Hamas, now ‘in play’, could sway Saudis

November 26, 2012

a little white girl grab ass? yeah… we know what goes down with the journalists…

Hamas, now ‘in play’, could sway Saudis
Elizabeth Dickinson


After Hamas signed onto an Egypt-brokered ceasefire with Israel last week, Khaled Meshaal, the organisation’s leader in exile, had a message that would have seemed impossible a year ago.
He thanked Iran for its role in arming the Sunni-Islamist group that rules Gaza and he called on Arab Gulf states to provide arms in the future.
The statement laid bare Hamas’s fluid regional position. After breaking with the Syrian regime over its brutal crackdown, vacating offices in Damascus and clashing with Iran over continued support for the president, Bashar Al Assad, Hamas has moved tentatively away from the so-called “Axis of Resistance” toward the patronage of Sunni Arab states such as Egypt, Turkey and Qatar.
Missing from the stage so far has been Saudi Arabia, whose support or cold shoulder could have a decisive impact on Hamas’s political role.
For the last decade, Riyadh has preferred to support the secular and US-backed Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank. Now, analysts say that Hamas’s rising profile – and the possibility that it could move away from the patronage of Riyadh’s arch rival, Tehran – may entice Saudi Arabia to cultivate stronger ties.
“Hamas is in play,” said Hussein Ibish, senior fellow at the Washington-based American Task Force on Palestine. “The Saudis have to ask themselves whether they want to simply stick with the PA or also get involved in the game of trying to court Hamas. And that raises the same question everyone is going to have to answer – particularly the United States and Israel: which group of Palestinians do they want to empower?”
A shift in Saudi policy would probably come slowly, but it could affect both the political dynamics of the region and the prospects for reopening the Arab-Israeli peace process.
Saudi Arabia has the region’s deepest pockets, arguably the closest relationship with the US and a long history of behind-the-scenes involvement in efforts to find peace in the Middle East.”The Saudis have become domestically focused, plus, they’re trying to deal with the Arab Spring,” said Kamran Bokhari, the London-based vice president for the Middle East and South Asia at Stratfor, which provides security analysis. “But the Gaza conflict will push the Saudis to say, ‘We’ve been out of this for a while; it’s time we go back in’.”
In the lead-up to the Iraq war in November 2002, Saudi’s then-Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz sent a letter to George W Bush asking the US president to “confirm to us that you will be seriously engaging in solving the Middle East problem” in exchange for his support.
Saudi Arabia did not always favour Fatah over Hamas in Palestinian politics. In the early 2000s, US law enforcement officials estimated that as much as half of Hamas’s operating budget, about US$10 million, came in cash from Riyadh.
But in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US, Washington put heavy pressure on Saudi authorities to steer clear of Hamas, which the US calls a terrorist organisation. Saudi funding for Hamas dried up around 2004, according to testimony before the US senate by a treasury official a year later.
In the years since, Riyadh has repeatedly come to the financial aid of the PA in Ramallah. In July, Saudi Arabia announced that it would inject $100m (Dh367.31m) in emergency cash to the PA, which relies heavily on external budget support. Last year, Saudi Arabia contributed at least $200m.
But Riyadh has never abandoned its relationship with Hamas, said Ghassan Al Khatib, a former PA spokesman who now teaches at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank.
Despite receiving international support, the PA has seen its public support among Arabs drop in recent years over a failure to win concessions from Israel. Its continuing attempt to win recognition at the United Nations has so far only lost it financial backing; the US put a months-long hold on funding to the PA over the issue.
Hamas, by contrast, seems to be gaining leverage. A Muslim Brotherhood-inspired organisation, Hamas seems at ease dealing with ideological allies who now run the governments of Egypt and Tunisia.
Its armed resistance secured real gains in the latest clashes with Israel, despite a heavy cost. In the recent ceasefire, Mr Meshaal won a minor relaxing of the economic blockade on Gaza. “This last escalation between Gaza and Israel increased dramatically the political prominence of Hamas, not only among Palestinians in the Occupied Territories but also among Palestinians everywhere and Arab people more generally,” said Mr Al Khatib. “The PA has taken the peace negotiations approach, which seems to be not working to Israel and US. Hamas went about things using the resistance approach which, at least this time, wasn’t defeated.”
Riyadh would likely struggle to completely displace Iran as a Hamas benefactor, since close ties to the US would preclude Saudi Arabia from arming the organisation. Still, the regional balance would almost certainly be altered if Hamas’s patrons were largely allies of the West, rather than foes.
Mr Ibish argues that Hamas itself may change if it won broad international backing.
“If Hamas inherits or comes to dominate the Palestinian movement, the question is, will they adapt, and in what way?” he asked.
“Will they moderate? Will they become even more extreme? Will other radical forces emerge? It’s in the least not clear. But the point is that there is a decision for everybody, especially the traditional backers of the PA, about whether they want to make that kind of open-ended gamble.”
edickinson@thenational.ae


Reports that Syria arrested members of Meshal’s family

January 24, 2012

(EOZ) Last week reports began to filter out of Syria that members of Khaled Meshal’s family, including his daughter Fatima and her husband, had been arrested by Syrian forces on the pretext of having property registered under fictitious names.
Hamas denied the report, but now Arab newspaper Elaph confirms it. Fatima and her husband were arrested on January 11.
According to the report, Meshal’s wife and other children were also summoned by Syrian police on the 15th, and Fatima and her husband were released on 50,000 pounds bail (about $900.)
The harassment is allegedly to show Syria’s displeasure at Hamas not supporting the Assad regime more strongly. Meshal has been trying to straddle the fence between supporting the Syrian revolution and not upsetting the regime.
Elaph’s sources claim that Meshal’s announcement that he will step down as Hamas’ political leader is related to this pressure from Syria. Elaph says that Syria prefers that he be replaced with his current deputy, Mousa Abu Marzouk.

Syria is the one place that deserves Hamas


Jordan Allows Hamas to Take Up Residence on Its Soil

January 10, 2012

AFP / Getty Imageswait till Jordan does to Hamas what it did to Fatah. Black September?

(AFP / Getty Images / Karl Vick of Time. h/t Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks) Exiled Palestinian Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal addresses a meeting with some 40 Palestinian prisoners who were freed by Israel but are to be deported overseas, in Cairo on October 18, 2011.

In what sure looks like further evidence of diminishing American influence in the Middle East, the country that summarily ejected Hamas a dozen years ago is opening its doors to senior leaders of the group Washington and Israel regard first and foremost as a terrorist organization.
Jordan kicked out Hamas way back in 1999 under pressure from the United States. The Palestinian organization had been anchored in Amman, but was forced to move its headquarters to Syria, where it officially remains. Life in Damascus has gotten mighty uncomfortable over the last year, however. Though the Islamic Resistance Movement has tried mightily to stay entirely out of the conflict between the Syrian government that is its host and the Syrian people that government has been shooting in the streets, it has not been a terribly comfortable neutrality, nor one that reflects well on a movement so proudly grassroots. Quietly, senior Hamas officials began moving their families out of Syria months ago, and despite routine denials, the organization has been looking for a new home for its headquarters, too.
Jordan will provide the former, but not the latter, Prime Minister Awn Khasawneh explains to TIME in an interview.

The idea is not to bring them back as a launching pad for jihad against Israel or whatever. But as individuals they should be allowed to come back. I thought from the very beginning that their expulsion was unconstitutional and it was the wrong move from the point of view that it stands to reason that if you have many alternatives for as long as possible, it’s the good sign of effective diplomacy.

Amman, the Jordanian capital, already provides a place for the leader of the other major Palestinian faction to rest his head. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who leads the secular Fatah party, regularly sleeps in Amman while traveling in and out of the adjoining West Bank, which has no working airport. On the range of “alternatives” to resolving the conflict with Israel, Abbas champions negotiating a solution, while Hamas armed resistance. In recent weeks, however, as the rival factions have sought to reconcile, Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal has said the organization will put aside military means in favor of unarmed “popular” resistance, saying it’s the method all factions can agree on.
Mashaal, who was nearly killed by Israeli agents in a botched 1997 assassination attempt in Amman, will be among those setting up housekeeping in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, roughly half of whose residents are Palestinians who made their way across the  Jordan either in 1948, in 1967, or in the steady flow of “soft immigration” that has gone on since.
“We will be finding modalities to bring back members of Hamas and their families to come,” Khasawneh says.  “We don’t want them to establish another organization here.”
As a new site for Hamas headquarters, Qatar is the nation most often mentioned. The petroleum-rich Gulf monarchy is both a U.S. ally and a longtime supporter of Hamas, a duality that clearly irked the Jordanian premier, given complaints from Washington over Jordan’s decision to renew hospitality. “I know that some people in the United States are against this,” Khasawneh says, “but Qatar, a much more erstwhile ally of the United States, enjoys their presence without anybody in Congress saying anything.”

Wait… Qatar is a role model now?


Hamas considers leaving Gaza government and concentrating more on terrorism

June 9, 2011

…Otherwise, it’s “a burden on its resistance enterprise”.


lick that political capital…
Islam is like an Asshole…
Promises of Golden
…and these ladies gave Sarah Palin such a hard time
…for leaving the government

Hamas is considering withdrawing its participation from future governments in Gaza, AP reported on Thursday.
Hamas officials told AP that the idea has grown popular recently and is supported by Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal. The move is reportedly aimed at avoiding global isolation.
“Hamas found that being in government caused huge damage to the movement, and therefore it has changed its policy,” an official reportedly said. Therefore, “Hamas is re-evaluating its choices and and resetting its priorities,” And you thought Sarah Palin was naughty for leaving her post in Alaska so that she could make a run for national office. Admit it Lefty. Hamas lawmaker Yehya Mussa told AP. “Being in government was a burden on Hamas, a burden on the image of Hamas, a burden on its resistance enterprise.” JPost via eye-on-the-world.blogspot.com
and image via
telegraph.co.uk and via John Hanscom


NORWAY IS THE MOST ANTI-SEMITIC COUNTRY IN THE WEST…….

May 16, 2011
Hanne Nabintu Herland,
Norwegian Academic, Historian of Religions
and bestselling author. Her website is here

Media_http2bpblogspot_sagmaThe President of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres’ critical comments on Norways reluctancy to follow EU, UN and USA in denouncing Hamas as a terrorist movement, are timely remarks. If one adds Harvard professor Alan M. Dershowitz article in the Wall Street Journal 30. March, it all makes me ashamed to be Norwegian. Under the title “Jews are not welcome in Norway,” Mr. Dershowitz told of his encounters with anti-Semitic Norwegian academics who made it clear that he was unwanted as a guest lecturer at Norwegian universities. This is how Norwegian intellectuals treat one the West’s most famous defense lawyers and an internationally renowned Harvard University professor.
I met Dershowitz in March during Oslo Symposium 2011. His description of the obvious anti-semitism and the lack of willingness to be objective that characterizes Norwegian academia, is flat out shocking. During my opening lecture at the same Symposium Conference, I pointed out that the lack of nuances that characterizes the Norwegian understanding of the realities in Israel and the Middle East are not only shameless, but historically inacurate.

For culturally we have much more in common with the Jewish people than one would think. Western civilizational values ​​has its cradle in the Greek and Roman contributions, but also, and especially when it comes to values, in the Hebrew-Christian contribution. The European humanistic view of the dignity of human beings regardless of rank, class or ethnicity carries deep impact from Judaism. These values are at the core of what it means to belong to Western Civilization today.
But today, Norwegians  reach far beyond the question of Palestine, and instead of supporting the only real democracy in the Middle East, namely Israel, we blackmail the Israelis in a manner as though we were still in 1939 at the time the socialist Hitler “zieg heil ” was shouted in Norway. For the Nazis were Left Wing, and came out of Germany’s Socialist Labour Party, they were not right-wing. The individuals in the Norwegian politically powerful positions that have pushed for these solely negative attitudes towards Israel for so many years, are responsible for creating a politically-correct hatred towards Jews that has made Norway the most anti-Semitic country in the West.
Norways largest newspaper VG recently showed a survey on what the Norwegian people think of the largest TV station, NRKs chronically negative covering of Israel. The question was whether the people feel that the coverage is done in an objective manner or not. 60% believed that the recent complaint by the Israeli embassy in Oslo is right in that the coverage is constantly negative towards Israel and highly biased.
When the democratic right to free thinking is restricted, and only one part of the story is told, democracy alters shape and turns into a totalitarian system of speech control. This is the situation in Norway. Today many Jews hardly dare walk on the street in Oslo without fear of being spat on, – and not from Muslims but of ethnic Norwegian misguided people who think they do the truth a service by bullying fellow human beings.

Deep injustice lie in the fact that leading opinion makers in the Norwegian system have decided not to contribute to increased knowledge of international relations, but only reflect the politically-correct Left wing dictate. During Soviet times this was called propaganda.

Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr-Store ongoing articles in international newspapers in defense of Hamas, reflects this naiveté which eventually becomes so great that one should be promoting suspicion of deliberate malice. His International Herald Tribune article February 15th is a disgrace. There is good reason to understand why parts of the Labour Party would rather have him as Minister of Health.
Then one could at least have stopped the harm this man is doing when it comes to degrading Norway’s international reputation. For Mr. Store is internationally ridiculing his own country by acting as a self-styled Hamas activist. He was recently caught lying in a live TV2 show, denying his continuous political talks with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. He only changed his story when the reporter told him Mr. Meshaal had spoken about his conversations with Mr. Store.
Because of the lack of political will to tell both sides of the story, Norwegians are denied objective information that could have contributed to public knowledge of the situation. The same happened in Iran in 1979 when the Marxists and other supporters of the naive dreams of the effects of armed revolutions “of the people”, hailed Khomeini. The Shah of Persia was overthrown and many Marxists shed tears of joy because the Iranian people now had their revolution. Today many also cry, but for quite other reasons.
The Norwegian medias total and uncritical celebration of the angry young men on Tahrir Square during the recent revolution in Egypt, is a similar example. It was remarkably quickly forgotten that President Mubarak at the last election had more than 80% of the population behind him. During his years in power, he enabled Egypt to become Africa’s fastest growing economy and one of the Middle East’s most expansive, secular and stable country, rated as a middle income country by the UN, with a national income per. capita increased by 40% from 2004 up till today. In recent years, Mubarak succeeded in bringing one million out of poverty and into a middle class, an accomplishment that further pushed economic growth.
Many questions can be asked when it comes to the situation in the Middle East, including Egypt. It is well known that the country has struggled with corruption, poverty and lack of religious freedom. Nevertheless, the conservative philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville observed that when the so-called dictators over time have made conditions better for their people, that is when revolutions come that often makes things worse again.
The lack of will to promote and highlight various aspects of what is really happening in Israel as well as in numerous other international issues, is thus one of the reasons why many Norwegians now stand together and push for a new course in Norwegian politics. We want an end to the propaganda and to the misleading image which is continually portrayed of Israel.

Besides being right on, she’s also HOT!

NOTE: The astute Norwegian blogger at Norway Israel and the Jews has more on Hanne Herland, who participated in the March symposium in Oslo regarding Norway’s problem with anti-Semitism. via tundratabloids.com and image via mobil.ba.no

…that should ruffle some Norwegian feathers