Magazine article Newsweek International

OPEN LETTER: 'Just Be Fair with Us"; What Does Hamas Want? One of the Movement's Leaders Claims They Are Eager to Engage with the West, If Not Israel

Magazine article Newsweek International

OPEN LETTER: 'Just Be Fair with Us"; What Does Hamas Want? One of the Movement's Leaders Claims They Are Eager to Engage with the West, If Not Israel

Article excerpt

Byline: Muhammad Abu Tir (ABU TIR is a former militant who ranked No. 2 on the Hamas list of candidates in last week's elections.)

My message to the West--to America, to Europe, to everybody--is this: Hamas wants peace. We hate bloodshed and killing. We don't want to fight. There is a verse in the Qur'an that says whoever kills one soul kills all souls. And whoever brings life to people brings life to a nation.

Our problem is with the Israeli occupation. Israelis are killing our children. The West has been oppressive, too. You are biased toward Israel. You support Israel. You are capable of telling Israel, "Enough." You are capable of telling Israel to withdraw. Why is the West concerned about the security of Israel and not concerned about our security?

Stop your support for Israel. Stop calling us terrorists. This policy creates a feeling of oppression. The feeling of oppression can lead to disaster. I don't want to reach that stage. If the United States were occupied, would the people put up with such a situation? In World War II, when the Japanese planes hit Pearl Harbor, America was not quiet. It reciprocated by hitting Japan with a nuclear bomb. Just be fair with us.

The European Union and America should cooperate with us. We have ways of creating understanding among our people. We are facilitators, helpers, aides. The presence of Hamas is a guarantee of safety and stability in the region. Any money that is given to us will be channeled to the correct path. …

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