Hamas on Jimmy Carter’s Statement from Hamidi

Ibrahim Hamidi, al-Hayat's Bureau Chief in Damascus, sent this translation of Hamas' official response to President Carter: Ibrahim writes:

 

Dear  Josh,

Please find attached, the remarks and observations made by Hamas on the proposed statement of Jimmy Carter. I got the official text and published it in Al-Hayat . Here is the English version.

Please note that Hamas accepts on written paper to recognize a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. Hamas will accept the results of final status peace talks.

Best,
Ibrahim HAMIDI
Al-Hayat

We highly appreciate the courageous step taken by the Hon. President Carter to move about in the region in order to meet all pertinent parties. In particular it is worth mentioning his meeting with the leadership of the Hamas movement.

We express our goodwill for the held meetings with President Carter which were in a warm environment of transparency and clearness that prevailed
though the course of the discussion.

And after we confer in deep concern the way of formulation to the proposed statement, let us brief you about our remarks and observations, as follows:

Firstly;

1- In regard to the first point (Unilateral Ceasefire and Border Crossing):

In the light of the last meetings of our delegation with the Egyptian's leadership, we advanced positively at the level of accomplishing an agreement on the issue of reciprocal cease fire, we in the leadership of the movement dealt with the Egyptian efforts sincerely and positively to reach the said reciprocal cease fire, carrying in mind the advices of President Carter and his recommendation at this issue and his keen interest to conclude a cease fire agreement.

2- In regard to the second point ( Exchange of Prisoners)

Due to the sensitivity and high importance of the issue of prisoners to our people, we still believe that we have to continue the negotiation on the
swap deal from the point previously reached and build on it forward.

Mr. Khaled Mesha'al: the President of political bureau: affirms his response to the request of President Carter during their meeting in Damascus; to
convey a letter from captured soldier Gilad Shalit to his parents; via the Carter Centre, as it was proposed.

3. Referendum. If  President Abbas succeeds in negotiating a final status agreement with Israel, Hamas will accept the decision made by Palestinian
people and their will through a referendum monitored by international observers, including those from the Carter Center, or by a newly elected
Palestine National Council by mechanism agreed upon nationally, even if Hamas were opposed to the agreement. In order to ensure that the referendum
can be debated and the choice by voters truly reflects the will of the Palestinian people, a national reconciliation and in particular between Fatah and Hamas will be necessary.

4. Rafah Crossing. To alleviate the suffering by the people of Gaza. It is very important to lift the siege; and that is what was demanded by Hamas and the Palestinian people. To that end, Hamas is prepared to cooperate in the opening and running of the border crossing at Rafah, which would be controlled by Palestinian Authority and Hamas officials as well as those from Egypt and the European Union. Final decisions on running the crossing
would be made by Egyptian officials. I hope that Israel will use the period of calm to agree to these procedures and allow the freer movement of goods
and people.

5. National Reconciliation. Hamas is prepared to negotiate an agreement with President Abbas to create a government of national consensus, which would have authority over both the West Bank and Gaza. Hamas supports a unified professional security force for the West Bank and Gaza. A dialogue among all forces and factions is needed to discuss the details of creating such a force. I have personally suggested that one option worthy of consideration would be a Cabinet composed of technocrats belonging to neither Fatah nor Hamas, though approved by both, which would govern at least until the schedule elections in 2010.

6. During the course of my conversations with the leadership of Hamas, they expressed their greatest concern with the terrible suffering; due to the
occupation atrocities and siege; felt by the Palestinian people. They reiterated that the fulfillment of their national right of self-determination and the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders as affirmed by them in the National Reconciliation Document would create the basis for true peace.

Patrick Seale on the likelihood of Israel Talking to Hamas
Al-Hayat     – 25/04/08

…A further major worry on the Israeli horizon is that the next American president might not be as aggressively pro-Israeli as George W Bush has been. The possibility of an American withdrawal from Iraq and of a U.S. 'grand bargain' with Iran must also be a source of great anxiety. It is not surprising that U.S.-Israeli lobbyists, including the big guns of the Washington Institute, strongly support John McCain, smear Barack Obama and have mounted a venomous campaign against Jimmy Carter.

Has Israel got an alternative? Yes, the alternative is a comprehensive peace. But Israel is unwilling – indeed unable — to pay the price of such a peace, which would require a withdrawal to the 1967 borders.  No Israeli leader has the political vision or the moral authority to contemplate such a move. Too many 'facts' have been created on the ground on Palestinian territory. The messianic Israeli dream of controlling the whole of historic Palestine remains very much alive.

Nor can Israel consider accepting the terms proposed by Hamas, which are an exchange of prisoners, a lifting of the Gaza siege and a mutual ten-year truce. To accept such terms would mean accepting a form of mutual deterrence, something Israel has traditionally rejected.

The truth would seem to be that Israel can neither wage a full-scale war against its opponents nor make peace with them. It is therefore condemned to continue to rely on its present policies of besieging Gaza, intimidating its opponents by long-distance air and commando strikes, and decapitating hostile resistance movements by assassination….

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday that he failed to achieve any progress in Middle East peace talks with U.S. President George W. Bush and he is returning home from Washington with little to show for his visit. In an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, the Palestinian leader sounded pessimistic about the prospects of achieving any deal with Israel this year, despite a big U.S. push that began five months ago at a Middle East peace summit in Annapolis, Maryland.

Paul Woodward at War in Context has a good editorial on the Syrian reactor

Jihad Makdissi, Syria's very able Spokesman for the Syrian embassy in London on BBC Arabic explains the Syria position: Makdissi BBC Arabic on Nuclear

Comments (22)


1. Rowan Berkeley said:

If I might remark on the Patrick Seale article, it seems to me that he hasn’t really grasped what the “convergence” (“hitkansut”) program is all about. Even the word, “hitkansut,” is largely unknown to the anglosphere. However, there is a certain small detail on the ground which gives a clue to its meaning – the Apartheid Wall. The only person I read regularly who discussed it was Uri Avnery, and he no sooner brought it up than he declared it to be a meaningless line in the sand, this Wall, unable to stop the limitless expansion of Jewish colonisation, which he seems to think will spread across the world island until it reaches Japan or something (he calls his article “Manifest Destiny”).

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April 26th, 2008, 4:39 pm

 

2. Vigilante said:

“Manifest Destiny” ! That’s the perfect frame for what’s been happening.

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April 26th, 2008, 5:39 pm

 

3. Seeking the Truth said:

Sol,

I’m interested in knowing if you agree with this statement by Patrick Seale or not:

“Has Israel got an alternative? Yes, the alternative is a comprehensive peace. But Israel is unwilling – indeed unable — to pay the price of such a peace, which would require a withdrawal to the 1967 borders. No Israeli leader has the political vision or the moral authority to contemplate such a move. Too many ‘facts’ have been created on the ground on Palestinian territory. The messianic Israeli dream of controlling the whole of historic Palestine remains very much alive.”

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April 26th, 2008, 5:43 pm

 

4. Shai said:

Seeking,

I’m sorry, I disagree with that statement. Ehud Olmert is very clearly willing to pay the price for peace. The question of whether he is able to or not will be, hopefully, put to the test within the next year or so (I imagine negotiations with Syria will take some time, and then it’ll be about changing public opinion in Israel). If a national referendum was held this minute, clearly Olmert would not receive the support of most Israelis. If 6 months from now, maybe, but very much depending on what will effect public opinion here in the meantime. Of course, there’s always the possibility that if Barak leaves the current coalition, and new elections are held (probably in November), and if Netanyahu wins, the whole picture could change. However, as I’ve suggested a few times in the past, if there’s someone that can almost without a doubt receive the support of most Israelis, now and in the future, it’s a leader from the Right (namely Netanyahu). Many have asked me “why would he want to give anything to the Arabs – he hates them…?”, and I’ve always said the same thing – that he, like Begin and Sharon before him, has proved that he can do a complete 180 when opportunities arise. And, let’s not forget, Bibi is one of 4 prime ministers before Olmert, that have negotiated with Syria, and thus shown readiness to pay the ultimate price.

Seale’s “messianic Israeli dream of controlling the whole of historic Palestine” is true for about 20%-30% of Israelis. Most Israelis even on the Right (including Liebermann!) have already accepted that we will not be living in historic Palestine forever, and that a Palestinian nation must be created. Either Seale is making generalizations about most Israelis, which he simply doesn’t understand, or he has other reasons in mind. Despite his close relationship with Hafez Assad, he has been wrong on multiple occasions in explaining Syria after Hafez. He’s a “good guy”, but not always right.

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April 26th, 2008, 6:02 pm

 

5. Seeking the Truth said:

Shai,

There have been recent reports that Olmert is willing to conduct secret negotiations with Syria now. Do you think this is true? If it is, then it seems that the current American administration is not the main obstacle to having peace talks between the two sides.

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April 26th, 2008, 6:29 pm

 

6. Shai said:

Seeking,

Olmert passed along the message last week (through Turkey) that he is willing to withdraw from the entire Golan, in return for peace. This “leak” got everyone all excited, and the media here in Israel interviewed many a politicians and analysts, most of whom crucified him… Bashar has said numerous times that Syria does not want secret talks, and that everything must be in the open. So if Olmert feels strong enough politically to move ahead, he’ll start by sending some official (probably deputy head of ministry, etc.) to meet his/her Syrian counterpart. This will be in the open, not held in secret. It’ll be formal, not private. If it goes well, the Turks will pressure both sides to raise the level, perhaps to ministers (Tzipi Livni and Mouallem?) If it doesn’t go well… we’ll see. The Turkish PM announced that one of his goals is to eventually get Bashar and Olmert together. After a few successful rounds, I wouldn’t rule that one out. It would be fantastic, especially for Israeli public opinion.

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April 26th, 2008, 6:35 pm

 

7. SOL said:

Seeking,

Personally I believe only peace will ensure Israel’s security, prosperity, and continued viability as a democratic state. To achieve peace Israel needs to return to the June 1967 borders, with slight mutual agreed adjustments due to the “facts on the ground”. The Palestinians have suffered and been subjected to injustices under Israeli occupation, but I think that Israeli public opinion in 2008 would be dramatically different if in August, 2006 after Israel withdrew it’s settlers and soldiers from Gaza the PA and Hamas would have put their efforts and resources into building housing and educational institutions, investing in the infrastructure of Gaza and showing the world the potential of a free, democratic Palestinian society. As an example while I understand the Palestinian demand for the right of return of Palestinian refugees in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan why has the PA and now the Hamas government not undertaken mass construction projects to build decent housing for those refugees living in abject poverty in Gaza?

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April 26th, 2008, 7:45 pm

 

8. Shai said:

SOL,

I completely agree with you about Israel achieving security and prosperity only through peace. And we know what the price for peace is – as stated at the Beirut and Riyadh Arab Summits.

As for the Palestinians rebuilding Gaza – remember, one of the main reasons (if not THE reason) why Hamas was elected in 2006, is because of widespread corruption within Fatah and the PA. The Palestinian people simply had had enough of their money going into the pockets of a few rich, corrupt politicians. So they elected Hamas. But Hamas could not focus on rebuilding, before it established itself on the ground. We know that Israel and the U.S. (perhaps others) have been aiding financially and militarily only Fatah, even after the election results. So Hamas had no choice, it had to build its “army”, it had to prepare to fight and, in the end, it had to fight and defeat Fatah, in Gaza. As much as I’d like to blame the Palestinians for everything that’s wrong in Gaza today, the internal dynamics, including pressure from various external groups, made substantial change almost impossible.

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April 26th, 2008, 7:53 pm

 

9. why-discuss said:

Shai

Patrick Seal explains what you are saying but with a pessimistic outcome. Israel is trapped as their public opinion is still having a hard line approach to the Golan and other concessions and the country is becoming everyday more threatened by powerful and more organized opponents. Israelis don’t seem to realize how exposed they have become after the summer 2006 war with only a fraction of their opponents. You are right to say that the public opinion has to switch, and I wonder what would they make them switch?
I think majority of Israelis do not see concessions as something acceptable. They got used to get what they want with their military power, can they ever accept that the rules of the game have changed now and that only concessions may lead to peace.
How this can happen?

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April 26th, 2008, 8:46 pm

 

10. SOL said:

why-discuss

“can they ever accept that the rules of the game have changed now and that only concessions may lead to peace.
How this can happen?”

One way is to prevent Hizballah from crossing into Israel, kidnapping soldiers six years after Israel unilaterally withdrew from Lebanon. Can you imagine if the rest of the Arab States responded the way the Egyptian’s and Saudi’s did in the summer of 2006?

“On July 15, 2006 at an emergency session of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo Prince Saudi al-Faisal labeled Hezbollah’s kidnapping of Israeli soldiers — the act that precipitated the -Lebanon confrontation — as “unexpected, inappropriate and irresponsible”.

“Mubarak criticized Hezbollah for acting as a state within the state,and complained that Iran’s opposition to Arab-Israeli peace “further complicates an already complicated situation.”

When Israeli’s see that concessions actually bring peace and not make them more vulnerable, then and only then will you see a significant switch in Israeli public opinion.

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April 27th, 2008, 1:36 am

 

11. why-discuss said:

SOL

It is true that the Hezbollah war may look irresponsible for the Saudis who do not have 500,000 palestinians refugees in their oil-rich land and villages in their territory occupied. They also don’t have their land being confiscated to build illegal settlements for poor Israelis. If what Hezbollah did was irresponsible, what is the disproportionate reaction of Israel and what has Saudi Arabia done which is responsible? They talk and blame but they are doing nothing to advance peace and they are just happy to spend their money to make the US military industry profit. I wonder why they are not making peace with Israel? The trouble is if they do that, they will dissapear. If the public opinion in Israel is hardline and do not want to stop illegal settlements and show any weakness, then they get the same from the arab public opinion, not their corrupted leaders. So who is supposed to show the way to trust and concessions? If Israel is waiting for the arab to beg for peace, they will wait forever, if Israel can survive the demography of the region. Time is ticking for Israel.. Do they realize that?

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April 27th, 2008, 1:57 am

 

12. SOL said:

why-discuss,

“If Israel is waiting for the arab to beg for peace, they will wait forever”

Why beg? Hezbollah was victorious. Israel unilaterally withdrew from Lebanon. Why attack and kidnap Israeli soldiers six years later? To show solidarity with 500,000 Palestinian refugees or because of some geopolitical plan that was hatched and directed from Iran?

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April 27th, 2008, 2:07 am

 

13. why-discuss said:

I reply: why building illegal settlements, why starving millions in Gaza, why refusing the legal return of the palestinians expelled by force? Is it to force the arabs to accept the US plan to rule the area and its oil ressources and to give supremacy to Israel?

Yes Iran always… the machiavelic Iran and the terror of the Israelis! If you believe so then it seems that Iranians are genius. They are outsmarting the Israelis and US strategists, the CIA, the US army and all the brilliant brains in the Pentagon and the White house.

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April 27th, 2008, 2:27 am

 

14. norman said:

SOl,WD,

The only reason Iran can interfere is for the lack of vision from Israel and the US in solving the Mideast including the Palestinian problem.

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April 27th, 2008, 2:33 am

 

15. SOL said:

norman

“The only reason Iran can interfere is for the lack of vision from Israel and the US in solving the Mideast including the Palestinian problem.”

I guess the lack of vision is what caused Iraqi to invade Iran and fight a bloody war for eight years with an estimated 1 million people dying in that war.

I guess the lack of vision is the reason why in Sudan the conflict between the region’s African farmers and Arab herders have caused the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Muslims.

I guess the lack of vision is the reason why between 10,000 and 25,000 people were killed at Hama, Syria, February 2, 1982, when the Syrian army bombarded the town of Hama in order to quell a revolt by the Muslim Brotherhood.

I guess the lack of vision is the reason why more than 160,000 people were killed between 17 January 1992 and June 2002 in the Algerian Civil War.

It must be very convenient to have a country to blame for all the region’s problems and not take a critical look and some of the underlying issues.

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April 27th, 2008, 3:12 am

 

16. norman said:

Sol,

Lack of peace is to blame, there is no excuse to the killing anywhere , I just want Israel to live in peace so we do not have to worry about the future of the children .

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April 27th, 2008, 4:42 am

 

17. Shai said:

Sol,

Yes, it is often convenient for them to do so. Does that in any way shape or form diminish our responsibility to end our share?

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April 27th, 2008, 5:22 am

 

18. SOL said:

Norman

“I just want to live in peace so we do not have to worry about the future of the children”

inshallah

Shai

“Does that in any way shape or form diminish our responsibility to end our share?”

No

“Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.”
– Spinoza

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April 27th, 2008, 6:33 am

 

19. SimoHurtta said:

I guess the lack of vision is what caused Iraqi to invade Iran and fight a bloody war for eight years with an estimated 1 million people dying in that war.

Who supported / financed the war between Iran and Iraq? Who did lend the money to Iraq? Who sold weapons and WMD technology to Iraq? Who sold weapons and WMD technology to Iran?

I guess the lack of vision is the reason why in Sudan the conflict between the region’s African farmers and Arab herders have caused the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Muslims

Who has said that the Chinese oil companies in Sudan/Dafur will be replaced with western oil companies? Why did a Muslim Guerilla group which said that oil company “replacing” open an office in Israel?

Who helped in creating Al Qaida? Who financed its war against Afghan government + Soviet Union? Who did teach them guerilla tactics and exploding “thing”?

Who has a naval base in Eritrea? Who supports Eritrea, which is no beacon of democracy?

Who trains the Kurd militias and sell them weapons?

ETC

Don’t be a naive propagandist Sol. Israel’s and USA “fingerprints” are on most if not all Middle East crisis. USA and Israel are throwing “gasoline” in every possible conflict in the area. Israel’s and USA greatest fear is a stable and relative united Arab Union (something like EU).

PS.
In the 70’s CIA financed even a tiny Maoist communist party in Finland in their Global War against “Terrorism”. :)

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April 27th, 2008, 9:31 am

 

20. why-discuss said:

SIMO

well replied.. US has shown they have definetly a short vision or none, as ultimately things turn out exactly the opposite and worse to what they had in mind. Then they spend money and lives to rectify their mistakes to fall into others. Afghanistan and Irak are obvious examples of short visions that lead to human disasters.
The US seem to have no clue how they can solve the Palestian=Isreali conflict. It took 7 years for this US administration to realize that this conflict dragging for 60 years is feeding the islamic terrorism
phenomenom. Now they want a quick fix before Calamity Condie leaves the office.

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April 27th, 2008, 3:59 pm

 

21. wizart said:

Humanists agree religion can be ‘a social evil’

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has today welcomed a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation that found deep concern about the damage that religion does to British society. The study consulted 3500 people about their views on modern Britain and found that alongside poverty, consumerism and drug abuse, religion is thought of as a social evil. While some respondents thought that the decline in religion has weakened morality, most were worried about religious irrationality, the influence of religion on politics or the ways in which religion undermines social cohesion.

Andrew Copson, Director of Education and Public Affairs for the BHA said: ‘It comes as no surprise to us that the public are angered when they see faith schools separating their communities or unelected bishops sitting in the House of Lords. We agree with dominant opinion in the survey which argued that it is not just a tiny minority of extremists who do damage in the name of religion; it is all those who seek to exempt religion from the rules which govern the rest of society.’

http://www.humanism.org.uk

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April 27th, 2008, 4:05 pm

 

22. Rowan Berkeley said:

You know, Wizart, British party politics have been structured around the carefully tended and maintained pseudo-dispute between religious and secular politicians, along with various other closely associated disputes, for several hundred years. It gives the newspaper-reading public something to argue about that does no real harm to the system as a whole. In this respect, Britain has actually been quite clever : this system of managed disagreement goes back to the early eighteenth century, I think, and it has always remained manageable by smart party publicists. Howevever, there is a ‘third rail’ meaning a third line of argument that is more or less fatal to mention, namely the fact that although secular education can be championed in relation to christianity, and the most abominable things can be said about Muslim schools, it is forbidden to discuss Jewish education in the non-Jewish press, even when, as recently occurred, fairly extensive corruption of the system of state subsidy to jewish private schools (‘faith schools’) is discovered by government inspectors.

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April 28th, 2008, 5:55 am

 

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