Defending Khaled Meshal

Here is Chief Hamashole Khaled Meshal’s recent speech in Gaza, a speech hardly covered by the media and met with silence by the international community.

But don’t think he is representing Hamas’ goals as represented by their charter and previous statements. According to noted expert Richard Silverstein, he’s just deliberately echoing Likud..

http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2012/12/10/meshals-triumphal-welcome-in-gaza

A few days ago, Khaled Meshal made a triumphal, first-ever visit to Gaza to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hamas’ founding and the movement’s “triumph” in Operation Pillar of Cloud.  Hundreds of thousands of Gazans greeted him as he delivered a hardcore message of defiance to Israel.  He avowed, in a statement that likely deliberately echoed the Likud motto, that the resistance would liberate every inch of Palestine from “the river to the sea.”

…being deliberately theatrical:

That means to me that there was a certain element of political theater in Meshal’s speech

..is no worse than Israeli leaders:

There will be those among the pro-Israelists here who will quarrel and say that anyone who has called for the liberation of all of Palestine and said Israel was illegitimate is someone with whom peace is impossible.  To them I say, Yitzhak Shamir once bombed the King David Hotel and assassinated Count von Bernadotte.  Begin once massacred Palestinians at Deir Yassin.  Sharon slaughtered Palestinians at Kfar Qassem and encouraged the Sabra and Shatilla massacre.  Yitzhak Rabin called for breaking the bones of Palestinian protesters.

Politicians say lots of things which they may or may not mean when they say them, while their future actions belie those earlier statements.  What interests me is not the boilerplate praise for the resistance, but the concrete evidence that he is a leader who understands the need for flexibility in resolving the conflict.

..is a flexible leader who can deliver a peace deal:

It is not Meshal’s terrorist past or his rejectionist rhetoric that Israel fears.  It is his status as an effective leader who might actually deliver a real peace deal, but one which would demand more compromises than Israel is willing to make.

—-

Politicians say lots of things which they may or may not mean when they say them, while their future actions belie those earlier statements.  What interests me is not the boilerplate praise for the resistance, but the concrete evidence that he is a leader who understands the need for flexibility in resolving the conflict.

..and mistranslated:

A final important note on a major mistranslation of one particular phrase in Meshal’s speech as covered by the Observer and the Guardian.  It was especially disconcerting that this error was reported by Harriet Sherwood, who is an otherwise excellent Guardian Israel correspondent.  Their original reports quoted  Meshal saying:

We don’t kill Jews because they are Jews. We kill the Zionists because they are conquerors and we will continue to kill anyone who takes our land and our holy places … We will free Jerusalem inch by inch, stone by stone.

As Electronic Intifada pointed out, the Arabic root for “kill” and “fight” are similar.  But any Arab speaker would know that the specific form of the word Meshal used in the speech meant the latter and not the former.  In fact, the Guardian corrected the mistranslation and noted the error.  Though the original version will doubtless be heralded by MEMRI and all the other hasbara outfits that live for this stuff.

It takes a certain kind of person to ignore all the obvious evidence and bend over backwards to paint a terrorist organization in a good light.

But we already knew that about the prattler from Seattle.

Update: Someone needs to photoshop Silverstein’s head over Haniyeh’s in this photo.

meshal haniyeh

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About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks