13 April 2006

Loves / doesn't love, loves / doesn't, ...

My heart really goes out to the Hamas' elected officials. On one hand, they are trying to do their best projecting hate to all things Israeli and Jewish. Their charter is alive and vibrant as usual. Their encouragement of the Qassam rocket launches continues, the number of suicide bombers has not dropped and all the alphabet soup gangs fare very well, thanks to Hamas' leadership.

But, on the other hand, their bank account is suffering somewhat, and the lip service paid by their Arab brethren is mostly what it is: lip service, not necessarily followed up by the real money wired from their bank accounts.

So Hamas is in feverish search for a formula that will allow then to make Europeans and others happy with their new peaceful facelift and at the same time to explain to their captive internal audience that nothing has changed and that the Jooz still have to be killed off. And let the simoleons to flow from the usual suckers.

It is not to say that Europeans are not ready to accept any old two-faced formula, no, many of them are quite willing. Some of them (see the case of Norway) are not even waiting for that face-saving formula to be brought forth. Still, Hamas are new in the murky business of politics, and they have still not mastered completely the necessary language. It will take a few weeks more.

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera is happy to announce that "Hamas 'willing' to recognize Israel". Pay attention to the fact that even Al Jazeera is suspicious of that "willing".

The Hamas-led Palestinian government is willing to recognize Israel if the latter withdraws fully from West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, Al Jazeera. net has reliably learnt. Sources close to Ismail Haniya, the Palestinian prime minister, described the Hamas decision as a "significant change in policy". "What it means is that the Palestinian government is willing to recognize Israel if Israel met certain conditions, including a complete withdrawal from the territories Israel occupied in 1967," a source told Al Jazeera.net on Wednesday.

What it means to normal, skeptically-minded people is that Hamas is in a feverish search for that magic double-tongued formula that will open the coffers of the US and Europeans again.

Take a good look an another Al Jazeera article published only two days earlier, concerning the unfortunate Hamas letter to UN:

The official UN translation from Arabic quotes al-Zahar as saying that Israel's "de facto annexation of the area, will definitely rule out any hope of achieving a settlement and peace based on a two-state solution".

When Mansour distributed an unofficial translation on April 4, al-Zahar told reporters in Gaza that the wrong version had been sent to the UN and produced another one without references to the two-state solution.

Oh well. Eventually, I have not a shred of doubt about it, Hamas will find that formula, and the money will start coming in.

One point, though: if Hamas consider for a moment that we shall continue sitting on our backsides, ripping the petals off from nearby flowers and mumbling "Loves / doesn't, loves / doesn't...", they may have a surprise coming.

Although - there are no surprises in the Middle East politics, surely. Too bad.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com