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..

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 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. 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

About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor 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

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Defending Khaled Meshal ISRAELLYCOOL |
13 December 2012 at 5:12pm
[...] Defending Khaled Meshal Aussie Dave | Dec 11, 2012 | 13 comments ...

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  • LeeGB

    In response to Silverstein’s comparison of Israel to Hamas… Both the Israelis and Palestinians have made mistakes, I’ll give you that, but I think we should look at behavioral consistency. For example, if you are always angry and you always shout at people, that’s your personality and your consistent behavior.
    Looking at a single incident does not make it typical, which is essentially what Silverstein says when he equates Israelis to terrorists. Hamas consistently and unabashedly makes claims on the obliteration of the country of Israel, consistently promotes jihad, and consistently believes that diplomacy should be done with missile in hand. They have been consistently firing rockets over the last 12 years and consistently refuse to talk with Israel. These actions are typical of Hamas. You cannot compare Israel to these TERRORISTS. And just as a note of common sense, you should always take the word of your enemy.

  • Inessa

    I’m sorry, I cannot understand why someone who identifies himself as a Jew and as someone who says he wants Israel to exist in peace with Palestenians, would support someone who openly calls for Israel’s annihilation. I understand the attraction to the notion of the two states co-existing peacefully, and I even understand some people’s misguided blame of Israel, but to clearly admire a terrorist, intent on the destruction of the only Jewish state is insane.

    • walt kovacs

      because he is a kopher b’ikur, hates jews, hates israel

  • Jim from Iowa

    Off topic, but it is seasonal (kinda)

    Oh, please, oh please, oh please. All I want for Christmas is an IsraellyCool post with the title something like this: “Zionist Spy Vulture of Death Discovered in Sudan.”

  • E Pluribus Beagle

    I am unconcerned what unhinged Nazis think. Either he’s simply trolling or he’s genuinely mentally disturbed. In either case pay it no mind. Hate is his oxygen.

  • Inessa

    Two words: targeted assassination. And I’m a pacifist …

    • mzk1

      No, you would just make him a martyr –

      Oh you mean Meshal! Silly me!

      Israel’s policy, I believe, is to only target people who are planning terrorist acts. In other words, the rule of rodef – if someone if trying to kill you, you kill him first. (I recall when George Schultz quoted that, and attributed it to the Talmud. Rather appreciated it.) If it is someone else, and there is a way to stop him, then you have to use the other method. (That’s what “you shall cut off her palm” means – it’s referring to saving someone’s life.) Unless the laws of war ally.

      • Inessa

        I’m sure there is evidence Mashal is planning terrorist acts. His speech even incites them directly.

  • mzk1

    Does Likud in fact have a slogan? It still considers itself a coalition, even thoguh the Liberal left, I think.

    The web site refers to Likud as “nationalist-liberal”.

    • mzk1

      Sorry, I meant the Liberal party left the coalition. The ballot letters are still m/Ch/L, which I assume stand for Mifleget (party of) Chetut (Menachem Begin’s Freedom party) Liberalim.

  • walt kovacs

    its amazing that arabic is such a difficult language

    how is it that a billion retards are able to speak it?

    pretty tired of deir yassin being referred to as a massacre, when arab fighters who survived the battle state clearly that there were armed men who fought with the israelis….sorry women and children died…thats what happens when you fight a battle in a village

    as for sabra and shatilla…amazing how not a single tear was shed when muzzies were slaughtering christians and those same old men, women and children cheered…i hate sharon, but he did the right thing helping the christians

  • Benny

    Put Meshal’s words in an Israeli leader’s mouth:

    “Israel, from the river to the sea, from north to south, is our land; not an inch of it can be conceded.

    “There is no legitimacy for an Arab presence here — liberating the land of Israel, all of it, is a duty, a right and a goal,”

    “As for Jerusalem, we will liberate it inch by inch, stone by stone, Islamic and Christian holy places — Arabs have no right in Jerusalem.”

    Imagine an Israeli leader saying this. Imagine not one single Israeli reacting negatively. Silverstein would be frothing at the mouth, in full attack-dog mode.

    But when an Arab says exactly that and the unanimous Arab reaction is to deliriously cheer the wished-for destruction of Israel, Silverstein does all but say “Amen.”

  • Dan S.

    Let’s see: Was it Hillary Clinton? Barack Obama? Susan Rice? Nope.

    How about the stinking Satmar “Rebbe” who hates Israel and real Jews? Nope, not him either.

    Ramsey Clark, a piece of vermin whose father is regarded as the worst Supreme Court justice ever, including Clarence Thomas? Naah.

    I’m stumped. Who could it be? Oh, Axis of Evil Sliverschwanz. Never suspected it could be him. Oh yes I did.

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