Friday, February 24, 2006

Hamas Stages Peaceful Protest

After 6 Palestinians were killed by Israeli Defense Forces on Thursday, the Palestinian Prime Minister Elect, Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, called for Palestinians to protest in the streets. But for the first time I can remember since the two nations/two states rallies of the late 80s, the new Prime Minister called for a peaceful protest.

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets, but there were no guns, no violence. Is this a sign that things are really changing, or is it a political ploy by Hamas? Neither the Jerusalem Post nor Ha’aretz reported the peaceful protest, but I hope the country noticed. It may be the first indications that they have misjudged the new regime in Palestine.

Ha’aretz did run a picture of the Palestinians marching in Nablus with an angry looking protestor, and no indication that the rally was peaceful. The picture links to a story about the 6 Palestinians killed today, but there is no mention of the rally. Both papers reported that Hamas wasn’t firing Qassam rockets, but were equally guilty for providing assistance to militants who are firing Qassams.

Hamas has been elected to support the public welfare and to provide assistance in terms of food, medicine, and supplies to all citizens of Palestine, whether they are firing Qassams or not. Hamas cannot be expected to enforce Israel’s siege of the militants. Instead, Israel should note that Hamas no longer takes an active role in the attacks. Isn’t this a good sign?

The new government may not be taking the actions that Israel or the US wants, but they are making clear signs with their actions that they are trying to reform their ways, at least somewhat. Why is it so horrible to give them a chance, and give ourselves a chance for peace? Maybe I’m naïve in giving them another chance, but I feel like there is little to lose in talking.

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Posted by Scottage at 3:01 AM / | |