I read this article today and was genuinely disgusted, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/6088655/Hamas-is-leading-Palestine-down-the-road-of-carnage.html to pretend to be a NEWSpaper whilst publishing such one sided and biased propaganda is, in my opinion, disgusting. I just dashed of a rapid reply so that it is in time for tomorrow's edition, it's not great but at least it sets some of the issues straight.
It won't get published, they don't like being wrong.
I am disgusted by the one sided and blinkered portrayal of Hamas in mr Prosor's article today. What was published left me incredulous at the omission of some basic facts; The entire piece tactfully neglects to mention that Hamas were elected by the Palestinian people, his refererence to a "a bloody coup against the Palestinian Authority in June 2007" has been acknowledged by international observers as a free and fair election Edward McMillan-Scott, the British Conservative head of the European Parliament's monitoring team described the polls as "extremely professional, in line with international standards, free, transparent and without violence". Hamas won elections, not because of religious extremism or anti zionism but rather because of the massive perceived corruption of the Palestinian authority and the Fatah party. The elections, far from being fixed were acknowledged as fair, however the response to these elections from Israel has been far from fair. As Robert Fisk sarcastically commented "God damn that democracy. What are we to do with people who don't vote the way they should?".
Why then do we continue to peddle the myth that Hamas are merely fanatical terrorists? If, as Jack Straw said it is true that that "[Hamas has to understand that] with democracy goes renunciation of violence." Why then have we acquiesced in the election of Ariel Sharon, a war criminal by the admission of his own government's report? The Palestinian Authority under Fatah did what Israel now demands of Hamas as a "pre-condition" for negotiation. Yet for a dozen years of an Oslo "peace process" Israel didn't slow down construction of new settlements, didn't forego destroying olive trees, didn't halt preventing pregnant women from reaching hospitals, didn't stop assembling 8 meter concrete slabs in the gigantic apartheid wall which divides people from their jobs, friends and families and didn't enter into serious negotiations. Mr Prosor cites Hamas' "disregard for the sanctity of a house of worship" when in January of this year his own government was responsible for the destruction of the Jabalya mosque. Given Israel's refusal to commit to peace and reconciliation in Palestine it is perhaps unsuprising that the People living under occupation have chosen to elect a party who have promised to take a harder line towards Israel.
Mr Prosor is right that " Extremism breeds extremism" but it is Israel, as much as Hamas which has failed to allow " moderation a chance to flourish" by kiboshing the attempts of Hamas to take power within the confines of a democratic system.
Whilst we continue to discredit the language of democracy with the techniques of hypocrisy and terrorism we will never succeed in winning the hearts and minds of the people of the Middle East. We are prepared to talk about elections and freedom but in reality that freedom exists only within a narrow set of constraints, the conduct of Israel and the international community towards Hamas since 2007 illustrates that foreign policy in the Middle East remains focused on outcomes rather than legitimate processes and genuine freedoms.