By Ryan Jones
February 28, 2006
The Hamas terrorist organization is not impatient, and will accept a long-term elimination of the Jewish state, rather than seek its immediate demise, the new masters of the Palestinian Authority have graciously offered.
In an interview with The Washington Post last week, PA Prime Minister-designate Ismail Haniyeh said what was taken by many to mean Hamas is ready to sign on to the “two-state solution” being imposed upon Israel by the international community:
"If Israel withdraws to the '67 borders, then we will establish a peace in stages."
In its mad dash to make Hamas appear anything but the dedicated killers and would-be annihilators of the Jewish state that they are, much of the international press jumped on Haniyeh's words as evidence the terror group is coming around to the idea of living at peace with Israel.
This despite the fact Haniyeh deflected every attempt by his interviewer to get him to say Hamas is ready, now, to recognize and accept the State of Israel as part of a final peace settlement.
The Jews, who last week were invited to live in Islamic "Palestine" as second-class citizens, are not the problem, said Haniyeh, but their current sovereignty over this narrow strip of land is unacceptable.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri later explained to reporters that the Post had apparently made an error in translation, noting that rather than "peace in stages" Haniyeh had said Hamas is prepared to seek a "solution in stages."
This policy mirrors that spelled out by former PLO chief Yasser Arafat when he was criticized in 1993 for signing an agreement with Israel. At that time, Arafat clarifed that he was implementing a phased destruction of the Jewish state.
If the international community is as willing to turn a blind eye to Hamas' phased plan as it was to disregard the PLO's version, we will soon see pressure mounting on Israel to cooperate with the Hamas Authority as it was expected to cooperate with Arafat's.