This picture as shown by CNN was taken yesterday. It shows a jubilant Hamas leader Khaled Mashal thanking President Ahmadinejad for his help in the Hamas victory over Israel. Now what worries me about this picture is the following. I saw the pictures of the dead Palestinian children and I am horrified. Yes I do believe that Israel has the right to defend itself from the frequent Hamas attacks over its civilian population but the 1300 casualties on the Hamas side, many of them children were in my opinion a horrifying response to the rocket attacks. Probably you were also horrified at the disproportionate death toll of the Hamas Israel war with only 10 casualties on the Israeli side. It did look like a war that should make Hamas rethink its strategy of fighting with Israel as it sees the horror that its current attempt to make Israel disappear and replace it for an Islamic state, has brought to the people of Gaza. But my concern when I look at the picture and read Mashal´s statement is that Mashal is not at all horrified. Instead that he seems to want more fighting after what he considers a victory and ordered 10 more rockets to be fired yesterday after making this comments to the press.

“The victory of the people of Gaza was a miracle of God and the Islamic Republic definitely has a share in this victory,” Meshaal said after meeting with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency.

Now this statement comes from a man whose life was paradoxically saved by the intervention of President Clinton. I recommend that you read the fascinating story of how Meshaal was saved from an assassination attempt by the intervention of the Jordanians and President Clinton himself. This comes straight from the Wikipedia.

Assassination attempt

On September 25, 1997, Mashal was the target of an assassination attempt carried out by the Israeli Mossad under orders from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his security cabinet. Ten Mossad agents carrying Canadian passports entered Jordan, where Mashal was living. They broke into a home where he was sleeping and then applied a deadly poison to his neck.[6] At the time of the assassination attempt Mashal was considered Hamas’ Jordanian branch chief. He told Third Way Magazine: “Israeli threats have one of two effects: some people are intimidated, but others become more defiant and determined. I am one of the latter.”[7]

Jordanian authorities discovered the assassination attempt and arrested two Mossad agents who had engaged in the attempt. Jordan’s King Hussein then demanded that Benjamin Netanyahu turn over the poison antidote, and at first Netanyahu refused. As the incident began to grow in political significance, however, American President Bill Clinton intervened and forced Netanyahu to turn over the antidote.[8]

Jordanian authorities later released the Mossad agents in exchange for the release of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, who was serving a life sentence in an Israeli prison for his part in inciting violence against Israeli soldiers and founding the military wing of Hamas.[9]

I understand that Israel cannot send agents to another country to murder people and that is wrong. But I also believe that if Jordan had extradited Mashal this would not have happened. In any case the story itself is worth knowing and knowing how he is ever more defiant and determined.

I also think it´s important for the rest of us watching the situation in Israel and Palestine to side with those who want to implement the Oslo treaty as soon as possible but not with those who want the destruction either of Israel nor of Palestine.


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Ouriel Ohayon on February 2, 2009  · 

You can only understand the declarations of Meshaal and hamas leaders once you understand that for them death has more value than life. To die is the best thing that can happen for them and brings them to the status of Shahid – or martyrdom.

This is why they consider this war as a Victory. But there is only victory in peace not in war like Peres Said at the WEF

The day Hamas will see more value in life than in death then they will begin to respect human lifes wherever they are from and stop rejoicing and celebrating their own deceased. They will stop using human shields. That day peace may start to happen

but i am not very optimistic on a swift change.

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Ouriel Ohayon on February 2, 2009  · 

martin one more thing to be horrified about, is the behaviour of Hamas with his own people…i really invite you to read and share that…

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Jaime on February 3, 2009  · 

De verdad que yo leo los comentarios de arriba y alucino. Al menos no te meten caña como en el del español, pero es que a veces el nivel intelectual de las personas deja mucho que desear. Hala, con D.I.O.S.

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Frank on February 3, 2009  · 

The middle east is a train wreck and unfortunately will probably be throughout my life, my children ( 5 years old) and their children. It crushes me to see young children being brain washed with such hatred. Yes, the Israelis have every right to defend their people. However, many people around the globe believe the state of Israel is over the top with their aggression.
On one hand you have land that ONCE belonged to the Palestinians and on the other hand what is done is done. You can not reverse history, but, rather can only learn from it and grow and move forward.
As Menahem Begin said “Never again”.
It all started in the middle east and will end in the middle east. Sad, that peace will never be had.

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Artjom on February 3, 2009  · 

Finally one independent post from the jew man. Thank you, Martin! All my jewish friends blame Hamas with all the destruction, wars, and economical crisis, other friends blame Israel for this war, but none of them cares about all the people who die there, no matter from which side of the board.

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yousef on February 5, 2009  · 

Martin, I generally just check out your website for new tech stuff.

But I am not sure why I fully understand this purpose of this post.
So, Hamas gets supports from Iran? Big deal! Don’t forget after been democratically elected the EU and United States cut off their financial support. I think posting a picture of Mashal with Iranian president who is part “axis of evil” is an attempt at what should I call it “bad” by association.

I remember reading an article in 90’s when Mandela was asked by American government to minimize his contact or association with Fidel Castro and Qaddafi… Mandela answer was that Cuba and Libya supported ANC for 20+ years and while United States had it on its “enemy” list .

Secondly, I don’t understand your logic- “I understand that Israel cannot send agents to another country to murder people and that is wrong. But I also believe that if Jordan had extradited Mashal this would not have happened.”
Does mean it is ok for Israel to kill him in the Occupied Territory instead of foreign country? What would not happen? Israeli would not kill him?
By the way, Israeli killed that Sheikh Yassin the founder the Hamas- the guy the wikipedia input says was freed from prison in exchange for the two Mossad Assassins.

However, I am glad you support Oslo agreement. In terms of destruction of any country… the only country getting destroyed or losing is Palestine and its people. From being exiled to 40+ years in refugee camp to second-class treatment in their home(occupied territories)… of course almost of the leaders they have had is either maligned, demonized, or killed…

Israeli on other hand has wonderful leaders.. Leaders who are horrified at every Palestine home getting demolished, bombed, or Palestine children, etc…

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yousef on February 5, 2009  · 

opps… I forgot to add this link… Mandela was still on terrorist watch list as 2008…

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Chris on February 9, 2009  · 

You are horrified, I am horrified, Mashal is not horrified and neither are the 7 million Israelis. I already knew what kind of person the leader of Hamas is and it does not surprise me like this. What I didn’t expect is that 7 millions Israelis and not a single voice against the massacre of 1300 civilians, as you said most of them women and children.

I think Israel has really lost it this time. They have shown their complete disregard for basic human life. And I am not even getting into the embargo they have kept for 18 months basically trying to starve people to death.

Basically both sides are at the same level, down in the gutter. Let’s hope for a return to basic human decency before it is too late.

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