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Mashaal why is Obama setting preconditions only for hamas?

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Mashaal: Why is Obama setting preconditions only for Hamas?

Jun. 11, 2009
JPost.com Staff , THE JERUSALEM POST

While most of the Arab world responded with enthusiasm to the overtures in Cairo of US President Barack Obama last week, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on Thursday complained that the president was presenting Hamas with preconditions ahead of entering into dialogue while he was not insisting on these preconditions regarding both Syria and Iran.

"Obama adopted a new language for speaking with Hamas," Mashaal told Asharq Al-Awsat, but added "we hope this will translate into actions on the ground, and that he will cancel the preconditions for talking to Hamas. He is opening a new page with the region and is beginning dialogue with the Iranians and the Syrians without preconditions, then why is he setting up preconditions for Hamas?"

On Tuesday night, Mashaal said "Hamas will be a positive force in helping to find a fair solution to the Palestinian people and enabling them to fulfill their rights."

"Hamas will not be an obstacle. Everyone knows that Israel is the obstacle," he said.

In his Cairo address, Obama called on Hamas to end violence, abide by previous agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinians and recognize Israel’s legitimacy.

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Terrorism not biggest threat to Africans

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Peter Fabricius quotes an important statistic in his Analysis column (The Star, September 12) when he writes that only 4% of Americans think that terrorism is their country’s top problem.

Statistics from the research group Afrobarometer, which surveyed 12 African countries – including South Africa – showed that Africans regard the greatest security threats on the continent to be unemployment, poverty and HIV/Aids, not terrorism.

If the American and African people themselves do not consider terrorism to be a priority, why is the American government trying to convince Africa that we need to fight the "war on terror"?

Why are African governments fighting the "war on terror" by introducing repressive anti-terror legislation, when they should be fighting the "war on poverty and Aids"?

Suraya Dadoo- Lenasia, Joburg

Published in The Star on September 18, 2008.
© Star 2008. All rights reserved.

 

 

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Israeli elections from bad to ugly

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Israeli Elections: From Bad to Ugly
 
 
 
‘The mainstream Zionist groups are rooted in Judaism but secular when convenient.’ 
 
By Dr. Ahmed Yousef – Gaza

Pundits have asked Palestinians of every persuasion what they think of Israeli elections over the past several weeks. Opinions are varied and thoughtful; yet the truth is that to prefer one of the leading groups over another is an exercise in futility. Asking for a choice is akin to opting hypothetically for France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen (Lieberman), Dutch parliamentarian Geet Wilders (Livni), or Russia’s Vladimir Zhirinovsky (Netanyahu), with South Africa’s Pieter W. Botha (Peres) playing the presidential role of whom to ask for the formation of a national unity government.

Israeli democracy is an oxymoron, a reality underscored by the abuse of any non-Jewish party vying for equal representation. Palestinian parties entering elections in 2006 were represented by Muslims, Christians and even atheists, with no obligation or pre-condition other than those recognized by international law. The Israeli state, however, routinely purges or inhibits Arab political movement, such as those of Azmi Bichara, with unsubstantiated claims of treason or treachery. And the political neutering of indigenous Arabs is negligible compared to the dismissive approach to any popular presence across the 1967 border.

 

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