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Gerry Adams to meet Hamas leaders

Posted By Leon On 4th September, 2006 @ 4:16 pm In Party politics, The World, Middle East | Comments Disabled

This is an interesting move that’s sure to get some people up in arms; how do you characterise this; former terrorist meets present day terrorist? Political leader meets emerging political leader? Without doubt this throws a spanner in the works for the whole “all terrorists are the same” propaganda offensive of Bush and Blair.

Perhaps Adams genuinely does want to help (after all the peace process shows you can engage “terrorist” organisations toward a shared political end) or maybe he just wants to grab some of the limelight ahead of [1] Blair’s visit?

Whatever the angles at play here it’s good to see actions like this because they allow space for a nuanced understanding the Middle Eastern conflicts. The Us vs Them mentality helps no one and maybe it’s better a statesman like Adam does the job than a partisan like Blair?

Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Féin, is due to fly to the Middle East tomorrow to meet Hamas representatives and lend his support to the search for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

“The Sinn Féin leadership has shared [its] experience of the Irish peace process with those seeking peaceful alternatives to conflict,” Mr Adams said. “It is imperative that genuine negotiation and dialogue between the representatives of the Palestinian and Israeli people commences as quickly as possible.

“While no two conflicts are identical there are key conflict resolution principles which can be applied in any situation. These include inclusive dialogue, respect for electoral mandates and respect for human rights and international law.” [via [2] The Guardian]

Update: Looks like the visit didn’t go quite as well as [3] intended.


Comments Disabled To "Gerry Adams to meet Hamas leaders"

#1 Comment By Jagdeep On 4th September, 2006 @ 4:24 pm

They’ll like his beard. It will make them trust him more I reckon. Martin McGuiness, or the other one with just a moustache, probably would not make them feel as relaxed.

#2 Comment By Roger On 4th September, 2006 @ 4:37 pm

Gerry Adams a statesman?

#3 Comment By AsifB On 4th September, 2006 @ 4:37 pm

Leon, I hate to disagree, but it looks like more ‘us and them’ to me.

Glasgow Celtic supporters like to wind up Rangers fans by being vocally pro-Palestinian and vice versa - in the name of the Irish being victims of the British empire and all that.

Although this is historically true (and Brits all too easily overlook the large number of killing sby Protestant paramilitaries during the Troubles) , in the context of the post 1969 IRA for which Adams was a de facto spokesperson, there is more than a small element of self aggrandisment and an attempt at retrosepctive spin to morally equivocate IRA bombs with PLO.

Fact is - throughout the Troubles, people in Northern Ireland had complete cross border freedom of movement and the right to vote in both the UK and the Republic - so in fact it was less justified for the IRA to plant bombs against the Brits than it was for the PLO to fight Israel.

Now that there is more sympathy for the Palestinian cause, Adams is trying to get some retrospective justifciation by association - much as was done when Mandela was released.

NB: I am not trying to justify British crimes in Ireland or occupation - I just think - as they themsleves realised, the Provisonal IRA’s mainland bombings were not justified that’s all (OK I admit, I’m a tube user and coward)

I agree with Jagdeep about the beard thing.

Much aa bit of dialogue

#4 Comment By Leon On 4th September, 2006 @ 4:45 pm

AsifB, no probs constructive disagreement is always welcome. You raise some good points although I’m not convinced the IRA were justified in their bombing campaign I think there are similarities between British occupation of NI and Israels occupation of parts of Palestine. That said, what Gerry Adams is playing at I don’t know, hence my many questions…

#5 Comment By Bert Preast On 4th September, 2006 @ 4:52 pm

Sinn Fein were only allowed into talks after renouncing violence. I don’t see Hamas going for it. Just another way for them to show their supporters how much of a big world player they are.

#6 Comment By Katy On 4th September, 2006 @ 4:53 pm

Anything that starts the negotiation ball rolling is a good thing. I don’t know if this would be that thing or not.

#7 Comment By AsifB On 4th September, 2006 @ 4:55 pm

Leon, Given the world we live in, I do wish jaw jaw well.

But, much as I want to sing along with Celtic supporters and hate the British Empire, (and thought the bit where they played Voodoo Chile in ‘In the Name of the Father’ was terrific fun) - it does also seem true that except for a few days here and there in the early 70s, Northern Ireland was no where near as bad as being a Palestinian in the Occupied Territories - true I would regard living in the Bogside as a prison, but everyone there still had a vote in two states (admittedly gerrymandered before 68) and cross border freedom of movement without total humilation. Plus the neighbouring state wasn’t blitzed by the RAF at every possible opportunity for 30 years.

#8 Comment By Leon On 4th September, 2006 @ 5:05 pm

Anything that starts the negotiation ball rolling is a good thing. I don’t know if this would be that thing or not.

As ever Katy you’ve articulated my underlying feelings on this subject…I hope it does come to something positivie I guess we’ll see…

#9 Comment By Chairwoman On 4th September, 2006 @ 5:26 pm

Come on folks, he’s going for the ‘Beards of terror’ competition!

#10 Comment By Sunny On 4th September, 2006 @ 5:28 pm

Haha chairwoman!
I think my brother will beat them all. Sorry I don’t have the pics though to show.

I’m with AsifB on this. Looks a bit of politicking to me.

#11 Comment By Jagdeep On 4th September, 2006 @ 5:34 pm

Maybe the western leaders should all grow beards in order to wrong-foot these wily oriental chaps. Although Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will not be fooled.

#12 Comment By Leon On 4th September, 2006 @ 5:39 pm

Hmmm, I can grow a mean beard if I want to, maybe I should ask the government if they’ll pay for an all expenses paid ‘diplomatic’ mission to the ME!?

#13 Comment By The Common Humanist On 5th September, 2006 @ 10:27 am

AsifB,
So that means you think that IRA bombs in NI were justified? So the pensioners at Inniskillen were legitimate military targets? Really. All those civilians murdered. OK as long as in NI and not on the mainland…….I wonder how your mind works?

#14 Comment By Kismet Hardy On 5th September, 2006 @ 10:28 am

I can’t grow a full beard :(

It only grows as a goatee that turns wispy after a while. Born to be beatnik :( :(

#15 Comment By Kismet Hardy On 5th September, 2006 @ 10:37 am

What if…

Bono wrote a song for the Hamas?

I can’t believe the news on Al-Jazeera today
Oh, I can pack my bags and blow them all away
How long, how long must we sing this song?
Cause tonight, we can be as one
Tonight…
Broken mortars under children’s feet
Bodies strewn across the dead end street
Still they won’t heed the azaan call
It puts my rucksack up
Puts my rucksack up against the wall
Jihad, lovely Jihad
Jihad, lovely Jihad
Jihad, lovely Jihad
(alright let’s go!)

And the battle’s just begun
There’s many lost, but Allah’s already won
The fear is dug within our hearts
And mothers, children, brothers, sisters torn apart
Jihad, lovely Jihad
Jihad, lovely Jihad
Jihad, lovely Jihad
(come get some!)

#16 Comment By AsifB On 5th September, 2006 @ 11:06 am

13. The Common Humanist - I thought I was being fairly unequivocal and making the point that Adams and the IRA were not justified in using violence.

However, rather than choosing to infer that I may have been against all IRA violence, YOU choose to bring up langauage like ‘justified military targets’ and accuse me of supporting bombing in Northern Ireland.

I do not care for how your mind works.

#17 Comment By Leon On 5th September, 2006 @ 11:09 am

Don’t worry about it AsifB it’s yet another example of straw man argueing…

#18 Comment By Kismet Hardy On 5th September, 2006 @ 11:21 am

Can we please burn the straw man? I hate him

#19 Comment By Vikrant a.k.a Amey On 5th September, 2006 @ 11:28 am

heh.. i loved Bloody Sunday (Hamas version).. we might as well do a version for YouTube… I’ll play the guitar…

#20 Comment By Leon On 5th September, 2006 @ 11:32 am

Oh christ, I could actually see that becoming massive too..*shakes head*

#21 Comment By Vikrant a.k.a Amey On 5th September, 2006 @ 11:36 am

post #19 addressed to Kismet btw…

#22 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 5th September, 2006 @ 1:55 pm

Maybe he wants to help Hamas like his minons did for FARC?

[4] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4528109.stm

Cheers,

TFI

#23 Comment By Leon On 5th September, 2006 @ 2:15 pm

Maybe, it was one the things I thought of when I originally read the story.

Interestingly some people try to distinguish groups like the IRA and AQ claiming the IRA aren’t a global threat. While that was true in terms of their bombing it wasn’t in terms of the networks they worked with. It is well known they had links with ETA for example as well as FARC (training, probably intel sharing etc).

#24 Comment By S On 5th September, 2006 @ 4:57 pm

“I think there are similarities between British occupation of NI and Israels occupation of parts of Palestine”

A Celtic supporter writes:

There has been a majority population who want to remain part of Britain consistently since Irish independence. There never was any justification for the IRAs bombing- they destroyed the legitimate civil rights movement amongst NI catholics. After all those years they gained nothing politically.

“Glasgow Celtic supporters like to wind up Rangers fans by being vocally pro-Palestinian and vice versa - in the name of the Irish being victims of the British empire and all that.”

There are a few numpties who like to sing “rebel songs” and wave silly flags- Palestine, Hamas etc. They are less and less common. I for one used to sympathise with the Palestinians but lost patience with their nihilism a long time ago.

#25 Comment By AsifB On 5th September, 2006 @ 5:10 pm

S no.24: S - Thank for your comment about ‘numpties.’ I agree with you totally that the IRA’s bombing destroyed the legitimate civil rights movement.

In no.3 I should have course used the word “Some” ahead of the sentence “Glasgow Celtic supporters etc..
It was wrong of me to give the impression of generalising and stereotyping - sorry.

#26 Comment By bananabrain On 6th September, 2006 @ 11:13 am

the major similarity between ireland and israel/palestine is that the problem was largely perpetuated by the british drawing a line down the middle and then buggering off to leave the groups on either side to fight it out, whilst standing around wringing their hands and saying “see, the empire wasn’t so bad, was it, you’ll appreciate us once we’ve left.”

other examples of this sterling strategy include india/pakistan and of course the ever-popular cyprus.

b’shalom

bananabrain

#27 Comment By Leon On 6th September, 2006 @ 11:46 am

other examples of this sterling strategy include india/pakistan and of course the ever-popular cyprus.

Yep.

#28 Comment By bananabrain On 6th September, 2006 @ 1:43 pm

except the cypriots - both turks and greeks - live here in london and pretty much seem to get on OK as far as i can tell, having grown up in southgate. at least the younger ones do. and, of course, it’s heartwarming to see them recreate the cyprus green line at the st. ann’s road traffic lights. heading north, once you reach the cyprus potato marketing board, it’s dolmades, souvlaki and kleftiko all the way, but head south past the kibris bankasi and you’re right in with the dolma, doner and kahveciler crowd. just don’t mention the kurds who live further down green lanes.

b’shalom

bananabrain

#29 Comment By Leon On 6th September, 2006 @ 1:53 pm

It depends, like many things, on the generation. From my limited experience of both those communities it looks like the young ones have less problem but anyone over the age of say 35 remembers the problems of the past all too well.

#30 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 7th September, 2006 @ 11:10 pm

“sterling strategy” not sure if that was an intentional pun but I liked it :)

Leon your comments about the IRA are spot on.

TFI


Article printed from Pickled Politics: http://www.pickledpolitics.com

URL to article: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/762

URLs in this post:
[1] Blair’s visit: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5312426.stm
[2] The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1864707,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=1
[3] intended: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/5321910.stm
[4] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4528109.stm: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4528109.stm