Khaled Meshaal is the terrorist murderer who compiled his record in Hamas, which he now heads. Hamas is an organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel through jihad. Article 28 of the Hamas covenant provides that “Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Moslem people. ‘May the cowards never sleep.’” It’s not tough to get a handle on what Hamas is all about.
Paul Mirengoff recently drew our attention to Washington Note blogger Steve Clemons in this post. On October 17, Clemons interviewed Meshaal in his offices in Damascus, Syria. Clemons conducted the interview as part of the launch of a new site promoting tales of Israeli perfidy and Palestinian Arab victimhood.
Given the opportunity to interview Meshaal, Clemons reports that he “asked Meshal to reflect on” the following questions:
1. How had Meshal’s father influenced his course given that his father recently passed away? I linked this discussion of Meshal and his father’s vision to Barack Obama’s own revelations about his father and his goals in Obama’s first powerful memoir, Dreams From My Father.
2. I asked Meshal to articulate his vision for a united Palestine, particularly after the occupation.
3. What would life under a Hamas-led government would look like. What are the views on diversity, heterodoxy, secularism? Some people fear that a Hamas-led government hasn’t shown the ability to handle diversity and accept people that are different. What is Meshal’s answer to those who think that minority rights will be abused? I discussed concerns about the shuttering of private schools in Gaza, forcing women to wear the hijab, and prohibitions on swimming unless wearing prescribed clothing.
4. What are Hamas’ views on the Goldstone Report and whether the criticism of Mahmoud Abbas on his stumbles on Goldstone reflected a willingness by Hamas to abide by international law covenants, particularly about targeting innocent civilians. (I found Meshal’s response quite interesting but should have pushed him on the subject of suicide bombers which I was unable to at the time.)
5. Is Khaled Meshal a Palestinian patriot or a Muslim patriot? I asked him to differentiate Hamas from other Islamic fundamentalist and Salafist groups, including al Qaeda.
6. Could Hamas be an active and constructive player in peace negotiations with Israel in a way that does not totally violate Hamas’ basic charter?
7. Finally, what advice did Meshal have for President Obama as he approaches the next steps of the Middle East peace challenge?
Clemons has posted the complete transcript and video of his interview with Meshaal. It appears to me that if Meshaal had a ring, Clemons would have kissed it. The interview has to be seen to be disbelieved.
Via Michael Goldfarb, whose heading I have borrowed.