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July 08, 2010

The Nation Columnist Slams The Nation Editorial

A June 21 editorial in The Nation about Israeli restrictions on Gaza draws heat in a letter-to-the-editor by, of all people, The Nation columnist Eric Alterman.

Alterman, himself a harsh critic of Israel, noted Hamas's illiberal philosophy before asserting that the magazine's editorial, "like most Nation editorials, assumes Israel is 100 percent at fault in this conflict and that whoever opposes it is 100 percent correct. ... As such, it can have no relevance to the views of anyone who takes the complications of the conflict seriously in hopes of finding a solution that might one day be acceptable to the country The Nation consistently demonizes."

The magazine's editors hit back, arguing that for all its faults, Hamas's leaders "have stated repeatedly that they will accept a two-state solution." (You can read the entire exchange here.)

Perhaps we should turn to Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar to sort out this dispute. On June 15, Zahar was interviewed on Lebanon's Future TV. MEMRI translated:

We have liberated Gaza, but have we recognized Israel? Have we given up our lands occupied in 1948? We demand the liberation of the West Bank, and the establishment of a state in the West Bank and Gaza, with Jerusalem as its capital – but without recognizing [Israel]. This is the key – without recognizing the Israeli enemy on a single inch of land.

"This is our plan for this stage – to liberate the West Bank and Gaza, without recognizing Israel’s right to a single inch of land, and without giving up the Right of Return for a single Palestinian refugee.


"Our plan for this stage is to liberate any inch of Palestinian land, and to establish a state on it. Our ultimate plan is [to have] Palestine in its entirety. I say this loud and clear so that nobody will accuse me of employing political tactics. We will not recognize the Israeli enemy. "

zahar liberate.jpg

And there you have it.

To claim, as does The Nation editors, that Hamas leaders have "stated repeatedly that they will accept" a state in the West Bank and Gaza, without also noting that these leaders repeatedly make clear they don't see this as the "solution" but rather as a partial step toward their ultimate of destroying Israel and replacing it with an Islamic state, is brazenly unethical and, in effect, a lie.

Posted by GI at July 8, 2010 03:25 PM


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