Israel Disgusted by EU Relations with Hamas Terrorists

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem-----June 17...... Israel has protested increasing European contacts with the Islamic terror organization Hamas, urging the European Union to keep the group on its list of terrorist organizations and warning that talking to the Islamic terrorists undermines Palestinian moderates.

Three senior Hamas members said their group has been talking to European Union diplomats regularly.

European Union officials denied the contacts but acknowledged that meetings with Hamas may be inevitable now that Hamas won control of dozens of West Bank and Gaza towns in recent local elections.

"We believe Europeans should be strengthening moderate Palestinians and not appeasing the extremists," said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev. "Anything that demonstrates acceptance of Hamas as a legitimate player is a problem."

Both the U.S. and the EU list Hamas as a terrorist group, but its strong showing in local votes poses a dilemma for the West, which must determine how to handle existing aid projects in towns now run by Hamas-backed mayors. Hamas members said Thursday that their group is in contact with EU diplomats, and the meetings have grown more frequent after Hamas' victory in more than a third of 120 towns in three rounds of municipal voting since December.

"There should be no doubt of our concerns that a terrorist group (Hamas) has been allowed into Palestinian politics without abandoning the ways of terrorism," said an Israeli political source.

When Israelis defend themselves and kill their sworn enemies, we do not dance in the streets or hand out candies in the fashion of Palestinians after Israeli civilians have been murdered. Israel has each and every right to defend herself from those who openly advocate and embrace terrorism as a means to destroying the Jewish nation. No, it was not a happy day when Israel killed Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin, but we all felt a bit more secure for our children. Yassin, who dressed in his virgin white robes, with a long white beard, smiling in his wheelchair may have looked like a warm and friendly Santa Claus. But as Jennifer Laszlo, a Washington-based media consultant, put it: "he was not handing out candy canes, he was handing out death."

Yassin was responsible for rewakening the concept of militant Jihad (holy war) and glorifying Islamic terror suicide bombers to Palestinian children. The concept of Jihad is still very much alive within Hamas today. Yassin and his Hamas followers were no moderates yesterday and not as you read this story.
Moderates do not plan and implement the blowing up of Israeli civilian buses and restaurants. Moderates do not export Jihad terrorist activity to Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Syria. Over 970 Israelis have been murdered as a result of Yassin's preaching of death. And Yassin was not a "spiritual leader." Ahmed Yassin was a military commander and a terrorist in every sense of those words. He provided fine details to his followers as to how to murder Israeli teenagers at Tel Aviv's Dolpharnarian nightclub, elderly Jews who were blown to shreds as they celebrated Passover dinner at the Park Hotel in Netanya and the countless buses and Israeli restaurants which were ripped apart - explosives spewing ball bearings, metal shards and nails through the bodies of innocent men, woman and children. A moderate does not state that Israel has no right to exist.

Yassin, the founder of Hamas, repeatedly educated his Islamic public that Palestine had always been Arab land. This is somewhat of a paradox given that Islam is some 1,372 years old compared to ancient Israel which was created by the Jews over 5,000 years ago. And when people come to Yassin's defense stating that he just wanted the "occupation" to end - Yassin's version of occupation transcended Rahmallah, Nablus and Jenin, it included Tel Aviv, Hadera, Afula, Kiryat Shomona, Haifa, Ramat Gan and Eilat!

Let's look a bit closer at Yassin, the founder of the Hamas terror organization, at both his history and at his own words. Yassin was imprisoned in Israel twice. In 1984 and 1989. In 1989, Yassin was sentenced for life, on account of involvement in the murder of IDF soldiers, Avi Sasport and Ilan Sadon, and possession of weapons. Once released from prison in 1997, as part of an agreement signed between Israel and Jordan (after the targeting attempt on Haled Mashal), Yassin became involved in Hamas terrorist activities. His involvement included the direction of terrorist operations and tunneling of funds to terrorist activity. In 1998, Yassin campaigned throughout Arab countries to raise millions of dollars worth of financial aid to help Hamas carry out terrorist operations. Yassin was a central Hamas authority for terrorist decision and policy making. Yassin personally authorized suicide attacks, terror bombing attacks and Qassam missile attacks against the State of Israel.

During his public appearances, Yassin repeatedly called to continue the "armed struggle" and to carry out terrorist attacks. Yassin used to emphasize the importance of kidnapping Israelis for purpose of negotiation and release of Palestinian terrorists. Was Yassin a moderate? Was this man a spiritual leader? Or was Yassin the bin-Laden of Hamas, a butcher who viewed all Jews and Christians as "infidels", epitomizing the very essence of evil. A dark force who openly threatened the United States and was famous for repeating: "terror attacks are religiously legitimate, those who fight for Allah kill and get killed and receive 72 virgins for their actions." Israel wants peace. But this tiny democracy, which lives and breathes in one of the most hostile environments on earth, had to confront a bigger evil than Yassin. Yassar Arafat.

Arafat, who was born in Egypt, somehow became a Palestinian. He also attempted to overthrow the Jordanian government in 1971 and was expelled from Jordan to Lebanon in what is known as "Black September." Arafat was one of the best public relations men who ever roamed the Middle-East, calling for "Peace of the Brave" in English while asking young Palestinian children in Arabic to become "shieds" (martyrs) to place suicide belts around their 8-year-old bodies and march to Jerusalem. Arafat, who walked away from the Camp David Peace Accords out of cowardice of being assassinated by his own Fatah terror group, chose a war of terrorism against Israel.

With Yassin assassinated and Arafat dead from AIDS, Hama's lethal confrontation with Israel is far from over. Hamas terrorists continue to attempt to smuggle weapons and suicide bombers into Israel. Only due to the excellent, diligent work of Israel's intelligence organizations and the brave, alert soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces who identify and arrests Islamic Palestinian suicide bombers at IDF checkpoints, is there relative quiet for which Israel is now experiencing.

Israel wants to use Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's weekend visit to try to stem the growing political and diplomatic clout of Hamas, political sources said. Israeli leaders are increasingly worried about the Islamist faction's successes in local Palestinian elections, its recent contacts with European Union diplomats and the threat of renewed terror attacks that could disrupt Israel's Gaza withdrawal. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon may even ask Rice to pressure Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to bar Hamas from running in coming parliamentary elections, a Sharon confidant said. Rice is unlikely to comply with such a request, which would be seen widely as interference in internal Palestinian affairs, even though Hamas remains sworn to Israel's destruction and is on a U.S. list of terrorist organizations. But Sharon will stress his opposition to Abbas's strategy of talking to militants instead of confronting them, and hopes to convince Rice to urge the EU to reinstate a ban on contacts with Hamas, which the bloc also classifies as a terrorist group. Sharon may also seek to prevent any U.S. appeals for further goodwill gestures to the Palestinians ahead of his summit with Abbas on Tuesday.

"There should be no doubt of our concerns that a terrorist group has been allowed into Palestinian politics without abandoning the ways of terrorism," said an Israeli political source. But Hamas urged the Palestinian Authority to resist any outside pressure, and Palestinian officials, who will meet Rice on Saturday before she talks to the Israelis, said Sharon had no right to dictate election policy to them. Diplomats in Washington have said the United States is showing signs of easing its hardline approach toward Hamas, but the White House insists there has been no change.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas opened negotiations in Cairo with Arab terrorist groups three months ago with a problem on his hands: how to convince Hamas, a radical Islamic terror group that does not recognize Israel, to sign on to the cease-fire he's trying to broker among the various terrorist factions.

Hamas spokesman Mohammad Nazzal, in the footsteps of Ahmed Yassin, said recently, "The Hamas organization believes it is not possible to declare a full cease-fire at this stage of the talks." He said a "cooling down" period of a few months might be attained, but rejected "a long-term truce."