One of the Helsingin Sanomat’s editorials in today’s paper (25.02.07) takes on the present impasse between the Quartet/Israel and the planned “unity government” of Hamas and Fatah. To show just how much this paper is “out of touch with reality”, I include the following paragraph I translated from the original text, which is viewable by subscription only.
“The only realistic way to break the impasse would most likely be an offer to Abbas — conditionally — of an “enticing draft-outline” for the ending of the conflict, that the Palestinians would see its advantages and also begin pressuring the Hamas to seriously consider them. The organization would then either be forced along, bear the blame for failure, or at the minimum, hand over the enitire merit of a possible break through to both Abbas and Fatah. The details of such an offer could result in a re-convening of the 2000 and 2001 Campa David negotiations, as well as the unofficial Geneva declaration between Israelis and Palestinians in 2003. Rice hadn’t the authority for such a radical opening nor Olmert the political courage or will”
“Ainoa realistinen tapa murtaa umpikuja olisi varmaankin tarjota Abbasille – ehdollisesti – niin houkuttelevaa lopullisen ratkaisun luonnosta, että palestiinalaiset äänestäjät näkisivät sen edut ja ryhtyisivät painostamaan myös Hamasia sen vakavaan arvioimiseen. Järjestön olisi silloin joko taivuttava mukaan, kannettava syy epäonnistumisesta tai vähintään luovutettava koko ansio mahdollisesta läpimurrosta Abbasille ja Fatahille. Sellaisen tarjouksen ainekset voitaisiin koota Camp Davidin ja Taban vuosien 2000 ja 2001 neuvottelupöydistä ja israelilaisten ja palestiinalaisten kesken synnytetystä epävirallisesta Geneven asiakirjasta vuodelta 2003. Niin radikaaliin avaukseen Ricella ei kuitenkaan varmasti ole valtuuksia eikä Olmertilla sen enempää poliittista rohkeutta kuin tahtoakaan.”
The Helsingin Sanomat typically places the onus on Israel alone for the lack of progress between the two sides. Incredibily, “Israel is at fault” for the current impasse, not the intransigent Hamas and the people that voted them into power.
The Helsingin Sanomt’s editorial dept’ has the nerve to blame Israel for supposedly not offering the Palestinian people enough consessions, in spite of Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza and four settlements in the West Bank, to which the Palestinians have answered with rocket barrages, kidnapping of its soldiers and a host of other terrorist activities.
The pages of the HS’s editorial dept’ , it’s foreign news section and op-ed dept’ (here as well) are well known for containing an anti-Israel bias. The HS habitually refuses to acknowledge that the Palestinian war against Israel has evolved into an Islamist one, with the nationalist aspirations of its people taking a back seat to the greater good of Islam and the Muslim Ummah.
Ironically, at the end of the day, there is no substantial difference between the agendas of Hamas and Fatah, both envision a world without Israel, it’s just that the Hamas is more open about it. The latter still clings to the failed Pan-Arabism of Abdel Nasser, while the former supports the utopian vision offered by al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood.
No matter how much is offered by Israel — in the way of consessions — to the Palestinians, without a substantial change in how they view a Jewish state — read coexistence — it will never be enough to satisfy their demands. Their unflinching intransigence proves that the Hamas (IMHO also Fatah) still views a future without a Jewish state in the heart of the Arab/Muslim Middle East. The dream for a “greater Plalestine” still lives on in both camps.
That the Helsingin Sanomat’s editorial staff continues to overlook this glaring fact, repeatedly, leads me to conclude that they are either incredibly naive… or dillusional.
Tundraman adds: I, too, reacted strongly to the op-ed in HS yesterday. But as I see it, the decisive passage is none of those suggested by KGS, but it is this:
“(All true hopes for progress have so far fallen down on the requirement of Israel and her allies that hamas has to recognize Israel’s right to exist, dissociate themselves from violence and accept earlier agreements between the Palestinians and Israel)
“Todellisen edistyksen toiveet ovat tähän asti kilpistyneet Israelin ja sen tukijoiden vaatimukseen, että Hamasin on tunnustettava Israelin oikeus olemassaoloon, sanouduttava irti väkivallasta ja hyväksyttävä palestiinalaisten Israelin kanssa aiemmin solmimat sopimukset.
It is THIS sentence which reveals HS’ true stand: that it is the demands themselves, or just the fact that those demands have been made, which is an obstacle to peace, and NOT the fact that the Palestinian government refuses to comply to those demands.
This, in fact, is equivalent to the Hamas position, and the fact that the leading Finnish newspaper succumbs to that is amazing, not to say a scandal.