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Haniyeh Wants America? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The party is over for the Goldstone report. Proof of this lies in the statements made by Ismail Haniyeh recently when he welcomed the idea of launching dialogue with the United States of America. After his meeting with an American medical delegation visiting the Gaza Strip, Haniyeh told journalists that the United States “has the ability to bring stability to all regions, especially with regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but [only] if it acts in a way that is balanced…we see nothing wrong with holding open talks with the current US administration.” He also highlighted that there was an air of optimism about Obama’s administration!

Therefore, when we say that the party is over for the Goldstone Report, we have every right to do so, especially as Hamas, in the Gaza Strip in particular, is insulting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the back of the Goldstone report in every way. In fact those affiliated to Hamas held a mock funeral for Abbas and accused him of treason and went even further in attacking the man. So what has changed today for Haniyeh to speak so nicely about America and show Hamas’ nice side?

America did not state that it supported the Goldstone report in support of Hamas, nor did President Obama’s demands of the Palestinians and Israelis change. So what is new? What pushed Hamas, in the words of Haniyeh, to announce that it welcomed dialogue with the US and the idea of pushing on with the peace process and what pushed it to announce that it was optimistic about the new US administration?

When we said in the past that Hamas is not truthful in the Goldstone battle, despite the blame that we put on the Palestinian Authority and on Mahmoud Abbas in particular at the time for the way this issue was dealt with, there was uproar, and today we do not know the position of those rightly or wrongly supporting Hamas. The Hamas movement cancelled inter-Palestinian reconciliation, which was set up in Cairo, based on the pretext of the Goldstone report; in fact it mobilized sentiments of those sympathetic to the Palestinian cause from Palestine and the Arab world against the Palestinian Authority and Abbas in particular. Yet today Ismail Haniyeh says that he welcomes dialogue with Washington!

Therefore, all Hamas wants, through the words of Ismail Haniyeh, is to escape the dilemma of the elections – which Mahmoud Abbas called for – by opening the door to Washington in the hope that the Obama administration would put pressure on the Palestinian president to postpone the elections as long as Hamas wants dialogue on the peace process, thus avoiding the dilemma that Abbas has found himself in. Moreover, Hamas wants the US to acknowledge it.

This game has been exposed and it is not a new one, as it is clear that Hamas and its leaders have mastered the game of political dissimulation. We must not forget here the statement made by Khaled Meshaal to the New York Times a month ago and other comments and articles by advisors affiliated to Hamas that do not pay much attention to the suffering of the people of Gaza or work towards protecting the Palestinian cause inasmuch as they are keen to strengthen Hamas’ authority and government in Gaza.

This is the whole story…simple. Now let’s wait and see what happens.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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