Voice from the Commonwealth Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts
"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams
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Interesting exchange between a Hamas spokesman and a BBC host.
Question: You [Hamas] say that if Israel withdraws, then the resistance will stop. [You say:] 'We are calling for just one condition: An end to the occupation and the Palestinian suffering.' Then you would renounce violence totally, is that what you’re telling me - for now and forever?
Zahar: [no], without conditions. We are not the Palestinian Authority that we can give things without discussing them, without agreement...
Q. I'm asking you -
Z. Just one thing [we will give] - a ceasefire. A ceasefire is justified in our religion. Our attitude is that [Palestine] is not a political issue -
Q. Dr. Zahar, I asked you a very simple question: If Israel accepts your conditions - the elimination of the occupation - will you renounce violence, yes or no?
Z. We are going to ceasefire - only ceasefire.
Q. Yes or no to that condition? Yes, or no?
Z. I, I, I, I answered you. It's not the way to say yes or no. We are not going to --
Q. So how can Israel trust your assurances ever? You can’t even give a straight answer to a straight question. How can they trust your answers?
Z. The question is - just a moment. If Israel withdraws from our land, and says that they will not re-attack and reoccupy our country - that's a big if - they are not going to do that, because they did that before: They occupied our country in '48, occupied our areas in '56, and in '67, and Lebanon in '82 - so the history…
Q. You know what you're telling me? That under no circumstances will you give up violence until you've pushed Israel into the sea. That's what you want, isn't it?
Z. Who is saying that?
Q. You're saying that.
Z. I'm telling you frankly, the attitude of Islam is not to accept a foreign state in this area.
Q. So until Israel ceases to exist, you won't lay down your arms. Is that right?
Z. First of all, we are a part of the independent Islamist - this is the attitude of thousands and millions of people…
Q. Why do you keep on with this attitude? You are seen… by many people in the world as a bunch of ruthless killers, fanatics, terrorists. Are you happy with that picture?
Z. We're not happy - [but] these people are seeing Islam as an enemy, as a terrorist, but this is a historical mistake. Because Islam is a supreme power in this area, sooner or later we are going to achieve our power, our moral principles, our virtue, in order to implement a real state.
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