant.

Our message to the Muslim and Arab nations is this: you have a responsibility to stand by your Palestinian brothers and sisters whose sacrifices are made on behalf of all of you. Our people in Palestine should not need to wait for any aid from countries that attach humiliating conditions to every dollar or euro they pay despite their historical and moral responsibility for our plight. We expect you to step in and compensate the Palestinian people for any loss of aid and we demand you lift all restrictions on civil society institutions that wish to fundraise for the Palestinian cause.

Our message to the Palestinians is this: our people are not only those who live under siege in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip but also the millions languishing in refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria and the millions spread around the world unable to return home. We promise you that nothing in the world will deter us from pursuing our goal of liberation and return. We shall spare no effort to work with all factions and institutions in order to put our Palestinian house in order. Having won the parliamentary elections, our medium-term objective is to reform the PLO in order to revive its role as a true representative of all the Palestinian people, without exception or discrimination.

Our message to the Israelis is this: we do not fight you because you belong to a certain faith or culture. Jews have lived in the Muslim world for 13 centuries in peace and harmony; they are in our religion "the people of the book" who have a covenant from God and His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) to be respected and protected. Our conflict with you is not religious but political. We have no problem with Jews who have not attacked us - our problem is with those who came to our land, imposed themselves on us by force, destroyed our society and banished our people.

We shall never recognise the right of any power to rob us of our land and deny us our national rights. We shall never recognise the legitimacy of a Zionist state created on our soil in order to atone for somebody else's sins or solve somebody else's problem. But if you are willing to accept the principle of a long-term truce, we are prepared to negotiate the terms. Hamas is extending a hand of peace to those who are truly interested in a peace based on justice.

Khalid Mish'al is head of the political bureau of Hamas


What Hamas Is Seeking

By Mousa Abu Marzook

Tuesday, January 31, 2006; Washington Post A17: DAMASCUS, Syria -- A new era in the struggle for Palestinian liberation is upon us. Through historic fair and free elections, the Palestinian people have spoken.

Accordingly, America's long-standing tradition of supporting the oppressed's rights to self-determination should not waver. The United States, the European Union and the rest of the world should welcome the unfolding of the democratic process, and the commitment to aid should not falter. Last week's victory of the Change and Reform Party in the Palestinian legislative elections signals a new hope for an occupied people.

The results of these elections reflect a need for change from the corruption and intransigence of the past government. Since its creation 10 years ago, the Palestinian Legislative Council has been unsuccessful in addressing the needs of the people. As the occupation solidified its grip under the auspices of "peace agreements," quality of life deteriorated for Palestinians in the occupied territories. Poverty levels soared, unemployment rates reached uncharted heights and the lack of basic security approached unbearable depths. A grass-roots alternative grew out of the urgency of this situation. Through its legacy of social work and involvement in the needs of the Palestinian people, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) flourished as a positive social force striving for the welfare of all Palestinians. Alleviating the debilitative conditions of occupation, and not an Islamic state, is at the heart of our mandate (with reform and change as its lifeblood).

Despite the pressures of occupation and corrupt self-rule, Palestinian civil society has demonstrated its resilience in the face of repressive conditions. Social institutions can now be given new life under a reformed government that embraces the empowerment of the people, facilitates freedoms and protects civil rights.

Our society has always celebrated pluralism in keeping with the unique history and traditions of the Holy Land. In recognizing Judeo-Christian traditions, Muslims nobly vie for and have the greatest incentive and stake in preserving the Holy Land for all three Abrahamic faiths. In addition, fair governance demands that the Palestinian nation be represented in a pluralistic environment. A new breed of Islamic leadership is ready to put into practice faith-based principles in a setting of tolerance and unity.

In that vein, Hamas has pledged transparency in government. Honest leadership will result from the accountability of its public servants. Hamas has elected 15 female legislators poised to play a significant role in public life. The movement has forged genuine and lasting relationships with Christian candidates.

As we embark on a new phase in the struggle to liberate Palestine, we recognize the recent elections as a vote against the failures of the current process. A new "road map" is needed to lead us away from the path of checkpoints and walls and onto the path of freedom and justice. The past decade's "peace process" has led to a dramatic rise in the expansion of illegal settlements and land confiscation. The realities of occupation include humiliating checkpoints, home demolitions, open-ended administrative detentions, extrajudicial killings and thousands of dead civilians.

The Islamic Resistance Movement was elected to protect the Palestinians from the abuses of occupation, based on its history of sacrifice for the cause of liberty. It would be a mistake to view the collective will of the Palestinian people in electing Hamas in fair and free elections under occupation as a threat. For meaningful dialogue to occur there should be no prejudgments or preconditions. And we do desire dialogue. The terms of the dialogue should be premised on justice, mutual respect and integrity of the parties.

As the Israelis value their own security, Palestinians are entitled to their fundamental rights to live in dignity and security. We ask them to reflect on the peace that our peoples once enjoyed and the protection that Muslims gave the Jewish community worldwide. We will exert good-faith efforts to remove the bitterness that Israel's occupation has succeeded in creating, alienating a generation of Palestinians. We call on them not to condemn posterity to endless bloodshed and a conflict in which dominance is illusory. There must come a day when we will live together, side by side once again.

The failed policies of the U.S. administration are the result of the inherent contradiction in its position as Israel's strongest ally and an "honest broker" in the conflict. World nations have condemned the brutal Israeli occupation. For the sake of peace, the United States must abandon its position of isolation and join the rest of the world in calling for an end to the occupation, assuring the Palestinians their right to self-determination.

We appeal to the American people's sense of fairness to judge this conflict in light of the great thoughts, principles and ideals you hold dear in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the democracy you have built. It is not unreasonable to expect America to practice abroad what it preaches at home. We can but sincerely hope that you use your honest judgment and the blessings of ascendancy God has given you to demand an end to the occupation. Meaningful democracy cannot flourish as long as an external force maintains the balance of power. It is the right of all people to pursue their own destiny.

The writer is deputy political bureau chief of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas). He has a U.S. doctorate in engineering and was indicted in the United States in 2004 as a co-conspirator on racketeering and money-laundering charges in connection with activities on behalf of Hamas dating to the early 1990s, before the organization was placed on the list of terrorist groups. He was deported to Jordan in 1997.




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Source: http://www.middleeast.org/articles/2006/2/1339.htm