Saturday, April 01, 2006

Ismail Haniyeh Sounds Off in Guardian

So Hamas seems to have been widely credited with a classic, western-style election campaign, of successfully imitating the rhetoric and the messaging of western reformers. Yet when you actually hear these guys on television or radio or read their manifestos in English language newspapers, they come off sounding rather unprofessional and even histrionic. PM Haniyeh's piece in the Guardian is a good example.

Is this read by the Guardian's readership as "authentic" freedom fighter-speak? Do opinion surveys of Palestinians really support the claim: "No plan will ever work without a guarantee, in exchange for an end to hostilities by both sides, a total Israeli withdrawal from all the land occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem; the release of all our prisoners; the removal of all settlers from all settlements; and recognition of the right of all refugees to return. On this, all Palestinian factions and people agree." Of course not. So will part of the Hamas government's predicted meltdown involve not only incompetence in collecting garbage and operating sewage systems, but the alienation of sympathizers abroad through such statements?

One more question: would an American newspaper print this? Have they?

1 comment:

Amos said...

Noah - I read this piece, and I actually think Haniyeh has really tapped into the discourse of his European sympathizers. The piece is kind of scary actually. It will sound very reasonable to a lot of people, but in reality, it's turning back the clock several decades. Did you notice that he put Israel's right to exist in quotation marks? Still, we need to tackle this challenge - I hope I can post a more detailed expostion of what I think is wrong with it. At the same time, I still think this is an improvement over the rhetoric of Hamas's charter or statements we heard only a few months ago.