David Kirkpatrick

March 7, 2010

The schizophrenia of Islamists

Here’s a MEMRI report on Hama‘s response to the Goldstone report on the Gaza War of 2008/2009.

I bolded the final graf. Hit the first link for the entire report:

Following Hamas’ June 2007 Gaza coup, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas fired its ministers from the national unity government. Hamas, for its part, did not recognize the dismissal, nor does it recognize the legitimacy of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s government and of Mahmoud Abbas’s presidency. Instead, it regards Isma’il Haniya and his government as the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people. Recently, it has instructed the media to stop calling it al-hukouma al-muqala (“the dismissed government”).

Hamas’ view of its government as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people was reflected in its recent response to the Goldstone report. The response, delivered to Curt Goering, head of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Gaza, was submitted not in the name of Hamas but in the name of the PA. Signed by Hamas’ Minister of Justice, Muhammad Faraj Al-Ghoul, it bore the PA seal and the PA Ministry of Justice letterhead (see image below). In fact, Al-Ghoul explicitly stressed that the document was not a Hamas response to the Goldstone report but rather the official response of the Palestinian Justice Ministry. He emphasized that “the government is the one issuing the response, because it is the body handling the issue, rather than the resistance factions,”[1] thereby indicating that the Gaza government does not represent Hamas, but rather the entire Palestinian people.

Apparently, Hamas’ goal in submitting this report is to improve its international status and to gain the UN’s recognition. The rationale is that by accepting the document, the UN would in effect be recognizing Hamas’ status as the official representative of the PA.

The Hamas response, which was published in the movement’s magazine Al-Risala, contained an apology for rocket attacks that harmed Israeli civilians; later Hamas denied issuing an apology.

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