UK Nazi-Sympathizers Lead the Euro Pack in Making the Hamas & Hizbullah Socially Acceptable in EU Land
An excellent article appeared today in the Jerusalem Post on how the UK is working to embellish, edulcorate and perfume the Hamas, whether in the name of progress, democracy, enlightenment, humanity, peace or international understanding. Alistair Crooke, Tony Blair's point man in working with Hamas as early as 2002, is still at work on this nefarious project.
Here is a link to the article in the JPost. Links to earlier, relevant posts on Emet m'Tsiyon are below on this page.
Analysis: The energetic Hamas lobby
Apr. 22, 2009
JONATHAN SPYER , THE JERUSALEM POST
A meeting was meant to take place on Wednesday in the Grimond Room at Portcullis House, adjoining the House of Commons in London. The planned meeting was titled "Talk with Hamas" and was meant to feature a video link to Damascus.
Khaled Mashaal, leader of Hamas, was supposed to address members of Parliament and journalists via the link, but he failed, due to a technical glitch.
This planned meeting was the latest event in an ongoing and organized campaign to break the Western boycott of Hamas and transform policy toward the organization. Much energy is being expended in the UK. But London is only a way station, with the real prize being the transformation of the US stance.
This campaign is part of a larger effort to change the way that the West sees Islamist movements - and by doing so to bring many of the arguments made by such movements into the mainstream.
Who is behind this effort? The invitation to MPs to the Mashaal meeting came from the office of Independent MP Clare Short.
However, it was issued in the name of John, Lord Alderdice. This name immediately offers a pointer. Alderdice, a veteran Northern Irish politician, is head of the board of advisers of an organization called Conflicts Forum.
Conflicts Forum is jointly led by Alistair Crooke and Mark Perry, former intelligence officers from the UK and US, respectively. It describes its aim as opening "a new relationship between the West and the Muslim world."
What this anodyne phrase means in practice is revealed in a remarkably frank document published by this group, in which it explains the means it intends to use to bring about the basic change in perception that will bring Hamas and Hizbullah into the mainstream.
The document notes the need to build a "link-up between activist groups and mobilizers of opinion in order to shift the debate on Islamism from a predominantly defensive posture to a positive assertion of Islamist values and thinking."
It suggests "articulation of Hamas's and Hizbullah's values, philosophy and wider political and social programs... Being more proactive in statements and rephrasing discourse to focus on the positive aspects of Islamist ideology."
The Conflicts Forum publication lays down a precise strategy for the promotion of Hamas and Hizbullah in the West - of which the meeting in the British Parliament forms a part.
The various PR devices suggested include "Use influential individuals - key Muslim personalities... use the Internet, DVD, interviews, podcasts... Link with mass organizations in Western countries - social movements, trade unions - to challenge hegemonic discourse. Approach editors of established journals... with a view to the possibility of them doing a special issue on Islamist thinking or on particular issues."
Undoubtedly, the attempted video link between Hamas HQ in Damascus and the Grimond Room in Portcullis House was meant to be a worthy contribution to this extensive effort to "re-brand" Hamas and Hizbullah.
The UK, and the EU as a whole, remain committed to the Quartet conditions which Hamas must meet to become a partner for dialogue. Hamas (or at least its "military wing") remains on the EU list of proscribed terror organizations.
A cursory observation of the backers of Conflicts Forum, however, reveals a curious paradox. In January 2007, the group proudly announced that it had been awarded a grant of €500,000 by the EU, to develop "more inclusive and legitimate approaches to transforming the Middle East conflict." More specifically, the project entails the "engagement" of "faith-based movements."
So the EU, while currently opposing "engagement" with Hamas, also appears to be offering financial support to a body engaged in lobbying for the organization.
How important are the efforts of Conflicts Forum and its associated groups? Are initiatives such as Wednesday's planned meeting likely to have a tangible effect on policy?
Britain has, of course, already announced that it intends to hold talks with Hizbullah. On Hamas, however, no immediate significant shift in British government policy looks likely.
The Hamas Lobby is busy and active. It encompasses former senior diplomats such as Sir Jeremy Greenstock, as well as the Conflicts Forum nexus.
Foreign Secretary Miliband has praised the Egyptian role in managing dialogue with Hamas in the following terms: "Others speak to Hamas. That's the right thing to do, and I think we should let the Egyptians take this forward."
A knowledgeable source noted that many in the Foreign Office consider that engagement with the group is a "matter of time."
Still, for as long as the US remains firmly committed to insisting that Hamas first abide by the three Quartet conditions (committing to nonviolence, recognizing Israel and accepting previous agreements and obligations), the UK is unlikely to openly break ranks. Differences might well surface if a Palestinian unity government were to be formed. But this too currently looks highly improbable.
Ultimately, the main obstacle to the success of Lord Alderdice, Clare Short and their friends in Conflicts Forum may well be the nature of their client. Hamas leaders have an unfortunate tendency to be candid regarding their movement's goals. This makes presenting the "positive aspects of Islamist ideology" something of a challenge.
Hamas "Foreign Minister" Mahmoud Zahar, for example, speaking last week, stated bluntly that "[Hamas] will never recognize the enemy in any way, shape or form."
A few months ago, the same speaker asserted that "they [Jews] have legitimized the murder of their own children by killing the children of Palestine... They have legitimized the killing of their people all over the world by killing our people."
Spinning statements of that kind into moderation would pose a challenge to the smoothest of PR operators. But as the planned Portcullis House meeting showed, Hamas possesses an experienced, well-oiled, well-funded (largely by the European taxpayer) lobby in the heart of London, in which it may take justifiable pride.
Jonathan Spyer is a Senior researcher at the Global Research in International Affairs Center, IDC, Herzliya.
[Jerusalem Post, 4-22-2009]
Kudos to Jonathan Spyer. Here is a link to earlier British pro-Hamas efforts going back to at least 2002 [& see here & here & here]. Today's Islamists and their friends claim to see Muslims everywhere as victims and use the term Islamophobia to describe this alleged victimization. We might charge the UK with Jihadophilia, the love of Islamic jihad, to describe how the UK promotes Islamobarbarism.
Postscript to J Spyer's article by Barry Rubin [link here --see at bottom of linked to page]:
Just as distinguished and very well-mannered British apologists for Hamas were holding a meeting explaining that Hamas is misunderstood, the group continues its openly antisemitic and genocidal rhetoric. See for yourself.For a frank statement of genocidal intentions by Hamas, see the Hamas charter, Article 7, among other parts of the charter.
In a recent booklet entitled The Zionist Holocaust, here is what Hamas has to say:
Page 10: "that country, the one called `Israel'...believes only in killing and destruction...some of its principles are endless fighting, shedding blood and corruption. For the Jews, all men are flocks of lambs [i.e., fit for slaughter], while only they [the Jews] are fit to live ...”
Page 221: The Palestinians have only two options, to surrender or wiping out Israel and the Jews.
Oh and the Introduction is written by Ismail Haniya, who is often referred to as a "moderate" and the leader of Hamas's "political wing."
[Memo to Haniya: That was very clever of you to hide the Hamas leadership and set up its command post in Shifa hospital. That way if Israel attacked you could accuse it of war crimes and since it didn't you were safe and could run your war from there. And you probably don't even have to worry about the Western media picking up the story.] [Here at bottom of linked to page]
Israeli journalist, formerly of `Al HaMishmar, Pinhas `Inbari, explains that both Israel and PA/Fatah ought to rightly be suspicious of the EU [in Hebrew for the JCPA].
UPDATING 5-14-2009 Michael Young describes Alistair Crooke's role in trying to make Hamas & Hizbullah socially acceptable in polite society. Young also explains why Crooke's idea is a bad one.