Sunday, January 22, 2006

Isn't it the Palestinians' Job to Say That? 

The JPost is carrying an important AP report indicating that Iran and Syria do not represent the Palestinians:

The State Department, reacting negatively to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's meeting in Damascus with leaders of two militant Palestinian groups, said Friday neither Iran nor Syria can proclaim themselves champions of the Palestinian people.
It's kind of pathetic when the even the US State Department is subcontracted to handle a piece of the Palestinian PR portfolio? What, they couldn't call Hanan Ashrawi in from vacation?

Perhaps I'd have been a little less snide if the Palestinians had bothered to announce this themselves, to tell the world -- and Israel -- that these countries don't represent them, that they don't share the desire to wipe the Israeli blot from the map. Of course they are already on the way to electing Hamas to lead their government, so they probably wonder what more I could possibly expect from them, as if that's not enough already.

The State Department spokesman seemed to anticipate his credibility problem and went to some lengths to accentuate it:

The claims are "clearly bankrupt and hollow," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, citing Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as calling for foreign governments to stop their support for Palestinian rejectionist groups.
Thus speaketh the popular representative of the Palestinian people, as well as Sean McCormack, against the destruction of Israel. I and my family are greatly relieved by this news.

Sadly, while the State Department invokes the dizzying spin-job of PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas to prove that Iran's views are not representative of the Palestinian people, it might be fair to ask whether Iran might actually be more representative of their views than Abbas himself. It may well turn out that in coming days the Hamas party will be voted the group most representative of Palestinians, not Mr. Abbas and company. And no one has forgotten what the not-quite-yet-democratically-elected representatives of the Palestinians have to say about Iran, have they?

Palestinian militant group Hamas has said the group will increase attacks on Israel if it attacks Iran.

Khaled Meshaal told reporters in Tehran that his group would join a united front against the enemies of Islam.

Mr Meshaal also praised Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his "courageous" remarks about Israel.

The president has been strongly criticised for saying on Wednesday that the Nazi Holocaust was "a myth".

Mr Ahmadinejad also called for Europe or North America to host a Jewish state, not the Middle East.

The Hamas chief was visiting Tehran for talks with Iran's leadership.

"What Iranian officials say may not please some people, but these are just courageous declarations," he said.

"The Islamic world should not pay the price for the Jews' problems. It is unfair."

'United front'

Mr Meshaal also took the opportunity to express solidarity with one of his group's main supporters.

"Just as Islamic Iran defends the rights of the Palestinians, we defend the rights of Islamic Iran. We are part of a united front against the enemies of Islam," he said.

"If Israel attacks Iran then Hamas will widen and increase its confrontation of Israelis."

Mr Meshaal also queried international concern over Iran's nuclear ambitions, which Tehran says are peaceful.

"Even if Iran's programme is military, what is the problem? Why do other countries like Israel have the right to have a nuclear weapon?" he asked.

On Tuesday, Mr Meshaal met Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who urged him to continue Hamas' resistance against Israel and not to enter into negotiations.
So, aside from asserting complete agreement on every issue, Hamas leaves open the possibility they feel Iranian cotton tariffs are too high.

Now watch, Hamas will go and lose the election just to spite me, and I'll have to eat crow and admit that the era of world peace is nearly upon us. That would be so embarrassing.

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