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Sharon and Rice coax Hamas to renounce terrorism -while German PM says only 'decent groups' can take part in PA elections

October 2, 2005

MIM: The idea that a terrorist group which is dedicated to the destruction of the state of Israel, could be expected to renounce terrorism brings to mind Chamberlain's assurances that Hitler would leave the world alone once the Nazi's annexed Czechoslavakia. While Rice and Sharon were billing and cooing to coax Hamas into renouncing their weapons with a promise of a place in the elections, the wife of assassinated Hamas leader Rantisi was busy coordinating a woman's Jihad division of Hamas, and told the media that 'our weapons will not gather dust'. Not to be outdone, German PM Schily opined that "only decent groups" could take part in the upcoming elections. Does that mean that Hamas candidates will be donning ties white shirts instead of khaki and suicide bomb belts?

Dr. Daniel Pipes debunked the myth that a place in the political arena would make Hamas morph from terrorists to statesman citing the statements of Hamas's leader in Gaza.

Does Fixing Potholes Tame Terrorists? In early 2005, President Bush and Secretary of State Rice both espoused what some call the "pothole theory of democracy," the idea that having to govern would absorb the energies of Hamas and thereby defang it. I documented their predictions and expressed my doubts at "Can Hezbollah and Hamas Be Democratic?" Now, in an interview with Newsweek International, a founder of Hamas named Mahmoud Zahar confirms my argument:

Newsweek: Some Western officials have talked about President George W. Bush's "theory of redemption"—the belief that engaging groups like Hamas could moderate them. Do you get the sense that the United States is trying to engage you?

Zahar: [Laughs] It's not the United States. It's the whole European [community]. But containment will not succeed with Hamas. I don't trust the term "moderate." We are already moderate. But if people believe we will be moderate in the Western style, or a pro-Israeli style—that's not moderate. That's corruption.


Sharon Softening Stance on HamasSunday, October 2, 2005 / 28 Elul 5765

The Sharon government, under U.S. pressure, is planning to ease up on Hamas, and a Likud minister and Condoleezza Rice said the gang might be politically acceptable if its terrorists disarm.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon plans to meet with government and IDF officials on Thursday to reconsider Israel's policy of targeted killings against Hamas terrorists, according to Israel government Radio. Israel will continue to liquidate "ticking bombs," terrorists on the way to commit acts of murder.

Transportation Minister Meir Sheetrit (Likud) said Saturday that if Hamas disarms, there is no reason to stop the terrorist organization from participating in the January PA (Palestinian Authority) legislative elections.

The government is under pressure from the international community, including the United States, to make a goodwill gesture toward the PA by not acting against Hamas terrorists, according to the Hebrew news web site News First Class. It said that PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) will ask the U.S. to pressure Israel to stay out of PA-controlled areas and refrain from interfering with the January elections. Sharon has warned that Israel will obstruct the vote if Hamas fields candidates.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday that Hamas "eventually" will be disarmed but did not state that the terrorist group should be banned from running in the elections. The U.S. has outlawed Hamas, and one of its principles is the destruction of the State of Israel and replacing it with an Islamic state.

Rice, in a major address, told a questioner that it is clear that Hamas "stands for the destruction of Israel...and is a real detriment and block to further peace." But she used the Sinn Fein party, linked to the Irish Republican Army terrorist group, as an example of terrorists agreeing to disarm in order to win political acceptance. "We do, I think, need to give the Palestinians some space to try and reconcile their national politics," she explained.

President George W. Bush has scheduled an October 20 meeting with Abbas, whom the U.S. has been praising for declaring that terrorists may not carry arms in the streets. However, Hamas terrorists control several areas in the Gaza region, including Rafiah, a source of smuggling on the Egyptian border, Middle East Newsline reported.

The PA's ruling Fatah party declared a major victory over Hamas in the third stage of Thursday's local elections, in which Fatah took control of 65 of 104 village councils. Hamas' main strength, however, is in large cities, including Shechem, Jenin, Tulkarm, Ramallah, and Hevron, where the PA postponed the elections because of fear that Hamas would win a majority.

Fatah won a bare majority of 53 percent the votes despite its being unopposed in several towns. Hamas won 26 percent of the ballots and most of the remaining support went to other terrorist organizations, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine which received five percent of the votes.

Hamas spokesmen pointed out that Israel prevented its candidates from winning more votes by arresting about 20 terrorists who were running for office, as well more than 200 supporters.


MIM: The idea that a terrorist group would renounce terror is not only oxymoronic, it implies that the German Minister thinks that a de Nazification program would work in the case of radical Islamists while forgetting that as fanatical as the Nazi anti semitism was, there is no instance of any of them committing suicide trying to kill Jews.

German Minister: Hamas must renounce terror

Germany's interior minister said Sunday that terrorist organizations such as Hamas should not be allowed to participate in Palestinian elections until they commit to ending attacks against Israel.

"My personal view is that in an election process only decent groups can take part," German Interior Minister Otto Schily said during a visit to Israel. "If it is true that Hamas takes part in terrorist attacks and actions, it is so far impossible to see how they can take part in democratic elections."

Schily arrived in Israel on Wednesday for security talks with Israeli government officials, including Sharon and Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres.

Schily said there was much Germany could learn from Israel about combating terrorism.

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