While the TT indeed tips its hat to Huhtanen for being an expert on terrorism, her understanding of Islam and the conflict between Israel and the Arabs borders on the naive to grossly superficial. This is the same woman who told the TT way back in 2005 (prior to 2006 elections in the PA) that “she hadn’t yet decided on Hamas’ ability to be pragmatic”. She would have to “wait and see” is how I believe she put it.
The TT predicted to the Finnish analyst that no good will come from a Hamas victory, that they shouldn’t be encouraged to run for elections, and that the OSLO Accords prohibited any racist/violent group from ever entering the political arena. She wasn’t buying any of it. Oh well, the rest is history and she’s off to Jordan.
“His royal highness”, is how Heidi Huuhtanen Is expected to call her employer, Jordanian Prince Hassan bin Talal. Huuhtanen will start her job as the Prince’s advisor in the Jordanian capital Amman next week. Huuhtanen, 33, is a researcher at the Finnish Institute for International Affairs. Her doctoral thesis will be reviewed at the renowned Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at Durham University in England.
There would be demand in Finland for this brilliant expert on Mideast politics, but Huuhtanen wanted to live in the midst of what she is studying. Furthermore, her husband is from Syria, a neighbour of Jordan. “I looked for work in the Middle East and learned about this. Prince Hassan bin Talal knows [MP and former Foreign Minister] Erkki Tuomioja (Ol’ Scruffy). They have been in much contact with each other through the Helsinki process”, Huuhtanen explains.
How great is that?! Ol’Scruffy, who is no friend of Israel, is a real friend of the Ol’ Prince himself! Tuomioja, who has been thoroughly debunked by Prof.Efraim Karsh a few years ago, now has one of his own former advisers on the ME, advising one of his Arab friends! Nice huh?!
Huuhtanen had her job interview at the Royal Palace in Amman, where her new office will be located. “I met the Prince, we talked in his garden, and he told me what he wanted to do. We got along well.” “He is very well educated, a real intellectual”, Huuhtanen describes the Oxford-educated 60-year-old Prince.
I am sick of Middle Eastern potentates -who have been schooled in the West- being praised for being such intellectuals. Who really knows how this intellectual really thinks about Jews and Christians and the dhimmi standing before him? Does his being an intellectual exonerates his darkest thoughts about the infidel?
Huuhtanen believes that she got the job because Finns are seen as neutral in the Middle East. Western experts on the region tend to be British, and the former colonial ruler Britain has completely different interests and reputation in the Arab world than Finland.
That’s of course the perspective of a Finnish analyst going to work for an Arab Jordanian Prince. Maybe his royal highness will enlighten her on why it is that Jews are forbidden to own land in Jordan, and what happened to all of the Jews and Christians that once lived in that area?
“A realist. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is an economic and political conflict, which needs to be resolved. It is difficult, because it is so hard to divide the region, and there is no clear border there.” “The best possibilities for peace will come when both Israel and the Palestinian territories are as unified as possible internally, and that moment is not at hand.” Huuhtanen laughs.
“I wonder if I have ever been able to formulate it in such a diplomatic manner? I no longer represent myself, but rather the Prince.” “But”, she cannot help but adding, “it is unrealistic not to care about Hamas and its supporters. The leadership of the Palestinians cannot be dictated from outside.”
So there you have it folks, what actually is (from the Arab perspective) a very religious conflict, is just an economic and political dispute. Puhleeeeze! Is this woman for real or what? The fact that Islam cannot tolerate or even allow–without being in breach of the Qur’an and Hadiths- any part of the house of Islam from becoming non-Muslim, has always played a key role in the conflict between Israel and the Arabs.
Heidi Huhtanen is guilty of wishful thinking, and on a very grand scale. How’s that Hamas pragmatism working Heidi? When you’re in the area and not busy advising the Prince, you might want to look more closely to see if you can spot that pragmatism. More here. *L* KGS