Saturday, January 28, 2006


The following from the Rainbow Network speaks for itself.

US Votes Against Two Gay Groups At United Nations

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has denounced the United States' vote against two gay rights organizations' applications to join the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

The United States joined the repressive, anti-gay regimes of Iran, Zimbabwe, China, Cameroon and others in voting against even granting a hearing to the application of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) and the Danish Association of Gays and Lesbians (Landsforeningen for Bosser og Lesbiske — LBL).

Instead, the two groups' applications were summarily dismissed without a hearing.

"It is an absolute outrage that the United States has chosen to align itself with tyrants — all in a sickening effort to smother the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people around the world," said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

"Apparently Iran, which President Bush has deemed part of the 'Axis of Evil,' is a suitable partner when it comes to discriminating against gay people."

The governments of Iran and Zimbabwe are among the most repressive anti-gay regimes in the world. President Mugabe of Zimbabwe has long scapegoated and persecuted gay men and lesbians.

The recently-elected president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has overseen an anti-gay campaign in recent months, in which many young people accused of homosexual acts have been executed.

Also leading the charge against the application of the two gay groups was Egypt, which has persecuted gay men in recent years.

"The Task Force thanks the International Lesbian and Gay Association, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission and Human Rights Watch for their efforts to promote pro-gay policies at the United Nations," Foreman said.

"It is repugnant that the self-proclaimed 'leader of the free world' will align itself with bigots and tyrants at the drop of a hat to advance the right wing's virulently anti-gay agenda."

The Bush-Cheney administration has also opposed women's and children's rights treaties, sex education, contraception and family planning in international forums.

Three years ago, the United States abstained from voting on a sexual orientation non discrimination resolution offered by Brazil via the U.N. Human Rights Commission. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Friday, January 27, 2006


The overwhelming victory of Hamas in the Palestinian elections is in reality only the latest in decades of "dramatic" events that "change everything." While most everyone is concentrating on the impact on the peace process, few are asking how it will effect the everyday life of the Palestinian people. The ideology of Hamas is not far removed from the clerics who run Iran. The Palestinians are used to a more, dare we say, secular way of life. What, for example, will Hamas in charge, mean to women. Who knows?

And don't forget Israeli elections are just around the corner. Which direction will the Hamas victory push the Israeli electorate? What if Binyamin Netanyahu gets himself elected? Again, who knows?

What follows is some analysis of what the hell it all means (but you have to ask yourself, when was the last time anyone correctly analyzed anything going on with the Israelis and the Palestinians). Put on your reading hat, there is a lot here.


Jerusalem Times: Opinion

January 27, 2006

This week in Palestine….. Behind the news with Hanna Siniora

Democratic Change

In one day this January 25th, 2006, for the first time in the modern history of the Arab world, change took place through the ballot box and it caused a political earthquake. The Fateh administration was voted out of office not by tanks, not through a coup d’etat, not through violence, but through the will of the people asking for drastic change, the result was simply Fateh out Hamas in.

As usual the pollsters were wrong. The team at Bir Zeit University and Dr. Khalil Shikaki’s PSR organization both wrongly predicted a Fateh victory using a sample of exit votes. Bir Zeit predicted that Fateh will get 63 seats to Hamas 58, Shikaki predicted Fateh getting 58 while Hamas getting 53. Palestinians and the media that night went to bed believing that Fateh scored a narrow victory.

When the next morning the official results became known, it fell like a bombshell on Palestinians, Israelis, the USA and the EU. By night fall of the 26 of January the official results were announced and everybody saw how extensive the Hamas victory was. The election took place using the two parallel systems, the proportional part for 66 seats resulted in Hamas wining 30, Fateh 27, the PFLP 3, the Alternative list 2, the Independent Palestine List of Dr. Mustafa Barghouti 2, and the Third Way List of formal Finance Minister Salam Fayyad and Hanan Ashrawi 2. In the 16 local districts Hamas received 46 seats, Fateh 16, and 4 for independents. Fateh was soundly trounced, and the people wished for change became quite clear.

1.3 million Palestinians had the right to vote, 77.6% participated and for the first time in East Jerusalem, Jerusalemites in great numbers exercised their right to vote to the tone of nearly 50%, the highest percentage since the occupation started. The Palestinian Central Election Committee in the post polling had to extend the voting and additional 2 hours.

Prominent Fateh leaders in Hebron like Head of PA National Security Advisor lost, in East Jerusalem Fateh lost all Muslim 4 seats, the same happened elsewhere in Ramallah, in Nablus and other West Bank cities, the route was almost complete in the Gaza Strip, with the exception of Mohammad Dahlan who got elected. In the 16 districts Fateh managed to salvage 16 seats out of 66 seats a very poor showing.


Blame can assigned for this poor showing to all the Fateh rank and file. President Mahmoud Abbas who conducted fair and square elections is to be blamed for not putting his house in order. Abbas and the Fateh leadership had postponed the date of the elections from July 2005 to January 2006 to gain time to reorganize Fateh. They are to be blamed for postponing the Fateh conference until after the elections which should have been held before the parliamentary elections. Abbas introduced the primary system to choose candidates; Fateh toyed with it, instead of free and clean primaries to choose candidates, fraud and force took place openly in a way an accentuating the corruption charge hanging over Fateh. Additionally, Fateh fielded in the local districts official and non-official candidates, for example in the Jerusalem district Hamas nominated 4 candidates for the 4 Muslim seats while Fateh had 30 candidates. This spread and diluted the Fateh vote and led to the sound defeat in every district in the West Bank. Out of the 16 seats Fateh won in the districts, 5 safe seats were assigned to the Christian Palestinian quota, those seats Hamas did not contest.

Political Repercussions

In Palestine, those who felt the deep desire of the Palestinian electorate for change estimated a narrow Fateh victory, maybe a tide elections, few if any expected Hamas to emerge in full control of the PLC. The people heard Israel, the USA, and even the EU statements of dire consequences if Hamas became part of the next government. The people in their quest for change took the risk of losing economic and political support in order to punish Fateh for its corruption. Fateh’s mismanagement and flouting the rule of law, the people desired change after 12 years of Fateh rule.

For Hamas in opposition it was always easy to criticize. Now Hamas has a heavy of load of responsibility and duties to shoulder, on one hand they have to steer the ship of state to safety and to independence. As a religious fundamentalist movement they have to negotiate with Israel and be accepted by the West. Is Hamas able to modify its ideology? or Are they going to stick rigidly to its platform?

In the election campaign, Hamas managed to send signals of flexibility, they discarded the slogan calling for the destruction of Israel, Hamas announced its readiness to negotiate directly with Israel. They entered the democratic process of elections based on the Oslo agreements, while declaring that Oslo is dead. But what was important, tangible and real, and they continue to adhere the ceasefire.

Hamas, in a similar manner to the PLO before it is undergoing a process of transformation, history is repeating itself. Hamas is obliged to uphold its promises and pledges to its public to steer the ship of state to safety, to reexamine its platform, this is not going to happen overnight. In this process, it is a do or die situation, they have the responsibility of delivering the people form the burden of occupation as well as implementing their social and economic program. Militancy and armed confrontation of the occupation are not the tools of Hamas at the head of the PA they have also to change otherwise they will be isolated. The EU have to again be the vehicle in a similar role they played in the past with the PLO, the EU started it with the Venice declaration of 1980, the USA followed suite in the waning days of the Regan administration and Israel through the Oslo Accords. Hamas also must reciprocate otherwise it will be ostracized and isolated. It is Hamas’ turn to demonstrate flexibility and responsibility. Israel too can play an important role and profit from Hamas emerging as the leading power in the Palestinian political system. Israel has the ability to accelerate the Hamas movement towards moderation by adopting reciprocal and not unilateral steps. Israel by its actions can either drive Hamas deeper into the jungle or thus explode the fragile ceasefire or Israel and Hamas together can exploit the new situation to lead toward and political settlement.

Hamas, Israel and the International Community, can together play a constructive role first to stabilize the region, start the road to a political settlement or God forbid neglect the region allow the situation to deteriorate and thus intensify the conflict. The region and the world waited for the results of the Palestinian elections and the emergence of new Palestinian leaders, again the region is also waiting on March 28 for the Israeli Knesset elections and the emergence of new Israeli leader post the Sharon era.

Grounds for Hope and Fear Abound

Those who shortly will be in power in Israel and Palestine must understand the peoples of the region are fed up with the violence and instability and are looking forward for change but for the better, this should by the guideline and the goal for the new leaders.

A Personal Note

I ran as an independent for the seat in the PLC from the Jerusalem district, and I lost. I thank those who supported me, I congratulate those who have won and I will continue to work from outside the PLC for the two-state solution.


Hope will have to visit on another day

This is an immediate reaction and analysis of the Hamas victory in Palestine and its possible impact on the region. This kind of piece will require review and re-analysis after some time has passed. I take the liberty to write this piece now because of the many requests that I have received to provide some analysis. I apologize in advance for being so pessimistic.

Gershon Baskin

January 26, 2006

The Palestinian people have spoken and their voice has been heard. No, the results did not surprise me; I have been speaking about a 55% Hamas victory for several weeks. The handwriting was on the walls, but the pollsters and the analysts failed to see it. The majority of Palestinians chose Hamas not only as a protest vote against the corruption of Fateh and the PA, as many Palestinians will tell us. The people also voted for Hamas because of its political agenda, and the Hamas won because most Palestinians share the belief that the negotiated process based on Oslo was not only bad for Israel, it was perhaps, even worse for Palestinians.

The al Aqsa intifada received wide public support at its outset from a public that was deeply influenced by the unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. In the eyes of Palestinians, 2000 Hizballah guerillas forced the great and mighty army of Israel to run from southern Lebanon with its tail between its legs. Likewise, in the eyes of a large majority of Palestinians, Israel evacuated Gaza to the last grain of sand as a result of Hamas’ hitting of Israel inside and outside of Gaza. Israel left Gaza not as a result of a peace process, not as a result of negotiations, not as part of a decision to empower Mahmoud Abbas and his moderate regime. The rise of Hamas is the result of the faulty policies of both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The election of Hamas put the final nail in the coffin of the peace process. The only remaining elements of the peace process – the Paris economic protocol under which Israel collects VAT and Customs tariffs and transfers them to the PA treasury will now end. The Israeli transfers to the PA coffers account for about 50% of the PA budget. The Government of Israel will not pay anything into the government of Hamas. The Road Map for peace is also dead. Phase I of the Road Map demands from the Palestinians to disarm the terrorist groups and the militia. Will Hamas disarm itself? Will the Hamas run Ministry of Education introduce peace education text books in the schools responding to the international call to end incitement? Will the Hamas end the policy of naming public squares, streets and buildings in the name of suicide bombers?

Many people are suggesting that Hamas will go through a period of reform and change (as the name of the political party under which they ran suggests). There is no doubt that some moderate voices have been heard in the past weeks of the election campaign. There are some people who quote Ariel Sharon when he said “what you see from here (the Prime Minister’s chair) is not the same things you see from there (meaning the opposition). It is true that Hamas may become more moderate and more practical. Hamas may eventually adopt a position that would allow it to enter into some kind of negotiations with Israel, however, I assess that this is a process that will take years, not days. Hamas may hold fast to some kind of ceasefire with Israel, even if it is not negotiated with Israel. But any attacks against Israel by Hamas or groups which identify themselves as Hamas or for that matter, by any Palestinian factions, the Hamas government will be held responsible by Israel. Mahmoud Abbas will be held responsible by Israel as President of Palestine and as Abbas cannot hold that responsibility, his days in government are numbered.

Some people claim that the realities of government and the need to provide bread to the people will lead Hamas into the direction of recognizing Israel and denouncing terrorism in order to regain the financial support of the United States and the European Union which will now end following the elections. Hamas is one step ahead of the United States and the EU. Last week Hamas leader in exile, Khaled Mashal met with Iranian President Ahmadinejad, they didn’t only discuss the rising costs of a barrel of oil, they also discussed how much of those windfall profits would be pumped into the Palestinian economy. The Hamas government of the Palestinian Authority will not be intimidated by US and EU threats to stop financial support. Iran’s millions of barrels of oil everyday being pumped and sold all over the world will provide the Palestinian Authority with the ability to withstand any international boycott.

Some Europeans, some Israelis and some others will pressure Israel into opening a new dialogue with the Hamas. There is no reason to believe that the Israeli requirements for entering into that dialogue will be any different than they were regarding dialogue with the PLO. Israel worked overtime to ensure that the United States and others would not bend to the demands in the 1980s to recognize the PLO. Those demands – recognizing Israel’s right to exist, denouncing terrorism and agreement to a negotiated process will remain the Israeli minimal conditions for recognizing the Hamas government of the Palestinian Authority.

The political time clock has been forced back some 30 years due to the choice of the Palestinian people that was influenced by the failures of both sides. The main problem is that the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that was obvious 30 years ago (although not obvious to most Israelis and most Palestinians then), namely the two-states for two people formula will not remain an option even 10 years from now. The acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the new Israeli foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, both stated in their speeches in the Herzliya conference this week that the ultimate fulfillment of Israel’s national strategic vision today is the creation of a Palestinian state next to Israel. They both recognize that the only way to reach the end of the conflict is through a negotiated process, but today, it is clear that there is no partner for negotiations on the other side. Some may say that this has been the clear strategy of Israel for years, to create a situation where there really is no partner. I don’t believe that this was the real intention, but whether or not Israel wanted Hamas to come to power is not relevant today – Hamas is in power and the fate of Israelis and Palestinians alike is affected by the results of the democratic process in Palestine.

Israel will retain its strategic options for additional unilateralism. Israel will probably continue to act to determine its borders with the Palestinians without negotiations. The decisions that Israel will make will be far reaching, even more dramatic than what the next Prime Minister probably has in his mind right now – some kind of limited disengagement while holding onto the Jordan Valley and other parts of the West Bank. Israel will not be able to sustain a limited withdrawal and will probably come to the conclusion that it must unilaterally end the occupation. This will require a withdrawal of some 90%+ of the West Bank. In my assessment Israel will also decide to remove the settlements in the Jordan Valley, but will maintain a military presence there in full agreement with the Government of Jordan. Israel will seek to withdraw behind the security barrier and to lock the door on what they will call “Hamastan”. Israel will not seek any cooperation and will take every step possible to limit economic cooperation and all other forms of interaction with the Palestinian Authority. Israel will say to the international community that the occupation has ended, that Israel is no longer in control of the Palestinian population and that it bears no responsibility for its welfare. The responsibility for the welfare and well being of the Palestinian people, Israel will say, is on the shoulders of the Hamas government of the Palestinian Authority.

The Government of Israel and the Government of Jordan will want to squeeze the Palestinians in the West Bank with the hope that Hamas’ influence can be contained. Israel will fear seepage into the one million strong Palestinian citizens of Israel and Jordan will fear seepage of Islamic extremism over the Jordan River. There will be more seepage eastward than westward. Palestinians in Israel are much better equipped to understand what they have to lose than the Palestinian majority of Jordan. The Government of Jordan will therefore, also limit its contacts and cooperation with the Palestinian Authority.

There is a chance that forces within Palestine will seek to take action against their new government. Fateh armed groups and perhaps Palestinian policemen who have been loyal to the Palestinian Authority may find themselves being replaced by Hamas activists. Palestinian warlords who had a free reign under the past government may be threatened by the new one. These forces may combine their efforts together to destabilize the situation that Hamas will seek to create. While this scenario is not immediately likely, it is one that may develop over time.

One interesting point to raise is the fact that the elections took place under a sense of complete law and order. The chaos and the violence of the past weeks disappeared on Election Day. There was a real festival of democracy. I visited polling places in the south of the West Bank and I was truly impressed by what I saw. Today, the streets of Palestine are filled with parades of cars with the green hamas flags flying high and the mosques loudspeakers praising the victory of Islam. These were by far the most democratic elections that have been held anywhere in the entire Arab world ever. Was the calm and law and order of yesterday possible before yesterday? Could Mahmoud Abbas have asserted himself and the rule of law from the beginning of his Presidency a year ago? I believe that he could have. He did not lack the legitimacy then and had taken action then, we probably would not be in the same situation today. (Spilled milk).

Will the outcome of the Hamas elections affect the outcome of the Israeli elections? Some people suggest that the Israeli public will respond by turning to the right. I don’t share that assessment. The Israeli public will increase its support for Kadima and for Olmert. The Israeli public understands that it is futile to put demands and conditions on the Palestinians under the Hamas leadership. The Likud and Benyamin Netanyahu represent freezing the status quo. Those conditions cannot be met and why entrap ourselves into maintaining an unsustainable status quo because of what the Palestinian people have decided. The Israeli public’s determination to support unilateral steps that will strengthen Israel’s defensive position and further increase international support for Israel will strengthen the support for Kadima. The Israel stock market will respond initially badly to the Hamas victory, and some of the international money markets may speak about lowering Israel’s credit rating, but these will bounce back quickly when it becomes clear that Israel is determined to take the steps necessary to protect itself through continued disengagement. Hamas may try to transport its Qassam rocket war to the West Bank and may even improve the technology of this low-tech non-strategic weapon. Israel will respond to this threat and will have the support of the international community. Without full physical control of the West Bank and Gaza it will be difficult for Israel to prevent a possible ballistic intifada. If this scenario emerges, we may see in the coming years a call for the international community to impose a foreign trusteeship over Palestine in place of the Hamas government. Israel will not be hasty in reoccupying all of Palestine.

From my seat as the Co-CEO of an Israeli-Palestinian institution trying to build bridges of understanding between Israelis and Palestinians, there is a real dilemma. Do we try to build bridges between Israel and the Hamas or do we try to maintain communications and cooperation between the Palestinian opposition to Hamas and to Israel and the Israeli government? It is clear that we cannot do both. Personally, I will not engage in dialogue or try to engage in dialogue with someone who does not recognize my right to live and my right for self determination. I will not sit with someone who wishes to kill me or to force me to leave this land. If I decide to try to find the cracks in the Hamas wall of non-recognition, it is not clear that there are people on the other side who want to talk to me. Yesterday’s elections in Palestine produced disastrous results – both for Palestine and for Israel. It is difficult for me, the perennial optimist to see anything positive about the outcome of this democratic process. I can only hope that I am wrong.


Why Did Hamas Win?
Uri Avnery

If Ariel Sharon had not been in a deep coma, he would have jumped out of his bed for joy. The Hamas victory fulfils his most ardent hopes.

For a whole year now, he did everything possible to undermine Mahmoud Abbas. His logic was quite obvious: The Americans wanted him to negotiate with Abbas. Such negotiations would inevitably have lead to a situation that would have compelled him to give up almost all of the West Bank. Sharon had no intention of doing so. He wanted to annex about half of the territory. So he had to get rid of Abbas and his moderate image.

During the last year, the situation of the Palestinians got worse from day to day. The actions of the occupation made normal life and commerce impossible. The West Bank settlements were continuously enlarging. The Wall which cuts off about 10% of the West Bank was nearing completion. No important prisoners were released. The aim was to impress on the Palestinians that Abbas is weak ("a chicken without feathers", as Sharon put it), that he cannot achieve anything, that offering peace and observing a cease-fire leads nowhere.

The message to the Palestinians was clear: "Israel understands only the language of force."

Now the Palestinians have put in power a party that speaks this language.

Why did Hamas win?

Palestinian elections, like German ones, consist of two parts. Half the members of parliament are elected on straight party lists (like in Israel), the other half are elected individually in their districts. This gave Hamas a huge advantage.

In the party lists elections, Hamas won with only a slight majority. This would suggest that as far as the general political line is concerned, the majority is not far from Fatah - two states, peace with Israel.

Many of the votes given to Hamas had nothing to do with peace, religion and fundamentalism, but with protest. The Palestinian administration, run almost exclusively by Fatah, is tainted with corruption. The "man in the street" felt that the people on top don't care about him. Fatah was also blamed for the terrible situation created by the occupation.

Also, the glory of the martyrs and the indomitable fight against the immensely superior Israeli army added to the popularity of Hamas.

In the personal-regional elections, the situation of Hamas was even better. Hamas had more creditable candidates, untainted by corruption. Its party machine was far superior, its members far more disciplined. In every district, there were several Fatah candidates competing with each other. After the death of Yasser Arafat, there is no strong leader capable of imposing unity. Marwan Barghouti, who could perhaps have done the job, is held in an Israeli prison - another big Israeli gift for Hamas.

People who believe in conspiracy theories can assert that it is all part of a devious Israeli plan.

Some people even believe that Hamas was an Israeli invention right from the beginning. That is, of course, a wild exaggeration. But it is indeed the case that in the years before the first Intifada, the Islamic organization was the only Palestinian group that had practically a free run in the occupied territories.

The logic went like this: Our enemy is the PLO. The Islamists hate the secular PLO and Yasser Arafat. So we can use them against the PLO.

Moreover, while all political institutions were banned, and even Palestinians who worked for peace were arrested for carrying out illegal political activity, no one could control what was happening in the mosques. "As long as they are praying, they are not shooting," was the innocent opinion in the Israeli military government.

When the first Intifada broke out at the end of 1987, this was proved wrong. Hamas was formed, partly in order to compete with the Islamic Jihad fighters. Within a short time, Hamas became the core of the armed uprising. But for almost a year, the Israeli Security Service did not act against them. Then policy changed and Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader, was arrested.

All this happened more through stupidity than design. Now the Israeli government is faced with a Hamas leadership that was democratically elected by the people.

What now? Well, a strong feeling of deja vu.

In the 70s and 80s, the Israeli government declared that it would never ever negotiate with the PLO. They are terrorists. They have a charter that calls for the destruction of Israel. Arafat is a monster, a second Hitler. So, never, never, never...

In the end, after much bloodshed, Israel and the PLO recognized each other and the Oslo agreement was signed.

Now we are hearing the same tune again. Terrorists. Murderers. The Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel. We shall never, never, never negotiate with them.

All this is very welcome to Sharon's Kadima party, which openly calls for the unilateral annexation of territory ("Fixing the borders of Israel unilaterally"). It will help the Likud and the Labor party hawks whose mantra is "We have no partner for peace", meaning - to hell with peace.

Gradually, the tone will change. Both sides, and the Americans, too, will climb down from the tall tree. Hamas will state that it is ready for negotiations and find some religious basis for this. The Israeli government (probably headed by Ehud Olmert) will bow to reality and American pressure. Europe will forget its ridiculous slogans.

In the end, everybody will agree that a peace, in which Hamas is a partner, is better than a peace with Fatah alone.

Let's pray that not too much blood is spilled before that point is reached.

-A regular contributor to, Avnery is an Israeli author and activist. He is the head of the Israeli peace group, "Gush Shalom".


Palestinians vote for resistance
Teheran Times

RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian anti-occupation organization, Hamas, (in Arabic, an acronym for "Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamia" -- Islamic Resistance Movement -- and a word meaning courage and bravery), swept to victory over the ruling Fatah party in Palestinian parliamentary polls, winning an overwhelming majority in the 132-seat legislature.

It took 76 seats to Fatah' 43 in Wednesday's election, the official vote count showed, which gives the Islamic movement the right to form the next government, sweeping away decades of Fatah political ascendancy in the Palestinian territories, Al Jazeera reported.

The group’s surprising victory in the elections sent strong reverberations throughout the Middle East and the West and left officials from Jerusalem to the U.S. scrambling to adjust to the prospect of a strong anti-Israeli organization governing the Palestinian territories.

The polls’ results expressed the true will of the Palestinian people- as described by international observers, led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, the elections were "completely honest, completely fair, completely safe and without violence". This forced the old Fatah government, led by Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, to resign.

"This is the choice of the people," and "should be respected," Qureia said.

Contrary to what the Israel's Likud leader, Binyamin Netanyahu believes to be "the birth of Hamastan, some see in Hamas' victory a positive step that might bring the Middle East closer to peace. According to an article published earlier on The Herald, Hamas' victory ''was a thumping popular vote against the endemic corruption and paralyzed inefficiency of the old Fatah regime.''

However, the U.S. President George W. Bush and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair continue to refuse negotiating or dealing with Hamas, an organization they labeled as “terrorist” despite its long history of serving the Palestinian population. The group’s influence is felt in all aspects of the Palestinians’ daily life. Hamas has been conducting social activity in mosques that mainly serve the Palestinian immigrant population. The movement's ideology attributes great importance to the giving of charity.

Bush, with his so-called, divine mission to install democratic states in the Middle East, is now obliged to accept the Palestinians’ will expressed in the polls, the results of which don't suit him.

Both threats and pressure exerted by the U.S. and the EU to stop foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority if Hamas participated in the elections placed the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in a political tangle. Abu Mazen thought that Hamas' participation in the elections will ease his goal of disarming the movement, as necessitated by the "Road Map". But on the other hand, he feared that the organization’s involvement would likely result in the curbing of foreign aid.

Bearing in mind the extent of poverty the Palestinian population suffers under the Palestinian Authority, and the tendency of the Palestinian public to blame the incumbent regime, Abu Mazen didn’t want to risk losing the financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority from foreign sources.

However, he failed to prevent Hamas from participating in the political process. But also he didn’t show any sign of a confrontation with the movement-even at the cost of losing foreign aid. The question now is does Hamas' victory mean redrawing the so-called Middle east road map peace process in a way that makes real progress possible in the long standing struggle to liberate the Palestinian lands?

Hamas’ participation and victory in the Palestinian elections doesn’t in any way point to a change in policy or an abandonment of the armed struggle against the Israeli occupation.

"Hamas is not interested in gaining power or profits, but rather it is interested in serving the Palestinian nation."

Khalid Mash'al, head of the political office of the groups was once quoted as saying. Last month, and during an interview with the Hezbollah satellite television network Al-Manar, Khalid Mash'al declared that "there is no other option that will bring about a cessation of the Zionist aggression, an end to the occupation, the return of Palestinian national rights, and the release of prisoners other than the path of (military) resistance. The resistance is a strategy that is not subject to change, no matter what takes place in the Palestinian theater following the elections… Hamas simultaneously carries the reform and anti-corruption slogan as well as the resistance to occupation."

Iran hails Hamas win

Iran congratulated Hamas on Thursday for its election victory and praised voters for choosing "to continue the struggle and resistance against occupation".

"The Islamic Republic of Iran congratulates Hamas and all the Palestinian soldiers and the great Islamic people," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said in a statement faxed to AFP.

"The Palestinians have voted for the resistance and have shown their loyalty," Asefi said, telling "the allies of the Zionist regime to closely examine the evolution of the region and open their eyes to the undisputable realities of the Middle East.

"The result of these elections will reinforce the unity of the Palestinian people in defending their rights. The massive participation of the Palestinians shows their will to continue the struggle and resistance against occupation."


From the Daily Star (Lebanon)
A predictable victory in a failed Palestinian state

By Shlomo Avineri

The victory of the fundamentalist Hamas in the Palestinian elections will have far-reaching consequences for the region, some totally unexpected. Two aspects, however, are already visible.

The Hamas victory is, first and foremost, an indication of the total failure of the traditional Palestinian leadership to create a body politic. Palestine is not yet a state, but it is already a failed one. Since the Oslo Accords of l993 between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the Palestinians have enjoyed limited transitional autonomy. To be sure, the new Palestinian Authority (PA) took power under difficult conditions, but which new liberation movement does not face serious challenges when it finally must govern?

The PA had an opportunity to lay the institutional foundations for a functioning state. But instead of supplying the population with the necessary infrastructure - economic development, education, welfare, medical services, housing, and refugee rehabilitation - Yasser Arafat's Fatah-led PA spent more than 70 percent of its meager budget on a dozen competing security and intelligence services, neglecting all other spheres of activity. It created a security state, very much like what is prevalent in almost all Arab countries - Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia - republics and monarchies alike.

The vacuum that the PA left elsewhere, including the social sphere, was filled by Hamas. Indeed, its popularity is due not only to its fundamentalist Islamic ideology and its commitment to the destruction of Israel. The high esteem in which Palestinians hold Hamas also grew out of what Hamas actually did for them while the PA squandered its resources.

It was not only the endemic corruption of the official Palestinian leadership that turned so many Palestinians from it. Hamas set up better schools, kindergartens, nurseries, medical centers, welfare services, and programs for youth and women - all of this in addition to giving grants to the families of suicide bombers. In the elections, Hamas received its dividend for doing what the Fatah-led PA failed to do.

It is still an open question whether Hamas in government will become more pragmatic and less committed to terrorism: it certainly is a possibility, and one should not prejudge the outcome. But nor, on the other hand, is it clear that the existing organs of the PA - especially the security services at its disposal - will allow a peaceful transfer of power. Indeed, no such precedent exists: there has almost never been a peaceful transfer of power in any of the Arab League's 22 member states.

Israel's response to Hamas' victory will obviously be complicated by its own elections on March 28, and by a government headed by acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, owing to Sharon's incapacitation just weeks after leaving Likud and founding Kadima. Despite Sharon's absence, Kadima maintains its lead in public opinion polls - the most recent one giving it 44 of the Knesset's 120 seats, compared to 21 for Labor and 14 for the right-wing rump-Likud, under Benjamin Netanyahu. Kadima's success is due to Sharon's main innovation in Israeli politics: the successful unilateral disengagement from Gaza.

That withdrawal was based on the conviction that the gaps between the Israeli and Palestinian positions are too wide to enable meaningful negotiations. Hence, Israel must start deciding the future boundaries of the country unilaterally, hoping for eventual negotiations at a later stage.

This is also the line adopted by Olmert. But Hamas' victory suggests that the gaps between the Israeli and Palestinian sides will grow even wider, and that the chances for a negotiated settlement will recede even farther into the future. This leaves further unilateral Israeli moves - such as partial withdrawals from selected areas in the West Bank - as the only feasible option. Realistic conflict management will replace utopian hopes for conflict resolution.

In a region full of paradoxes, the Hamas victory may have added another one: usually, when extremists on one side become stronger, it plays into the hands of extremists on the other side, producing a dangerous spiral effect. In this case, however, the victory of the extremist Hamas may strengthen not the extremists of Likud, but, surprisingly, the more moderate centrists of Kadima. One cannot be certain of such an outcome, of course, but it is now the best that one can realistically hope for.

Shlomo Avineri is a professor of political science at the Hebrew University and former director-general of Israel's Foreign Ministry. THE DAILY STAR publishes this commentary in collaboration with Project Syndicate (


Hamas Victory; Sow Wind, Reap Whirlwind

By Ben White
Special to

The Palestinian people have made their choice, and Hamas has completed a journey from first Intifada newcomers to sitting in power in the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Detailed analysis of what the election results will mean for internal Palestinian politics may be pre-emptive at such an early stage, but a few observations can be made about the nature of Hamas’ victory and the international response.

First of all, it is worth clarifying the factors behind Hamas’ success. On the most basic level, Hamas has proved itself adept at the kind of organization and tactics that any party requires in an election campaign. Building on its established reputation, it campaigned on the issues most important to the electorate; reform, change, and resistance. Its candidates came from diverse backgrounds, even including the Christian community.

A vote for Hamas was a vote against the Fatah-led years of institutional stagnation, corruption, and ‘peace process’ failure. Uncontested dominance and international flattery led Fatah to arrogance and dishonesty during the Oslo years, and yesterday they paid the price. However, a vote for Hamas was also a show of defiance to Israel, the US, and the so-called ‘international community’, all of whom now work themselves into contortions over how to least hypocritically applaud the democratic process and preserve the ‘anti-terror’ rhetoric.

Hamas’ support throughout the 1990s was contingent on the state of negotiations with Israel. When peace appeared within reach, their popularity decreased, and when the naked force of the occupation was unleashed, their base grew. All the while, the network of welfare and social work extended, providing services to a people stripped of dignity and self-determination.

In the first few months of the second Intifada, as the Israeli military met stones with bullets, Hamas was ready to fight fire with fire. As the American-funded F16s reduced to rubble Palestinian Authority buildings and government infrastructure, Hamas both offered the opportunity for revenge, and filled the vacuum left by the enfeebled Fatah-dominated PA.

The Palestinian people live in circumstances they feel powerless to change. The full military and state apparatus of a developed nation operate to keep them occupied and subjugated; everyday life from attending a wedding to buying property is subject to interference by the Israeli occupation. Thus the election, in providing an opportunity to briefly taste empowerment individually and collectively, was used to communicate the anger of a people torn between despair and steadfastness.

The reactions to Hamas’ victory have been as hypocritical as they have been expected.

The British Prime Minister Tony Blair chimed in with the observation that Hamas must now “decide between a path of democracy or a path of violence”, and this from a man who has gone to war at least as many times as he has won elections. President Bush pointed out that “you can’t be a partner in peace if your party has got an armed wing”, unfortunately invalidating the Israeli government’s participation in peace talks, as well as most of the political parties he is keen to hand power over to in Iraq.

On the flagship BBC Radio 4 rush hour news program ‘PM’, the presenter quizzed Israelis about whether Israel will ‘speak’ to Hamas. I am yet to hear a Palestinian being asked whether or not they are feeling magnanimous enough to ‘speak’ to Israelis, but of course, the colonized must be told who they can, and can not, choose as their representatives.

Hamas will face numerous and significant challenges, as it adapts to the accountability of power. Policy decisions are trickier than critique from the outside, and inner tensions within the movement will need resolving. Moreover, some secular-minded Muslims, and Christian Palestinians, might harbor anxieties towards an Islamist trend in society powered by the ruling faction. All these issues will take time to play out, and there are no easy answers.

Those responsible for pushing a people into a strategy of armed resistance should choose silence faced with the will of the Palestinian electorate; those punished for years of negligent rule should choose humility faced with the judgment of their people. This apparent political ‘earthquake’ has left many things unchanged; the intransigence of the occupation, continued Israeli land seizure, a traumatized Palestinian society. The newly elected Palestinian representatives have much to do.


Analysts: Win rocks political landscape
By Laila El-Haddad & Motasem Dalloul in Gaza

The election sweep by the Islamic resistance group Hamas dramatically alters the Middle East's political landscape and will have major repercussions both regionally and internationally, analysts say.

The Hamas victory, says Gaza analyst Talal Awkal, represents a true upheaval in the Palestinian political system, long dominated by solely by the Fatah party.

"Everything is going to be changed. We are in a new period. We are rebuilding the regime, we are rebuilding the Palestinian policy, we are rebuilding the mechanisms of national relations, and our way of dealing with our people," Awkal told on Thursday.

"We now have a vibrant democracy and contradictions in national relations that will bring the Palestinians to a new stage. I think these elections have strategic direct and indirect consequences on Palestinian and regional and international circumstances."

Western governments have largely shunned the Hamas victory, threatening to cut aid and saying they will not accept a government with the Islamic group in power, while celebrating the democratic process that put it there.

Burden of governance

Fatah leaders have applauded the results of what they referred to as a "democratic wedding" while warning with bitterness that the burden of governance now rests on Hamas's shoulders, saying they will not take part in any Hamas coalition.

Analysts have said that Hamas will have to take some critical decisions about their political programme in the coming days as it becomes answerable to a population desperate for real change.

Awkal believes given the political realities, those changes are inevitable.

"Hamas realises it has responsibilities inside the new regime. I think they are ready to change," he said.

"I think all the Palestinians know that change of the position for Hamas and the others will push them to think in a new way because they are now responsible inside the regime for internal Palestinian problems but and are equal with others in responsibilities."

Runners-up like the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's Mustafa Abu Ali List and former presidential hopeful Mustafa Barghouthi's Independent Palestine, once thought to be major balancing powers, are no long relevant, says lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi.

"Had there been an equal balance stand up between Hamas and Fatah, then yes, then you would say these smaller blocs would tip the balance. But very clearly Hamas is getting a distinct majority," Ashrawi said.

Religious factor

Ashrawi, who won one of two seats in the parliament under the Third Way List, says she doubts she will agree to join a coalition government with Hamas if offered the opportunity, saying she does not believe "religion should be the basis of good governance".

"I believe in a society that is open and tolerant and respects plurality. I don't want to see a a theocracy and hope Hamas doesn' work out a theocracy," said Ashrawi.

According to the veteran legislator, Hamas' victory was the result of an array of factors across the voting spectrum.

"Fatah was hogging power and not responding to people's needs and rights," she said.

"Hamas responded by getting the angry vote and the rejection and revenge vote and the protest vote and of course the reform vote, and not necessarily all the ideological vote. Part of Hamas' victory was made by Fatah."

Ashrawi also believes it is not in the former ruling party's interest to join forces with Hamas just now.

"Fatah needs to be in the opposition if they want to be distinct and put their own house in order," Ashrawi said.

"If they enter with Hamas it will be opportunistic."

Nevertheless, she says there are opportunities for coalition building with some of the other parties, something Hamas is likely to do.

"The different groups are not monolithic, I'm sure some of them will enter into an alliance [with Hamas] and others will not."

The election result is also expected to have a major impact on the Israeli political scene.

According to Arnon Regular, an Israeli political analyst and Haaretz correspondent, the Hamas victory will have a direct impact on who gets voted into power in upcoming Israeli elections.

Coming in the middle of what he calls "the Israeli electoral war" he expects the shockwaves from the Hamas win to have a major impact on the Israeli poll scheduled for March 28.

"The right wing will become more powerful than Kadima and Kadima will not survive for long as the right wing accuses Kadima and those who supported the withdrawal for the victory of Hamas," he said.

"They will accuse them with the building of what is called ''Hamasistan'."

Burden of power

Regular says the burden of the sudden and overwhelming responsibility for running a state and answering to their constituents' long and varied list of demands will oblige Hamas, who was surprised as anyone by the sweep, to make clear political decisions.

"In the beginning of the intifada, something called Hamasisation happened with Fatah, they became like Hamas; and now Fatahisation will happen to Hamas"

"Hamas was not ready for a victory. For now there is a kind of political caution and waiting," Regular said.

"Hamas must look for technocratic professionals to form the government in order to succeed," he added.

"In the coming days, Hamas will be obliged take important and clear political decisions: whether to go towards openness as the ruling Islamic party in Turkey, or the Talibani norm in Afghanistan," he said, adding he expect them to take the former route.

Regular expects there to be a change in the stance of Hamas, even if not in the near future.

"It will take a long time. It will happen with them as what happened with Fatah. In the beginning of the intifada, something called Hamasisation happened with Fatah, they became like Hamas; and now Fatahisation will happen to Hamas."


My friend Bill Berkowitz is responsible for the following piece. Bill, as described at Working for Change, "is a longtime observer of the conservative movement. His WorkingForChange column "Conservative Watch" documents the strategies, players, institutions, victories and defeats of the American Right."

'Villains honoring villains'
Bill Berkowitz - WorkingForChange

01.26.06 - "National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst." --Wallace Stegner, 1983

On October first, The Yosemite Fund, a private-sector partner of Yosemite National Park, announced that it bestowed its "Corporate Protector of the Year" award on Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc. (DNC), at a ceremony held at Yosemite's Wawona Hotel. Bob Hansen, the President of The Yosemite Fund, gave the award to Kevin Kelly, the President of DNC Parks & Resorts, and thanked him for the contributions the company has made "to the Campaign for Yosemite Falls, a monumental restoration project spearheaded by The Yosemite Fund in 1997 which came to fruition in April 2005."

In a press release dated October 14, Hansen said that the award was given to acknowledge the company's "12 years of exceptional support, including their generous annual donations and exemplary teamwork with the National Park Service to assist with the Yosemite Falls project," and for its "environmentally-friendly practices during their tenure as concessionaire in Yosemite."

"Through its GreenPath initiative, Delaware North has eliminated toxic chemicals, and instituted a phenomenal recycling program that reduces waste and preserves the environment and its resources," Hansen said.

On the same day, a US Forest Service news release announced the issuing of a 158-page concessionaire prospectus entitled "A Prospectus for the Delivery of Visitor Services, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument."

The document noted that "Offered opportunities include food service, retail sales, educational book sales, and optional museum and theater operation at Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center; retail sales, educational book sales, and optional mobile food and sundries vending at Johnston Ridge Observatory; and options to provide mobile food and sundries vending at other locations along SR504, and to develop rustic lodging and/or RV camping facilities ... Applicants whose proposals provide the Required Services specified for a complex will also be offered the opportunity to provide outfitter and guide services within the MSHNVM, including motorized and non-motorized winter activities, hiking tours, climbing tours, mountain biking tours and helicopter tours."

In a series of e-mails -- one titled "Villains Honoring Villains," and the other "Hey you, 'ya wanna buy a National Volcanic Monument?" -- Scott Silver, the executive director of Wild Wilderness, a grassroots environmental organization that has been involved with public land management issues for more than a decade, commented on the Yosemite award ceremony, and the Mount St. Helens prospective sell-off.

"Bluntly stated," Silver's first e-mail read, "the Delaware North Companies -- with $1.6 Billion in annual revenues -- is quickly taking control of America's National Parks, and The Yosemite Fund is perhaps the best example where private philanthropy is used as a substitute for Federal funding so as to help advance a larger privatization agenda." When you combine these things, "you get the Yosemite Fund conferring upon Delaware North its "Corporate Protector of the Year" Award."

In a subsequent message regarding Mount St. Helens, Silver mused: "Would any of you like to partner with me and buy ourselves control of a few hundred thousand acres of prime recreation lands -- not to mention access to a couple of million paying customers?"

According to Delaware North's Website, the company is "a leading hospitality provider with significant experience in hotel, retail, food service, recreation and transportation operations. The company's portfolio includes historic properties in North America, such as Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex; Yosemite, Sequoia, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon National Parks; Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds; Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite; Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa; Niagara Falls State Park; Jones Beach; Deer Creek Resort & Conference Center; Old Town San Diego; the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia and Denver; and The Lodge & Conference Center at Geneva State Park, Ohio."

Giving Delaware North the award, Silver wrote, is no different "than the villainous" American Recreation Coalition -- a champion of motorized recreation and public/private partnerships on public lands -- "giving Secretary of the Interior, Gale Norton -- leading the way toward commercialization and privatization of America's public lands -- or Senator Frank Murkowski (R-AK) - who has been spearheading the drilling of the Arctic National Reserve -- its much-coveted 'Great Outdoors Award.'"

In an e-mail exchange, Silver pointed out that, "Today when you visit Yosemite Valley, for example, virtually every product, good or service you consume is provided by Delaware North Companies (DNC). If you purchase a sandwich and chips, those chips are private-labeled DNC-brand chips. The National Park Service collects a small cut from DNC's take and because Congress and the President are literally starving park service budgets, the NPS has a direct incentive to encourage visitors to spend and consume."

Over the past 15-plus years, Silver added, "the Yosemite Fund, a tax-exempt corporation, has funneled more than $20,000,000 into that park, much of it coming from corporate donor and much of that money being spent on projects of interest to the Yosemite Fund."

The Yosemite Fund's website lists a group of corporate partners that pony up at least $5,000, and in exchange get the prestige of being associated with Yosemite as well as more tangible rewards including having their names placed on the "Honor Wall at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center," receiving recognition in publications such as the Fund's annual report, getting listed on the webpage and receiving special "invitations to an annual event in Yosemite and Fund holiday party." It is not much of a price to pay for companies like Chevron, Coca-Cola of California, Pacific Gas & Electric, and Bank of America that then can call themselves friends of Yosemite.

Even prior to billions spent on the war on terrorism, tax cuts for the wealthy, and the natural disasters that laid waste to the Gulf Coast and New Orleans -- which will cost additional billions -- the National Parks Service was on shaky ground, going through a major funding crunch. According to a report in The Salt Lake Tribune, that funding crunch has turned into a crisis "and it's getting worse, not better. The backlog of park maintenance projects continues to grow, staffing has been sliced to the marrow and vital science and restoration work is being delayed, if not shelved."

Crisis in America's National Parks

For more than a decade, Scott Silver has been has been sounding the alarm about the privatization of America's public lands via his valuable web site, and through a steady stream of e-mail alerts.

In 1994, Sen. Malcom Wallop gave a speech at the Cato Institute, a Washington, DC-based free-market think tank, entitled "Privatizing the Planet." The Senator maintained that "privately owned resources have been better protected than their politically managed counterparts" and concluded that "the air, the water, most species of mammals and fish and public lands have no private owners, [therefore] they have few effective protectors and defenders."

Recently, The George Wright Forum (Volume 22, #2) devoted a special issue to the privatization of the national parks. According to Silver, The George Wright Society is "well respected and mainstream and Forum is read by park managers all around the world." Silver pointed out that "the fact that it did a special edition on privatization is significant in its timing. Two of the pieces were written by pro-privatization libertarians, and the idea was to present all sides of the debate."

To Silver, "the pro-privatization articles confirmed the threats to which the anti-privatization people pointed, and on the whole, the special issue was 'fair and balanced.'"

Silver's essay, which concludes the special issue, looks at the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program -- authorized by Congress in 1996 as a rider to the Department of the Interior appropriations bill -- and its impact on the privatization of America's public lands. In short, Fee-Demo allowed "land managers to collect fees for a wider range of products, goods, and services ... [and] retain the fees they collect." Through this "alternative funding mechanism Congress was free to slash allocated funding and to force land managers to become reliant upon user fees, concessionaire fees, public-private partnerships, volunteerism, and other funding."

According to Silver, numerous pro-privatization think tanks support Fee-Demo: "Extremists seek to halt all funding of the national parks and public lands in order to create incentives to ensure that these lands become self-funding at a minimum, and preferably profitable." Land managers would ascertain the value of the resources on land it oversees and then "would sell or lease rights to those commodity values and keep the monies received."

In light of a recent extreme proposal by House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo and the Bush Interior Department "to scale back and commercialize the park system to help meet its budget needs," Subcommittee Chairman Mark Souder, R-Ind., and his fellow members stopped off in Flagstaff, Arizona in the fifth of a six-stop fact-finding mission.

However, Rep. Pombo's proposal was not the only piece of bad news coming down the pike. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that a "leaked memo draft" written by Paul Hoffman, the Assistant Interior Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, "proposed revisions of park management policies that would allow cell phone towers, low-flying tour flights and all-terrain vehicles in parks, expand snowmobile access and would limit park managers' authority to prevent development."

"We don't like what we see," Richard Smith of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, told the Subcommittee. "We are saddened to watch the ongoing efforts by the political leadership of the [Interior] Department and the Park Service to privatize our national park system, a system that author Wallace Stegner called 'the best idea America ever had.'"

Acknowledging that there needed to be some serious thinking about how to deal with the Park Service's diminishing budgets, Rep. Souder said, "Parks won't be sold. I can guarantee you that," Souder said. "But commercialization in the parks is a very tough challenge. How far and where are we going to go in allowing it? It's a valid question."

"Representative Souder asked exactly the right question," Silver explained in an email. "As of yet, no one is ready to completely sell off the National Parks, though some have made such threats. Selling parks would be the ultimate privatization step. And that is not how privatization is occurring. It is happening, instead, through a series of incremental steps."

Silver said that the privatization process has been accelerating over the past decade, and unfortunately, "very little significant resistance is being put up. These days there seems to be a sudden uproar about efforts to sell the Parks, but selling parks is not the threat we're facing today and we would be misled if we believed otherwise."

A July 1997, government-issued report titled "Terms Related to Privatization Activities and Processes" spelled out the numerous issues facing America's public lands including Asset Sale, Commercial Activities, Contracting Out, Divestiture, Franchising Of External Services, Franchising Of Internal Services, Government Corporations, Government-Sponsored Enterprises, Joint Ventures, Outsourcing, Privatization, Public-Private Partnership, Service Shedding, User Fees, Volunteer Activities, and Vouchers.

"Today, every one who cares about America's public lands should be fighting the privatization steps laid out in that 1997 document," said Scott Silver. "If we do not do so today, we will soon enough be fighting to prevent the sale of our nation's crown jewels."

Five years ago, "I gave a presentation to the Society for Environmental Journalists and warned them about how fee-demo would lead to the privatization of places such as Mount St. Helens." Ironically, Silver pointed out, the SEJ annual meeting that year "was held inside of one of Mount Helens' visitor centers, which are now up for bids."

(c) 2006 Working Assets Online. All rights reserved


The following is some news out of New Zealand. The first article is from the New Zealand based website "Stuff." The second is a press release from the group Save Happy Valley.

Anti-mine protest begins on Coast

West Coast (New Zealand) environmentalists have started an "indefinite wilderness protest" against mining and expect more activists to join them today.

Members and supporters of Save Happy Valley Coalition are camping out in protest against state coal miner Solid Energy's plans to mine part of the Upper Waimangaroa, 20km north-east of Westport.

Coalition spokeswoman Frances Mountier said the protesters camped out in bush close to the mine planned to stay for as long as it took Solid Energy and the Government to propose plans for sustainable West Coast development which did not include mining Happy Valley.

About 50 people from all over New Zealand were expected to join the protest today.

Mountier said Happy Valley was home to such threatened species as the great spotted kiwi and a giant land snail.

Her group also opposed the carbon dioxide emissions from the mined coal and said Solid Energy's environmental record in mine drainage was poor.

She invited members of the public to join the protest.

Mountier said half the protesters were coalition members, made up of students and professionals.

She denied supporters were brought in for the protest. Some who were recruited at a public meeting attended by Green Party leader Jeanette Fitzsimons in Christchurch on Monday were already interested in the cause.

"People who are willing to come and tramp in and then occupy this site have to be pretty committed already," Mountier said.

Mountier said her group, based in Christchurch, recognised the employment and other economic opportunities the mine would bring to the northern West Coast but wanted the Government to create sustainable industries in the region.

Buller Conservation Group spokesman Pete Lusk said he expected a counter-protest from supporters of the proposed Cypress opencast mine.

Greenpeace has applauded the occupation, saying coal had no future and was a health and environmental villain.

The direct action protest was inspiring, Greenpeace campaign manager Cindy Baxter said.

Solid Energy spokeswoman Vicki Blyth said the company had been aware of the planned action for some time.

Environmentalists had the right to protest and Solid Energy's only concern was that protesters might make incursions into the nearby Stockton mine.

Solid Energy had already served protesters pre-emptive trespass notices from previous protests.

"We would be seeking to confirm that to the people up there during the protest and that they were OK," she said.

"Our security people will be checking on them to make sure they are OK from a health and safety perspective."

Last year, Solid Energy staff had to walk some protesters off the mountain when weather turned bad and they got lost.

Solid Energy expects to start work at the mine in a year.

The High Court last month rejected an appeal against development and mining by Forest and Bird.

Occupation Of Happy Valley
Wednesday, 25 January 2006, 1:25 pm
Press Release: Save Happy Valley Campaign
Occupation Of Happy Valley

From Saturday 28th January Save Happy Valley Coalition members and supporters will be indefinitely occupying the site of Solid Energy’s planned opencast coal mine in Happy Valley near Westport on the West Coast.

“This mine will be such an ecological disaster that we are left with no choice but to use non-violent direct action to stop Solid Energy’s destruction of such a pristine environment.” said Frances Mountier spokesperson for the Coalition.

“The Happy Valley mine will destroy the habitat of numerous endangered species including great spotted kiwi and the carnivorous snail Powelliphanta patrickensis, release 12 million tonnes of climate changing carbon dioxide to the atmosphere from the burning of the coal, and pollute local waterways with acid mine drainage.” said Frances Mountier.

“Despite having the power to stop this mine, the Labour government is actively pursuing a path of environmental destruction for the sake of profit. This mine is a rejection of any commitment by Labour to stop climate change or protect the endangered kiwi.”

"We will occupy the mine site until Solid Energy and the Government propose plans for sustainable West Coast development that do not include mining Happy Valley. We invite members of the public to come and join us," said Frances Mountier.

After Saturday, cellphone coverage in Happy Valley is only available in specific places. If you cannot get hold of us, leave a message in Frances's voice box and we will return your calls at 10am and 3pm daily.

The Save Happy Valley Coalition is a collection of groups and individuals from around Aotearoa committed to stopping Solid Energy's proposed open cast coal mine in Happy Valley (Upper Waimangaroa Valley) on the West Coast. The coalition is made up of West Coast locals, students, workers and the general public. The group has a track record of creative protests, occupations and lock-ons as well as producing a variety of informative media. More information about the coalition and its history can be found at

Thursday, January 26, 2006


You are going to hear a whole lot of talk about the Hamas Covenant following the Palesinian elections yesterday. You have probably never actually seen it. It is interesting to note that in a review article found on its web site, Aljazeera points out, "The Hamas Covenant cites the long-discredited anti-Semitic fraud, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, describing it as "the embodiment of the Zionist plan to usurp Palestine". Hamas dismisses the Freemasons, Lions Club, and the Rotarians as organizations promoting 'the interest of Zionism.' It accuses those organizations, and the 'Zionist invasion' in general, of being "behind the drug trade and alcoholism in all its kinds."

Anyway, here it is.


The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS)-Palestine

1 Muharram 1409 Hijri
18 August 1988

In The Name Of The Most Merciful Allah

"Ye are the best nation that hath been raised up unto mankind: ye command that which is just, and ye forbid that which is unjust, and ye believe in Allah. And if they who have received the scriptures had believed, it had surely been the better for them: there are believers among them, but the greater part of them are transgressors. They shall not hurt you, unless with a slight hurt; and if they fight against you, they shall turn their backs to you, and they shall not be helped. They are smitten with vileness wheresoever they are found; unless they obtain security by entering into a treaty with Allah, and a treaty with men; and they draw on themselves indignation from Allah, and they are afflicted with poverty. This they suffer, because they disbelieved the signs of Allah, and slew the prophets unjustly; this, because they were rebellious, and transgressed." (Al-Imran - verses 109-111). (Translator's note: Translations of the Koran quotations are taken from George Sale's "The Koran". The only departure is the word "God" which is replaced by the word "Allah" throughout.)

Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it" (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

"The Islamic world is on fire. Each of us should pour some water, no matter how little, to extinguish whatever one can without waiting for the others." (Sheikh Amjad al-Zahawi, of blessed memory).


In The Name Of The Most Merciful Allah


Praise be unto Allah, to whom we resort for help, and whose forgiveness, guidance and support we seek; Allah bless the Prophet and grant him salvation, his companions and supporters, and to those who carried out his message and adopted his laws - everlasting prayers and salvation as long as the earth and heaven will last. Hereafter:

O People:

Out of the midst of troubles and the sea of suffering, out of the palpitations of faithful hearts and cleansed arms; out of the sense of duty, and in response to Allah's command, the call has gone out rallying people together and making them follow the ways of Allah, leading them to have determined will in order to fulfill their role in life, to overcome all obstacles, and surmount the difficulties on the way. Constant preparation has continued and so has the readiness to sacrifice life and all that is precious for the sake of Allah.

Thus it was that the nucleus (of the movement) was formed and started to pave its way through the tempestuous sea of hopes and expectations, of wishes and yearnings, of troubles and obstacles, of pain and challenges, both inside and outside.

When the idea was ripe, the seed grew and the plant struck root in the soil of reality, away from passing emotions, and hateful haste. The Islamic Resistance Movement emerged to carry out its role through striving for the sake of its Creator,


its arms intertwined with those of all the fighters for the liberation of Palestine. The spirits of its fighters meet with the spirits of all the fighters who have sacrificed their lives on the soil of Palestine, ever since it was conquered by the companions of the Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, and until this day.

This Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS), clarifies its picture, reveals its identity, outlines its stand, explains its aims, speaks about its hopes, and calls for its support, adoption and joining its ranks. Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah's victory is realised.

Thus we see them coming on the horizon "and you shall learn about it hereafter" "Allah hath written, Verily I will prevail, and my apostles: for Allah is strong and mighty." (The Dispute - verse 21).

"Say to them, This is my way: I invite you to Allah, by an evident demonstration; both I and he who followeth me; and, praise be unto Allah! I am not an idolator." (Joseph - verse 107).


Hamas (means) strength and bravery -(according to) Al-Mua'jam al-Wasit: c1.


Chapter One

Definition of the Movement

Ideological Starting-Points

Article One:

The Islamic Resistance Movement: The Movement's programme is Islam. From it, it draws its ideas, ways of thinking and understanding of the universe, life and man. It resorts to it for judgement in all its conduct, and it is inspired by it for guidance of its steps.

The Islamic Resistance Movement's Relation With the Moslem Brotherhood Group:

Article Two:

The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Moslem Brotherhood in Palestine. Moslem Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times. It is characterised by its deep understanding, accurate comprehension and its complete embrace of all Islamic concepts of all aspects of life, culture, creed, politics, economics, education, society, justice and judgement, the spreading of Islam, education, art, information, science of the occult and conversion to Islam.

Structure and Formation

Article Three:

The basic structure of the Islamic Resistance Movement consists of Moslems who have given their allegiance to Allah


whom they truly worship, - "I have created the jinn and humans only for the purpose of worshipping" - who know their duty towards themselves, their families and country. In all that, they fear Allah and raise the banner of Jihad in the face of the oppressors, so that they would rid the land and the people of their uncleanliness, vileness and evils.

"But we will oppose truth to vanity, and it shall confound the same; and behold, it shall vanish away." (Prophets - verse 18).

Article Four:

The Islamic Resistance Movement welcomes every Moslem who embraces its faith, ideology, follows its programme, keeps its secrets, and wants to belong to its ranks and carry out the duty. Allah will certainly reward such one.

Time and Place Extent of the Islamic Resistance Movement:

Article Five:

Time extent of the Islamic Resistance Movement: By adopting Islam as its way of life, the Movement goes back to the time of the birth of the Islamic message, of the righteous ancestor, for Allah is its target, the Prophet is its example and the Koran is its constitution. Its extent in place is anywhere that there are Moslems who embrace Islam as their way of life everywhere in the globe. This being so, it extends to the depth of the earth and reaches out to the heaven.

"Dost thou not see how Allah putteth forth a parable; representing a good word, as a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed in the earth, and whose branches reach unto heaven; which bringeth forth its fruit in all seasons, by the will of its Lord? Allah propoundeth parables unto men, that they may be instructed." (Abraham - verses 24-25).


Characteristics and Independence:

Article Six:

The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinguished Palestinian movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and whose way of life is Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine, for under the wing of Islam followers of all religions can coexist in security and safety where their lives, possessions and rights are concerned. In the absence of Islam, strife will be rife, oppression spreads, evil prevails and schisms and wars will break out.

How excellent was the Moslem poet, Mohamed Ikbal, when he wrote: "If faith is lost, there is no security and there is no life for him who does not adhere to religion. He who accepts life without religion, has taken annihilation as his companion for life."

The Universality of the Islamic Resistance Movement:

Article Seven:

As a result of the fact that those Moslems who adhere to the ways of the Islamic Resistance Movement spread all over the world, rally support for it and its stands, strive towards enhancing its struggle, the Movement is a universal one. It is well-equipped for that because of the clarity of its ideology, the nobility of its aim and the loftiness of its objectives.

On this basis, the Movement should be viewed and evaluated, and its role be recognised. He who denies its right, evades supporting it and turns a blind eye to facts, whether intentionally or unintentionally, would awaken to see that events have overtaken him and with no logic to justify his attitude. One


should certainly learn from past examples. The injustice of next-of-kin is harder to bear than the smite of the Indian sword.

"We have also sent down unto thee the book of the Koran with truth, confirming that scripture which was revealed before it; and preserving the same safe from corruption. Judge therefore between them according to that which Allah hath revealed; and follow not their desires, by swerving from the truth which hath come unto thee. Unto every of you have we given a law, and an open path; and if Allah had pleased, he had surely made you one people; but he hath thought it fit to give you different laws, that he might try you in that which he hath given you respectively. Therefore strive to excel each other in good works; unto Allah shall ye all return, and then will he declare unto you that concerning which ye have disagreed." (The Table, verse 48).

The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders. It goes back to 1939, to the emergence of the martyr Izz al-Din al Kissam and his brethren the fighters, members of Moslem Brotherhood. It goes on to reach out and become one with another chain that includes the struggle of the Palestinians and Moslem Brotherhood in the 1948 war and the Jihad operations of the Moslem Brotherhood in 1968 and after.

Moreover, if the links have been distant from each other and if obstacles, placed by those who are the lackeys of Zionism in the way of the fighters obstructed the continuation of the struggle, the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah's promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind


stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).

The Slogan of the Islamic Resistance Movement:

Article Eight:

Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.



Incentives and Objectives:

Article Nine:

The Islamic Resistance Movement found itself at a time when Islam has disappeared from life. Thus rules shook, concepts were upset, values changed and evil people took control, oppression and darkness prevailed, cowards became like tigers: homelands were usurped, people were scattered and were caused to wander all over the world, the state of justice disappeared and the state of falsehood replaced it. Nothing remained in its right place. Thus, when Islam is absent from the arena, everything changes. From this state of affairs the incentives are drawn.

As for the objectives: They are the fighting against the false, defeating it and vanquishing it so that justice could prevail,


homelands be retrieved and from its mosques would the voice of the mu'azen emerge declaring the establishment of the state of Islam, so that people and things would return each to their right places and Allah is our helper.

"...and if Allah had not prevented men, the one by the other, verily the earth had been corrupted: but Allah is beneficient towards his creatures." (The Cow - verse 251).

Article Ten:

As the Islamic Resistance Movement paves its way, it will back the oppressed and support the wronged with all its might. It will spare no effort to bring about justice and defeat injustice, in word and deed, in this place and everywhere it can reach and have influence therein.





Article Eleven:

The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land


consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgement Day. This being so, who could claim to have the right to represent Moslem generations till Judgement Day?

This is the law governing the land of Palestine in the Islamic Sharia (law) and the same goes for any land the Moslems have conquered by force, because during the times of (Islamic) conquests, the Moslems consecrated these lands to Moslem generations till the Day of Judgement.

It happened like this: When the leaders of the Islamic armies conquered Syria and Iraq, they sent to the Caliph of the Moslems, Umar bin-el-Khatab, asking for his advice concerning the conquered land - whether they should divide it among the soldiers, or leave it for its owners, or what? After consultations and discussions between the Caliph of the Moslems, Omar bin-el-Khatab and companions of the Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, it was decided that the land should be left with its owners who could benefit by its fruit. As for the real ownership of the land and the land itself, it should be consecrated for Moslem generations till Judgement Day. Those who are on the land, are there only to benefit from its fruit. This Waqf remains as long as earth and heaven remain. Any procedure in contradiction to Islamic Sharia, where Palestine is concerned, is null and void.

"Verily, this is a certain truth. Wherefore praise the name of thy Lord, the great Allah." (The Inevitable - verse 95).

Homeland and Nationalism from the Point of View of the Islamic Resistance Movement in Palestine:

Article Twelve:

Nationalism, from the point of view of the Islamic Resistance Movement, is part of the religious creed. Nothing in nationalism is more significant or deeper than in the case when an enemy


should tread Moslem land. Resisting and quelling the enemy become the individual duty of every Moslem, male or female. A woman can go out to fight the enemy without her husband's permission, and so does the slave: without his master's permission.

Nothing of the sort is to be found in any other regime. This is an undisputed fact. If other nationalist movements are connected with materialistic, human or regional causes, nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement has all these elements as well as the more important elements that give it soul and life. It is connected to the source of spirit and the granter of life, hoisting in the sky of the homeland the heavenly banner that joins earth and heaven with a strong bond.

If Moses comes and throws his staff, both witch and magic are annulled.

"Now is the right direction manifestly distinguished from deceit: whoever therefore shall deny Tagut, and believe in Allah, he shall surely take hold with a strong handle, which shall not be broken; Allah is he who heareth and seeth." (The Cow - Verse 256).

Peaceful Solutions, Initiatives and International Conferences:

Article Thirteen:

Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement. Abusing any part of Palestine is abuse directed against part of religion. Nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its religion. Its members have been fed on that. For the sake of hoisting the banner of Allah over their homeland they fight. "Allah will be prominent, but most people do not know."


Now and then the call goes out for the convening of an international conference to look for ways of solving the (Palestinian) question. Some accept, others reject the idea, for this or other reason, with one stipulation or more for consent to convening the conference and participating in it. Knowing the parties constituting the conference, their past and present attitudes towards Moslem problems, the Islamic Resistance Movement does not consider these conferences capable of realising the demands, restoring the rights or doing justice to the oppressed. These conferences are only ways of setting the infidels in the land of the Moslems as arbitraters. When did the infidels do justice to the believers? "But the Jews will not be pleased with thee, neither the Christians, until thou follow their religion; say, The direction of Allah is the true direction. And verily if thou follow their desires, after the knowledge which hath been given thee, thou shalt find no patron or protector against Allah." (The Cow - verse 120).

Peaceful Solutions, Initiatives and International Conferences:

Article Thirteen:

Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement. Abusing any part of Palestine is abuse directed against part of religion. Nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its religion. Its members have been fed on that. For the sake of hoisting the banner of Allah over their homeland they fight. "Allah will be prominent, but most people do not know."


Now and then the call goes out for the convening of an international conference to look for ways of solving the (Palestinian) question. Some accept, others reject the idea, for this or other reason, with one stipulation or more for consent to convening the conference and participating in it. Knowing the parties constituting the conference, their past and present attitudes towards Moslem problems, the Islamic Resistance Movement does not consider these conferences capable of realising the demands, restoring the rights or doing justice to the oppressed. These conferences are only ways of setting the infidels in the land of the Moslems as arbitraters. When did the infidels do justice to the believers? "But the Jews will not be pleased with thee, neither the Christians, until thou follow their religion; say, The direction of Allah is the true direction. And verily if thou follow their desires, after the knowledge which hath been given thee, thou shalt find no patron or protector against Allah." (The Cow - verse 120).

There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors. The Palestinian people know better than to consent to having their future, rights and fate toyed with. As in said in the honourable Hadith:

"The people of Syria are Allah's lash in His land. He wreaks His vengeance through them against whomsoever He wishes among His slaves It is unthinkable that those who are double-faced among them should prosper over the faithful. They will certainly die out of grief and desperation."

The Three Circles:

Article Fourteen:

e question of the liberation of Palestine is bound to three circles: the Palestinian circle, the Arab circle and the Islamic


circle. Each of these circles has its role in the struggle against Zionism. Each has its duties, and it is a horrible mistake and a sign of deep ignorance to overlook any of these circles. Palestine is an Islamic land which has the first of the two kiblahs (direction to which Moslems turn in praying), the third of the holy (Islamic) sanctuaries, and the point of departure for Mohamed's midnight journey to the seven heavens (i.e. Jerusalem). "Praise be unto him who transported his servant by night, from the sacred temple of Mecca to the farther temple of Jerusalem, the circuit of which we have blessed, that we might show him some of our signs; for Allah is he who heareth, and seeth." (The Night-Journey - verse 1).

Since this is the case, liberation of Palestine is then an individual duty for very Moslem wherever he may be. On this basis, the problem should be viewed. This should be realised by every Moslem.

The day the problem is dealt with on this basis, when the three circles mobilize their capabilities, the present state of affairs will change and the day of liberation will come nearer. "Verily ye are stronger than they, by reason of the terror cast into their breasts from Allah. This, because they are not people of prudence." (The Emigration - verse 13).

The Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine is an Individual Duty:

Article Fifteen:

The day that enemies usurp part of Moslem land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Moslem. In face of the Jews' usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised. To do this requires the diffusion of Islamic consciousness among the masses, both on the regional, Arab and


Islamic levels. It is necessary to instill the spirit of Jihad in the heart of the nation so that they would confront the enemies and join the ranks of the fighters.

It is necessary that scientists, educators and teachers, information and media people, as well as the educated masses, especially the youth and sheikhs of the Islamic movements, should take part in the operation of awakening (the masses). It is important that basic changes be made in the school curriculum, to cleanse it of the traces of ideological invasion that affected it as a result of the orientalists and missionaries who infiltrated the region following the defeat of the Crusaders at the hands of Salah el-Din (Saladin). The Crusaders realised that it was impossible to defeat the Moslems without first having ideological invasion pave the way by upsetting their thoughts, disfiguring their heritage and violating their ideals. Only then could they invade with soldiers. This, in its turn, paved the way for the imperialistic invasion that made Allenby declare on entering Jerusalem: "Only now have the Crusades ended." General Guru stood at Salah el-Din's grave and said: "We have returned, O Salah el-Din." Imperialism has helped towards the strengthening of ideological invasion, deepening, and still does, its roots. All this has paved the way towards the loss of Palestine.

It is necessary to instill in the minds of the Moslem generations that the Palestinian problem is a religious problem, and should be dealt with on this basis. Palestine contains Islamic holy sites. In it there is al- Aqsa Mosque which is bound to the great Mosque in Mecca in an inseparable bond as long as heaven and earth speak of Isra` (Mohammed's midnight journey to the seven heavens) and Mi'raj (Mohammed's ascension to the seven heavens from Jerusalem).

"The bond of one day for the sake of Allah is better than the world and whatever there is on it. The place of one's whip


in Paradise is far better than the world and whatever there is on it. A worshipper's going and coming in the service of Allah is better than the world and whatever there is on it." (As related by al-Bukhari, Moslem, al-Tarmdhi and Ibn Maja).

"I swear by the holder of Mohammed's soul that I would like to invade and be killed for the sake of Allah, then invade and be killed, and then invade again and be killed." (As related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).

The Education of the Generations:

Article Sixteen:

It is necessary to follow Islamic orientation in educating the Islamic generations in our region by teaching the religious duties, comprehensive study of the Koran, the study of the Prophet's Sunna (his sayings and doings), and learning about Islamic history and heritage from their authentic sources. This should be done by specialised and learned people, using a curriculum that would healthily form the thoughts and faith of the Moslem student. Side by side with this, a comprehensive study of the enemy, his human and financial capabilities, learning about his points of weakness and strength, and getting to know the forces supporting and helping him, should also be included. Also, it is important to be acquainted with the current events, to follow what is new and to study the analysis and commentaries made of these events. Planning for the present and future, studying every trend appearing, is a must so that the fighting Moslem would live knowing his aim, objective and his way in the midst of what is going on around him.

"O my son, verily every matter, whether good or bad, though it be the weight of a grain of mustard-seed, and be hidden in a rock, or in the heavens, or in the earth, Allah will bring the same to light; for Allah is clear-sighted and knowing. O my son,


be constant at prayer, and command that which is just, and forbid that which is evil: and be patient under the afflictions which shall befall thee; for this is a duty absolutely incumbent on all men. Distort not thy face out of contempt to men, neither walk in the earth with insolence; for Allah loveth no arrogant, vain-glorious person." (Lokman - verses 16-18).

The Role of the Moslem Woman:

Article Seventeen:

The Moslem woman has a role no less important than that of the moslem man in the battle of liberation. She is the maker of men. Her role in guiding and educating the new generations is great. The enemies have realised the importance of her role. They consider that if they are able to direct and bring her up they way they wish, far from Islam, they would have won the battle. That is why you find them giving these attempts constant attention through information campaigns, films, and the school curriculum, using for that purpose their lackeys who are infiltrated through Zionist organizations under various names and shapes, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, espionage groups and others, which are all nothing more than cells of subversion and saboteurs. These organizations have ample resources that enable them to play their role in societies for the purpose of achieving the Zionist targets and to deepen the concepts that would serve the enemy. These organizations operate in the absence of Islam and its estrangement among its people. TheIslamic peoples should perform their role in confronting the conspiracies of these saboteurs. The day Islam is in control of guiding the affairs of life, these organizations, hostile to humanity and Islam, will be obliterated.


Article Eighteen:

Woman in the home of the fighting family, whether she is a mother or a sister, plays the most important role in looking after the family, rearing the children and embuing them with moral values and thoughts derived from Islam. She has to teach them to perform the religious duties in preparation for the role of fighting awaiting them. That is why it is necessary to pay great attention to schools and the curriculum followed in educating Moslem girls, so that they would grow up to be good mothers, aware of their role in the battle of liberation.

She has to be of sufficient knowledge and understanding where the performance of housekeeping matters are concerned, because economy and avoidance of waste of the family budget, is one of the requirements for the ability to continue moving forward in the difficult conditions surrounding us. She should put before her eyes the fact that the money available to her is just like blood which should never flow except through the veins so that both children and grown-ups could continue to live.

"Verily, the Moslems of either sex, and the true believers of either sex, and the devout men, and the devout women, and the men of veracity, and the women of veracity, and the patient men, and the patient women, and the humble men, and the humble women, and the alms-givers of either sex who remember Allah frequently; for them hath Allah prepared forgiveness and a great reward." (The Confederates - verse 25).

The Role of Islamic Art in the Battle of Liberation:

Article Nineteen:

Art has regulations and measures by which it can be determined whether it is Islamic or pre-Islamic (Jahili) art. The


issues of Islamic liberation are in need of Islamic art that would take the spirit high, without raising one side of human nature above the other, but rather raise all of them harmoniously an in equilibrium.

Man is a unique and wonderful creature, made out of a handful of clay and a breath from Allah. Islamic art addresses man on this basis, while pre-Islamic art addresses the body giving preference to the clay component in it.

The book, the article, the bulletin, the sermon, the thesis, the popular poem, the poetic ode, the song, the play and others, contain the characteristics of Islamic art, then these are among the requirements of ideological mobilization, renewed food for the journey and recreation for the soul. The road is long and suffering is plenty. The soul will be bored, but Islamic art renews the energies, resurrects the movement, arousing in them lofty meanings and proper conduct. "Nothing can improve the self if it is in retreat except shifting from one mood to another."

All this is utterly serious and no jest, for those who are fighters do not jest.

Social Mutual Responsibility:

Article Twenty:

Moslem society is a mutually responsible society. The Prophet, prayers and greetings be unto him, said: "Blessed are the generous, whether they were in town or on a journey, who have collected all that they had and shared it equally among themselves."

The Islamic spirit is what should prevail in every Moslem society. The society that confronts a vicious enemy which acts


in a way similar to Nazism, making no differentiation between man and woman, between children and old people - such a society is entitled to this Islamic spirit. Our enemy relies on the methods of collective punishment. He has deprived people of their homeland and properties, pursued them in their places of exile and gathering, breaking bones, shooting at women, children and old people, with or without a reason. The enemy has opened detention camps where thousands and thousands of people are thrown and kept under sub-human conditions. Added to this, are the demolition of houses, rendering children orphans, meting cruel sentences against thousands of young people, and causing them to spend the best years of their lives in the dungeons of prisons.

In their Nazi treatment, the Jews made no exception for women or children. Their policy of striking fear in the heart is meant for all. They attack people where their breadwinning is concerned, extorting their money and threatening their honour. They deal with people as if they were the worst war criminals. Deportation from the homeland is a kind of murder.

To counter these deeds, it is necessary that social mutual responsibility should prevail among the people. The enemy should be faced by the people as a single body which if one member of it should complain, the rest of the body would respond by feeling the same pains.

Article Twenty-One:

Mutual social responsibility means extending assistance, financial or moral, to all those who are in need and joining in the execution of some of the work. Members of the Islamic Resistance Movement should consider the interests of the masses as their own personal interests. They must spare no effort in achieving and preserving them. They must prevent any foul play


Mutual social responsibility means extending assistance, financial or moral, to all those who are in need and joining in the execution of some of the work. Members of the Islamic Resistance Movement should consider the interests of the masses as their own personal interests. They must spare no effort in achieving and preserving them. They must prevent any foul play with the future of the upcoming generations and anything that could cause loss to society. The masses are part of them and they are part of the masses. Their strength is theirs, and their future is theirs. Members of the Islamic Resistance Movement should share the people's joy and grief, adopt the demands of the public and whatever means by which they could be realised. The day that such a spirit prevails, brotherliness would deepen, cooperation, sympathy and unity will be enhanced and the ranks will be solidified to confront the enemies.

Supportive Forces Behind the Enemy:

Article Twenty-Two:

For a long time, the enemies have been planning, skillfully and with precision, for the achievement of what they have attained. They took into consideration the causes affecting the current of events. They strived to amass great and substantive material wealth which they devoted to the realisation of their dream. With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there.


You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.

"So often as they shall kindle a fire for war, Allah shall extinguish it; and they shall set their minds to act corruptly in the earth, but Allah loveth not the corrupt doers." (The Table - verse 64).

The imperialistic forces in the Capitalist West and Communist East, support the enemy with all their might, in money and in men. These forces take turns in doing that. The day Islam appears, the forces of infidelity would unite to challenge it, for the infidels are of one nation.

"O true believers, contract not an intimate friendship with any besides yourselves: they will not fail to corrupt you. They wish for that which may cause you to perish: their hatred hath already appeared from out of their mouths; but what their breasts conceal is yet more inveterate. We have already shown you signs of their ill will towards you, if ye understand." (The Family of Imran - verse 118).

It is not in vain that the verse is ended with Allah's words "if ye understand."




A. Islamic Movements:

Article Twenty-Three:

Article Twenty-Three: The Islamic Resistance Movement views other Islamic movements with respect and appreciation. If it were at variance with them on one point or opinion, it is in agreement with them on other points and understandings. It considers these movements, if they reveal good intentions and dedication to Allah, that they fall into the category of those who are trying hard since they act within the Islamic circle. Each active person has his share.

The Islamic Resistance Movement considers all these movements as a fund for itself. It prays to Allah for guidance and directions for all and it spares no effort to keep the banner of unity raised, ever striving for its realisation in accordance with the Koran and the Prophet's directives.

"And cleave all of you unto the covenant of Allah, and depart not from it, and remember the favour of Allah towards you: since ye were enemies, and he reconciled your hearts, and ye became companions and brethren by his favour: and ye were on the brink of a pit of fire, and he delivered you thence. Allah declareth unto you his signs, that ye may be directed." (The Family of Imran - Verse 102).

Article Twenty-Four:

The Islamic Resistance Movement does not allow slandering or speaking ill of individuals or groups, for the believer does not


indulge in such malpractices. It is necessary to differentiate between this behaviour and the stands taken by certain individuals and groups. Whenever those stands are erroneous, the Islamic Resistance Movement preserves the right to expound the error and to warn against it. It will strive to show the right path and to judge the case in question with objectivity. Wise conduct is indeed the target of the believer who follows it wherever he discerns it.

"Allah loveth not the speaking ill of anyone in public, unless he who is injured call for assistance; and Allah heareth and knoweth: whether ye publish a good action, or conceal it, or forgive evil, verily Allah is gracious and powerful." (Women - verses 147-148).

B. Nationalist Movements in the Palestinian Arena:

Article Twenty-Five:

The Islamic Resistance Movement respects these movements and appreciates their circumstances and the conditions surrounding and affecting them. It encourages them as long as they do not give their allegiance to the Communist East or the Crusading West. It confirms to all those who are integrated in it, or sympathetic towards it, that the Islamic Resistance Movement is a fighting movement that has a moral and enlightened look of life and the way it should cooperate with the other (movements). It detests opportunism and desires only the good of people, individuals and groups alike. It does not seek material gains, personal fame, nor does it look for a reward from others. It works with its own resources and whatever is at its disposal "and prepare for them whatever force you can", for the fulfilment of the duty, and the earning of Allah's favour. It has no other desire than that.


The Movement assures all the nationalist trends operating in the Palestinian arena for the liberation of Palestine, that it is there for their support and assistance. It will never be more than that, both in words and deeds, now and in the future. It is there to bring together and not to divide, to preserve and not to squander, to unify and not to throw asunder. It evaluates every good word, sincere effort and good offices. It closes the door in the face of side disagreements and does not lend an ear to rumours and slanders, while at the same time fully realising the right for self-defence.

Anything contrary or contradictory to these trends, is a lie disseminated by enemies or their lackeys for the purpose of sowing confusion, disrupting the ranks and occupy them with side issues.

"O true believers, if a wicked man come unto you with a tale, inquire strictly into the truth thereof; lest ye hurt people through ignorance, and afterwards repent of what ye have done." (The Inner Apartments - verse 6).

Article Twenty-Six:

In viewing the Palestinian nationalist movements that give allegiance neither to the East nor the West, in this positive way, the Islamic Resistance Movement does not refrain from discussing new situations on the regional or international levels where the Palestinian question is concerned. It does that in such an objective manner revealing the extent of how much it is in harmony or contradiction with the national interests in the light of the Islamic point of view.


C. The Palestinian Liberation Organization:

Article Twenty-Seven:

The Palestinian Liberation Organization is the closest to the heart of the Islamic Resistance Movement. It contains the father and the brother, the next of kin and the friend. The Moslem does not estrange himself from his father, brother, next of kin or friend. Our homeland is one, our situation is one, our fate is one and the enemy is a joint enemy to all of us.

Because of the situations surrounding the formation of the Organization, of the ideological confusion prevailing in the Arab world as a result of the ideological invasion under whose influence the Arab world has fallen since the defeat of the Crusaders and which was, and still is, intensified through orientalists, missionaries and imperialists, the Organization adopted the idea of the secular state. And that it how we view it.

Secularism completely contradicts religious ideology. Attitudes, conduct and decisions stem from ideologies.

That is why, with all our appreciation for the Palestine Liberation Organization - and what it can develop into - and without belittling its role in the Arab-Israeli conflict, we are unable to exchange the present or future Islamic Palestine with the secular idea. The Islamic nature of Palestine is part of our religion and whoever takes his religion lightly is a loser. "Who will be adverse to the religion of Abraham, but he whose mind is infatuated? (The Cow - verse 130).

The day the Palestine Liberation Organization adopts Islam as its way of life, we will become its soldiers, and fuel for its fire that will burn the enemies.


Until such a day, and we pray to Allah that it will be soon, the Islamic Resistance Movement's stand towards the PLO is that of the son towards his father, the brother towards his brother, and the relative to relative, suffers his pain and supports him in confronting the enemies, wishing him to be wise and well-guided.

"Stand by your brother, for he who is brotherless is like the fighter who goes to battle without arms. One's cousin is the wing one flies with - could the bird fly without wings?"

D. Arab and Islamic Countries:

Article Twenty-Eight:

The Zionist invasion is a vicious invasion. It does not refrain from resorting to all methods, using all evil and contemptible ways to achieve its end. It relies greatly in its infiltration and espionage operations on the secret organizations it gave rise to, such as the Freemasons, The Rotary and Lions clubs, and other sabotage groups. All these organizations, whether secret or open, work in the interest of Zionism and according to its instructions. They aim at undermining societies, destroying values, corrupting consciences, deteriorating character and annihilating Islam. It is behind the drug trade and alcoholism in all its kinds so as to facilitate its control and expansion.

Arab countries surrounding Israel are asked to open their borders before the fighters from among the Arab and Islamic nations so that they could consolidate their efforts with those of their Moslem brethren in Palestine.

As for the other Arab and Islamic countries, they are asked to facilitate the movement of the fighters from and to it, and this is the least thing they could do.


We should not forget to remind every Moslem that when the Jews conquered the Holy City in 1967, they stood on the threshold of the Aqsa Mosque and proclaimed that "Mohammed is dead, and his descendants are all women."

Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Moslem people. "May the cowards never sleep."

E. Nationalist and Religious Groupings, Institutions, Intellectuals, The Arab and Islamic World:

The Islamic Resistance Movement hopes that all these groupings will side with it in all spheres, would support it, adopt its stand and solidify its activities and moves, work towards rallying support for it so that the Islamic people will be a base and a stay for it, supplying it with strategic depth an all human material and informative spheres, in time and in place. This should be done through the convening of solidarity conferences, the issuing of explanatory bulletins, favourable articles and booklets, enlightening the masses regarding the Palestinian issue, clarifying what confronts it and the conspiracies woven around it. They should mobilize the Islamic nations, ideologically, educationally and culturally, so that these peoples would be equipped to perform their role in the decisive battle of liberation, just as they did when they vanquished the Crusaders and the Tatars and saved human civilization. Indeed, that is not difficult for Allah.

"Allah hath written, Verily I will prevail, and my apostles: for Allah is strong and mighty." (The Dispute - verse 21).


Article Thirty:

Writers, intellectuals, media people, orators, educaters and teachers, and all the various sectors in the Arab and Islamic world - all of them are called upon to perform their role, and to fulfill their duty, because of the ferocity of the Zionist offensive and the Zionist influence in many countries exercised through financial and media control, as well as the consequences that all this lead to in the greater part of the world.

Jihad is not confined to the carrying of arms and the confrontation of the enemy. The effective word, the good article, the useful book, support and solidarity - together with the presence of sincere purpose for the hoisting of Allah's banner higher and higher - all these are elements of the Jihad for Allah's sake.

"Whosoever mobilises a fighter for the sake of Allah is himself a fighter. Whosoever supports the relatives of a fighter, he himself is a fighter." (related by al-Bukhari, Moslem, Abu-Dawood and al-Tarmadhi).

F. Followers of Other Religions:

The Islamic Resistance Movement Is A Humanistic Movement:

Article Thirty-One:

The Islamic Resistance Movement is a humanistic movement. It takes care of human rights and is guided by Islamic tolerance when dealing with the followers of other religions. It does not antagonize anyone of them except if it is antagonized by it or stands in its way to hamper its moves and waste its efforts.

Under the wing of Islam, it is possible for the followers of the three religions - Islam, Christianity and Judaism - to


coexist in peace and quiet with each other. Peace and quiet would not be possible except under the wing of Islam. Past and present history are the best witness to that.

It is the duty of the followers of other religions to stop disputing the sovereignty of Islam in this region, because the day these followers should take over there will be nothing but carnage, displacement and terror. Everyone of them is at variance with his fellow-religionists, not to speak about followers of other religionists. Past and present history are full of examples to prove this fact.

"They will not fight against you in a body, except in fenced towns, or from behind walls. Their strength in war among themselves is great: thou thinkest them to be united; but their hearts are divided. This, because they are people who do not understand." (The Emigration - verse 14).

Islam confers upon everyone his legitimate rights. Islam prevents the incursion on other people's rights. The Zionist Nazi activities against our people will not last for long. "For the state of injustice lasts but one day, while the state of justice lasts till Doomsday."

"As to those who have not borne arms against you on account of religion, nor turned you out of your dwellings, Allah forbiddeth you not to deal kindly with them, and to behave justly towards them; for Allah loveth those who act justly." (The Tried - verse 8).


The Attempt to Isolate the Palestinian People:

Article Thirty-Two:

World Zionism, together with imperialistic powers, try through a studied plan and an intelligent strategy to remove one Arab state after another from the circle of struggle against Zionism, in order to have it finally face the Palestinian people only. Egypt was, to a great extent, removed from the circle of the struggle, through the treacherous Camp David Agreement. They are trying to draw other Arab countries into similar agreements and to bring them outside the circle of struggle.

The Islamic Resistance Movement calls on Arab and Islamic nations to take up the line of serious and persevering action to prevent the success of this horrendous plan, to warn the people of the danger eminating from leaving the circle of struggle against Zionism. Today it is Palestine, tomorrow it will be one country or another. The Zionist plan is limitless. After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.

Leaving the circle of struggle with Zionism is high treason, and cursed be he who does that. "for whoso shall turn his back unto them on that day, unless he turneth aside to fight, or retreateth to another party of the faithful, shall draw on himself the indignation of Allah, and his abode shall be hell; an ill journey shall it be thither." (The Spoils - verse 16). There is no way out except by concentrating all powers and energies to face this Nazi, vicious Tatar invasion. The alternative is loss of one's country, the dispersion of citizens, the spread of vice on earth and the destruction of religious values. Let every person know that he is responsible before Allah, for "the doer of the


slightest good deed is rewarded in like, and the does of the slightest evil deed is also rewarded in like."

The Islamic Resistance Movement consider itself to be the spearhead of the circle of struggle with world Zionism and a step on the road. The Movement adds its efforts to the efforts of all those who are active in the Palestinian arena. Arab and Islamic Peoples should augment by further steps on their part; Islamic groupings all over the Arab world should also do the same, since all of these are the best-equipped for the future role in the fight with the warmongering Jews.

"..and we have put enmity and hatred between them, until the day of resurrection. So often as they shall kindle a fire of war, Allah shall extinguish it; and they shall set their minds to act corruptly in the earth, but Allah loveth not the corrupt doers." (The Table - verse 64).

Article Thirty-Three:

Article Thirty-Three: The Islamic Resistance Movement, being based on the common coordinated and interdependent conceptions of the laws of the universe, and flowing in the stream of destiny in confronting and fighting the enemies in defence of the Moslems and Islamic civilization and sacred sites, the first among which is the Aqsa Mosque, urges the Arab and Islamic peoples, their governments, popular and official groupings, to fear Allah where their view of the Islamic Resistance Movement and their dealings with it are concerned. They should back and support it, as Allah wants them to, extending to it more and more funds till Allah's purpose is achieved when ranks will close up, fighters join other fighters and masses everywhere in the Islamic world will come forward in response to the call of duty while loudly proclaiming: Hail to Jihad. Their cry will reach the heavens and will go on being


resounded until liberation is achieved, the invaders vanquished and Allah's victory comes about.

"And Allah will certainly assist him who shall be on his side: for Allah is strong and mighty." (The Pilgrimage - verse 40).



Across History in Confronting the Invaders:

Article Thirty-Four:

Palestine is the navel of the globe and the crossroad of the continents. Since the dawn of history, it has been the target of expansionists. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, had himself pointed to this fact in the noble Hadith in which he called on his honourable companion, Ma'adh ben-Jabal, saying: O Ma'ath, Allah throw open before you, when I am gone, Syria, from Al-Arish to the Euphrates. Its men, women and slaves will stay firmly there till the Day of Judgement. Whoever of you should choose one of the Syrian shores, or the Holy Land, he will be in constant struggle till the Day of Judgement."

Expansionists have more than once put their eye on Palestine which they attacked with their armies to fulfill their designs on it. Thus it was that the Crusaders came with their armies, bringing with them their creed and carrying their Cross. They were able to defeat the Moslems for a while, but the Moslems were able to retrieve the land only when they stood under the wing of their religious banner, united their word, hallowed the name of Allah and surged out fighting under the leadership of Salah ed-Din al-Ayyubi. They fought for almost twenty years and at the end the Crusaders were defeated and Palestine was liberated. "Say unto those who believe not, Ye


shall be overcome, and thrown together into hell; an unhappy couch it shall be." (The Family of Imran - verse 12).

This is the only way to liberate Palestine. There is no doubt about the testimony of history. It is one of the laws of the universe and one of the rules of existence. Nothing can overcome iron except iron. Their false futile creed can only be defeated by the righteous Islamic creed. A creed could not be fought except by a creed, and in the last analysis, victory is for the just, for justice is certainly victorious.

"Our word hath formerly been given unto our servants the apostles; that they should certainly be assisted against the infidels, and that our armies should surely be the conquerors." (Those Who Rank Themselves - verses 171-172).

Article Thirty-Five:

The Islamic Resistance Movement views seriously the defeat of the Crusaders at the hands of Salah ed-Din al-Ayyubi and the rescuing of Palestine from their hands, as well as the defeat of the Tatars at Ein Galot, breaking their power at the hands of Qataz and Al-Dhaher Bivers and saving the Arab world from the Tatar onslaught which aimed at the destruction of every meaning of human civilization. The Movement draws lessons and examples from all this. The present Zionist onslaught has also been preceded by Crusading raids from the West and other Tatar raids from the East. Just as the Moslems faced those raids and planned fighting and defeating them, they should be able to confront the Zionist invasion and defeat it. This is indeed no problem for the Almighty Allah, provided that the intentions are pure, the determination is true and that Moslems have benefited from past experiences, rid themselves of the effects of ideological invasion and followed the customs of their ancestors.



The Islamic Resistance Movement is Composed of Soldiers:

Article Thirty-Six:

While paving its way, the Islamic Resistance Movement, emphasizes time and again to all the sons of our people, to the Arab and Islamic nations, that it does not seek personal fame, material gain, or social prominence. It does not aim to compete against any one from among our people, or take his place. Nothing of the sort at all. It will not act against any of the sons of Moslems or those who are peaceful towards it from among non-Moslems, be they here or anywhere else. It will only serve as a support for all groupings and organizations operating against the Zionist enemy and its lackeys.

The Islamic Resistance Movement adopts Islam as its way of life. Islam is its creed and religion. Whoever takes Islam as his way of life, be it an organization, a grouping, a country or any other body, the Islamic Resistance Movement considers itself as their soldiers and nothing more.

We ask Allah to show us the right course, to make us an example to others and to judge between us and our people with truth. "O Lord, do thou judge between us and our nation with truth; for thou art the best judge." (Al Araf - Verse 89).

The last of our prayers will be praise to Allah, the Master of the Universe.