The choice is easy

Some, of course, simply believe Hamas should be ignored. It is precisely this kind of Western arrogance that (partly) led to the Hamas victory, will lead to more bloodshed and force Hamas to seek support in the Islamic world. While Mahmoud al-Zahar, leader of Hamas in the occupied territories, discusses his group’s future plans and ideals, others, such as Azzam Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought, argues that new opportunities for peace are emerging:

“Contrary to the claims of alarmists who see the Hamas election victory as a threat to peace, new opportunities for making peace could now emerge. The peacemaking episodes of the past were based on assumptions absolutely unacceptable to the majority of Palestinians and those who support the justice of their cause. From Oslo to the road map it was always assumed that Israel was the victim that needed to live in peace and security and that the key to this was the end of Palestinian terrorism. The new peace process that Hamas may indeed be willing to be part of should be based on the fact that the Palestinians are the victims and have been victims since Israel was created on their soil. It is not Palestinian terrorism that is the problem, but Israeli aggression.

“Well, let the Palestinians dream of the end of Israel and let the Israelis dream of Eretz Yisrael from the Nile to the Euphrates, but let’s negotiate an end to the violence. Hamas alone is capable of that because Hamas will not give up the right of Palestinians to go back to the villages and towns from which the terrorists who stole their land drove them.”

It is inconceivable that an Australian newspaper would publish such an article. Indeed, Arab and Palestinian voices have been virtually silent in the local press, as if their views, hopes and fears – including about women in Gaza – should always come secondary to Israelis and Americans.