Egyptian-born Journalist: "Israel is mistaken if it thinks Hamas will change"
Prominent Egyptian-born editor Magdi Allam, who has been living in Italy for the past 30 years, serves as deputy editor of Corriere della Sera, Italy's largest newspaper. Over the past few years he has won the admiration of many in the West for his open and daring criticism of radical Islam. In his writings and public appearances he has even gone as far as attacking what he describes as the weakness of the West in the face of radical Islam. Allam was recently in Israel, to accept the $1,000,000 Dan David journalism award, which he shared with three other journalists. Khaled Abu Toameh, an Palestinian Arab reporter for the Jerusalem Post, interviewed Allam, who did not hesitate to criticize what he perceived as the naivete of Israel in believing that it will ever be able to negotiate with Hamas. He warned Israel against believing that Hamas would one day change its radical and dangerous ideology. Hamas's terrorism against Israel, he explained, is ideological terrorism. "They simply want to destroy Israel and that's all," he said. "That's why there's no point in talking to them."
Responding to the argument that Israel should accept the invitation of Hamas to discuss a hudna, or ceasefire, Allam stated:
When it talks only about a hudna, it is actually saying that it doesn't recognize Israel's right to exist. It is not talking at all about peace and a just and permanent solution, as we all want for the sake of the two people.
What does a hudna mean? From an Islamic point of view, the hudna only means a temporary cessation of war activities. It is based on the Hudaibiyah example, when the Prophet Muhammed preferred not to enter Mecca. He waited for one year to prepare new forces to invade Mecca and occupy it. This hudna does not mean recognition of the other side and its right to exist. It only means winning some time to prepare for achieving what they really want.
When we examine Hamas's ambitions, we see that its constitution calls for the destruction of Israel and the establishment of an Islamic state based on the sharia law. I don't believe we can allow Hamas to reach its goal because this means the destruction of Israel. And it would also harm the Palestinians themselves. Hamas's strategy won't lead the Palestinians to statehood and peace based on coexistence alongside Israel.
Read the entire interview here. Incidentally, regarding Mr. Toameh, the Palestinian Arab reporter for the Jerusalem Post, can you imagine reading the by-line of a Jewish reporter, much less an Israeli Jewish reporter, in any newspaper anywhere in the Arab world?