Hamas: Israel must change its flag
- Zahar: Israel must change its flag
By JPOST.COM STAFF
Jan. 28, 2006
A senior Hamas leader indicated Sunday that his group's landslide
victory in Palestinian legislative elections changed little in its
stance toward Israel.
Mahmoud Zahar's comments came after Minister Shaul Mofaz said in
Sunday's cabinet meeting that Hamas was, at this point, acting
"responsibly," and added that he believed that the organization would
soon attempt to rein in terror.
Asked if a Hamas-led Palestinian government would accept Israel's
right to exist, Mahmoud Zahar of the Gaza Strip told CNN's "Late
Edition": "The question should be answered first by Israel, because
they are not accepting us, except as minority, not the owner of the
Among his several conditions he placed on israel was a request that it
change its flag. "Israel must remove the two Blue stripes from its
National flag", said Zahar. "The stripes on the flag are symbols of
occupation. They signify Israel's borders stretching from the River
Euphrates to the River Nile."
Zahar was also asked if Hamas, which America views as a terrorist
organization, would renounce terrorism.
"What is the international definition of terrorism?" he responded.
"When (Israeli forces) attack houses by F-16, just when they are using
helicopters, when they are killing people and children and removing
our agriculture system, this is terrorism."
Zahar said Hamas planned to work with Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas, also called Abu Mazen. Abbas leads the Fatah Party; he was
elected to a four-year term last year and remains in power.
"We are going to cooperate with Abu Mazen, according to the
Palestinian national interests, to help the Palestinian people to live
as in a purified system, to fight against corruption," he said.
US President George W. Bush said Friday that the United States would
cut millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian government unless
Hamas abolishes the militant arm of its party and stops calling for
the destruction of Israel.
Zahar said Sunday that "we are looking for this money, but this money
should not be conditioned."
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.
What Hamas Is Seeking
By Mousa Abu Marzook,
Tuesday, January 31, 2006; 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
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.
ELECTIONS IN PALESTINE TREND CONTINUES
Shamim A Siddiqi - tsidd96472 @ aol.com
February 1, 2006
Parliamentary Elections were held in Palestine last week on January
24, 2006 and the pro-Islamic party Hamas won with a landslide victory
by capturing 76 seats in the house of 132, enabling it to form its own
independent government shortly. Seventy eight percent of the
registered votes were cast. The Elections were peaceful, free, fair
and transparent by all the standards as confirmed by Ex-President
Jimmy Carter of the USA who was the chief of the team of International
Observers. This confirms the view that I expressed in my Editorial
Comments of "Muslims", NY on November 28, 2005 under the caption:
"Elections in Egypt What it connotes?" I would like to share its
paramount theme with the readers:
"This shows that democratic process is very much akin to Muslims as a
faith for a collective body and whenever they get the chance they
adhere to it whether it is Algeria, Afghanistan, Iraq and now Egypt."
The trend has continued as demonstrated and confirmed by the Muslims
of Palestine. [Interested readers may visit the Website:
WWW.dawahinamericas.com and go through the article under Section "C" -
the Muslim World to understand the trend that I have elaborated therein]
If President Bush and the "freedom" loving people of the "enlightened"
world are interested and serious in the outflow of "freedom and
democracy" in the Middle East, Central Asia, and North African
countries, they must "force" the tyrant-undemocratic regimes of the
Muslim world to hold fair and unfettered elections forthwith and
wither away, the only way to regain peace and security in Asia, Africa
and around the world. It is the open challenge to the secular
leadership of the world, especially its advocates, President Bush and
PM Tony Blare. But see how "hypocritically" these so-called democratic
countries and their "freedom-loving" leadership, both of Europe and
America are reacting to the miraculous success of Hamas in Palestine?
They all, including SG Kofi Annan, are unanimous in their demand that
they will not negotiate with Hamas and its government unless it
recognizes the "disputed" State of Israel, gives up its arms and the
"politics" of violence. They have already threatened to stop all the
financial help to the State of Palestinian so that it fails right at
the very outset. However, the governments of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia
and other Muslim countries have appealed to the Leadership of Europe
and America to accept the legitimate results of Palestinian Elections
and continue their financial support. The Government of SA has openly
confirmed that it will continue its financial support to the
Government of Palestine and asked the leadership of Hamas to be
realistic to the ground situation of the area. The people of
Palestine, through the recognized process of democracy, have given
their clear verdict in favor of Hamas to lead the destiny of its
people and the democratic world have now no choice but to accept it
and deal with the leadership of Hamas with open hearts in the sate of
peace and not of threats, intimidations and confrontation. Only a
peaceful cooperative dialogue will pave the way in persuading Hamas to
be gradually "accommodative" to the existence of Israel. The Israeli
State, in its best interest, must give a free trial to the concept of
friendship and cooperation and see the miracles of brotherly attitude.
The elected Hamas leadership ship is highly educated and well
conscious of the situation. They all are talking sense and are
desirous to live in peaceful co-existence. Fadel Saleh, a Hamas
politician from Ramallah clearly declared: "Hamas wants cooperation
with all Palestinian parties and a national agreement on policy". The
other successful candidates like Ahmad Mubarak would say: If Israel
pulled back to its 1967 boundaries, Hamas would consider a long time
truce" [Ref: NY Times dated January 27, 2006]. The leadership of Hamas
appears to be in reconciliatory mood and it would be in the best
interest of Israel to be just and realistic and give up their mood of
"arrogance". They must know that they cannot have peace and safe
borders unless they offer the "olive branch" to Palestinians who are
sufferings indescribably at their hands beyond any human imagination
since the promulgation of Belford Award in the wake of First Great War
of 1914-18. Israelis must learn that the so-called "support" of the
West will only prolong the cold-blooded war in Israel, increase the
sufferings of Palestinians and negate the peace process till doomsday
as it is one sided and ignores the legitimate rights of Palestinians.
The success of Hamas in Palestine is a God-gifted "opportunity" for
Israel, rather the "last" chance to live on the basis of two states
living side by side in peace and harmony. They have got their
"promised" land as they "claim" and should be contented with it. Any
"greed" to grab more Arab lands will be an invitation to
self-destruction. Perhaps the ailing Prime Minister of Israel, Aerial
Sharon realized the shortcomings of the impossibilities Zionist
"dream" of Greater Israel, resolved to quit Likud, established the new
party Kadima and live within its current secured boundaries surrounded
by high concrete walls as the "Greater Israel" could be had only on
the dead bodies of millions of people on both sides or never. The
emerging of Iran as a mini Shiia-superpower with nuclear ambitions is
bound to create stumbling block in its way. Equally, the Muslim world
would never accept this Zionist fantasy. A reconciliatory approach
from the Israeli leadership, at this juncture, will encourage Hamas
leadership to think and plan to live together in peace.
The "peace process" now lies in the hands of Israel and Hamas and not
in Washington, London or Oslo. The historic success of Hamas has
changed its directive and sensitiveness altogether. The leadership of
both should give up their hard-line attitude against each other and
think like humans as how to mitigate their centuries old sufferings in
the name of Crusades perpetuated and thrust upon this sacred land of
Qudus by bigotry of papal leadership and "prejudiced" Church where the
Jews and Muslims were no party to the repeated onslaughts of Europe
and its combined forces time and again. Unfortunately, these forces
have again joined hands to prolong the tragedies of both the
communities in the name of "peace". In fact, Christian world is not
"interested" in the peace of ME but keeping it in a perpetual state of
turmoil, limbo and in their "pawns" of exploitation deeply engraved in
its oil-rich-economy. Israelis know this game very well and,
therefore, must now extend the hands of friendship to Hamas and Hamas,
as it appears, will grab it with an open heart of a Muslim. Such
opportunities come rarely and Israelis should not miss it. Christian
world was never "friendly" to them nor is today. Let them grab this
opportunity lest it becomes too late. It would solve one of the
thorniest issues of global politics. It would be possible only if
Israel thinks "standing" on its own legs and not on the false
"crutches" of Washington, London or Paris that fish only in trouble
waters. Centuries old history of Euro-American colonization confirms it.
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