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.
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. 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.”
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.
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.
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.