Thursday, 2 December 2010


The man who leads the Hamas-controlled Palestinian administration in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, has given a press conference. The words he used are worth repeating.

He told journalists: “We accept a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967 with Jerusalem as its capital, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and the resolution of the issue of refugees.

Haniyeh said that a priority of his government was to avoid a military escalation with Israel by persuading other militant factions to preserve a de facto ceasefire.”

Now here is an opportunity, is it not? You can’t make peace without talking to your enemies, and here is one of Israel’s enemies talking in terms that should delight European governments. Anyone seriously interested in securing a just settlement in the Middle East would surely be beating a path to Haniyeh’s door, but it won’t happen. Hamas will stay on the list of terrorist organisations because Israel (and therefore the USA) would be upset if we tried to remove it.

I met with Haniyeh in Gaza in 2007, when he was Prime Minister of the short-lived Unity Government. He spoke then words not of terrorism but of diplomacy, but when the message was communicated no-one in London or Brussels took any notice.


johnsunol said...

Hamas is a terrorist organization and always will be as it will not accept Isreal as a genuine state.

This reverts back to Ismael, Issaac, and Abrams first born Ishmaile being out of Sin and Jacob the God given birth rights.

Jimmy said...

Hamas will never recognize Israel, Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh said Tuesday at a rally to mark the 23rd anniversary of the militant group's founding.

"We say it with confidence as we said it five years ago when we formed our government, and we say it today: We will never recognize Israel," Haniyeh told a crowd in Gaza City numbering tens of thousands.


Why should the EU recognise a Palestinian leadership that still refuses to accept the right of Israel to exist? Haniyeh is a terrorist and a liar. But you and Galloway take him seriously and believe him when he tells you that he is a reformed terrorist.

While you demand that the EU recognise the state of Palestine, Hamas makes it clear that they will not recognise any presence of the state of Israel.

"We say today that there will be no occupation of the land of Palestine and then we can say there is no future for the occupation on our land. I mean from the sea to the river and from Rafah up to Naqoora."

Ever since 1948 only four countries in the Middle East have recognised Israel. Perhaps the EU could work with the Arab world to recognise the right of Israel to exist as the price for recognising the state of Palestine. This could actually move a comprehensive peace settlement a little closer.