Another McGeough

Jamie Hyams

Australian Jewish News – 27 March 2009


Another McGeough

Paul McGeough continued airbrushing the terrorist group Hamas. He interviewed its leader Khaled Meshal for the March 21 Age and Sydney Morning Herald, and had to accept that Hamas would stick to its Charter’s call for Israel’s destruction, because Meshal insisted. However, McGeough tried to suggest it didn’t really matter anyway, writing, “Policy changes by Hamas have rendered much of the document redundant. But the continued inclusion of the call for the destruction of Israel has become a vulnerable attack point for Hamas’ worldwide army of critics.” While for McGeough the Charter may have little relevance beyond being an inconvenient PR point, Hamas clearly views it differently. For example, writing in the March 12 Jerusalem Post on the breaking down of Hamas/Fatah negotiations, Khaled Abu Toameh reported comments by Hamas spokesman Taher a-Nunu: “‘Fatah wants a government that accepts the two-state solution, and this is something that Hamas can’t and will never accept,’ Nunu said. ‘We are prepared to accept a Palestinian state in the 1967 boundaries only as a temporary solution, without recognizing the Zionist occupation of any inch of our homeland’.”

Khatami Conflict

Responding to comments by JCCV President John Searle criticising his hosting of former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne Philip Freier wrote, in the March 19 Age, “While it is true that Khatami has been a critic of Israel, including its occupation of Palestinian territories, and has defended the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, he is not alone in this regard. In international politics, leaders frequently exercise the right to express criticism of other nations…I am seeking to respond to Khatami’s genuine desire for dialogue.”

The following day, Searle countered, “Tragically dialogue is not always possible and can actually thwart peace by bestowing legitimacy on a dishonest partner.” Searle noted that Khatami had called on all Muslims to “abide by the Koran” and “mobilize to kill” Zionists and continued, “And only last year, this supposed champion of dialogue called Israel ‘an old, incurable wound on the body of Islam, a wound that really possesses demonic, stinking, contagious blood’.”

The Truth about Gaza

The March 20 Australian featured an outstanding article by Gaza-born Nonie Darwish. She wrote, “The media tends to attribute Gaza’s decline solely to Israeli military and economic actions against Hamas. But such a myopic analysis ignores the problem’s root cause: 60 years of Arab policy aimed at cementing the Palestinian people’s status as stateless refugees to use their suffering as a weapon against Israel.” On more recent history, she wrote, “The Palestinians continue to endure hardships because Gaza continues to serve as the launching pad for terror attacks against Israeli citizens.” She noted that Israel had withdrawn from Gaza hoping for peace, and wrote, “There was no cycle of violence then, no justification for anything other than peace and prosperity. But, instead, Hamas chose Islamic jihad. Gazans’ and Israelis’ hopes have been met with misery for Palestinians and missiles for Israelis.”