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Ask Hamas

The Globe and Mail talked to Hamas, now it's your turn Add to ...

The Israelis won't talk to Hamas. Stephen Harper won't either, and neither will Barack Obama. But you can.

Send questions for Hamas to foreign@globeandmail.com with "Ask Hamas" as the subject. A selection will be answered by senior Hamas official Ahmed Yousef, an adviser to Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's prime minister for the Gaza Strip. Click here to read Mr. Yousef's answers.

Here are some of the questions already suggested:

  • It is a well known fact that Hamas hides behind civilians and children when launching attacks against Israel. How then, can Hamas say that Israel is trying to target civilians? If they were, Hamas surely wouldn't want to use them as shields?

-- Russell

  • Can you please explain why you don't put a stop to the firing of rockets into Israel, as you must be fully aware Israel will respond in a disproportionate manner?

-- Fiona Bateson

  • Considering that the bulk of our media, including this outlet, continues to suppress the details about the Israeli/American reaction to the 2006 elections, could you outline what happened?
  • Since our media presents a very distorted picture of the situation, is there anything you would like Canadians to know about Hamas, or about the conflict in general?

-- Jordan Thornton, Regina

  • What moral justification do you use to allow for older men to permit/lead/encourage your own children to act as suicide weapons?
  • If women were in charge, do you think peace would be achievable in your region?

-- Blair Saltel

  • What steps can hamas take to be seen as more moderate than it presently appears to the international world, without losing sight that it was elected democractically by citizens of Gaza and therefore must also respond to the needs of the citizens of Gaza?  In a nutshell, how can Hamas please both its citizens and the international community?

-- Giovanna Longhi

  • What are the aims of Hamas as a political party?

-- Michael Jacobson

  • If Netanyahu "recognized" Palestine as an independent, sovereign state with the right to exist with safe and secure borders, would Hamas reciprocate? (Would prefer a yes or no response.)

-- Lora Lucero, Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Why, in March 2004, did you use a mentally retarded teenager named Hussam Abdo as a human bomb?
  • If, as good Muslims, you believe that when you're killed by infidels you'll go to paradise and have sex with 72 virgins, why do you hate the Jews in Israel for removing you from life in this horrible world and helping you to get to paradise which must be a much nicer place that is full of anxious virgins and free alcohol? Don't you believe your own propaganda?
  • Why do you kill your own people?
  • Do you have the courage to answer any of our questions honestly, as any real man would do?

-- Mike Sumners, Toronto

  • Are you for the September UN declaration of the state of Palestine unilaterally or not?
  • Will you then the day after that get going with the construction of hospitals, sewers, schools, etc., that are needed for a new state, especially in Gaza? And do you have plans on how to proceed with this construction?
  • Will you work along Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad, who has been dedicated to this construction for a few years now? Or are you against him for some reason?

-- Enrique Tabak

  • Why has Hamas never cancelled the part of its Charter that calls for the total annihilation of Israel? Why should Israel be expected to negotiate "peace" with Hamas on that background?

-- Jonathan Danilowitz, Tel Aviv

  • Hamas has retained its opposition to the existance of the state of Israel in its charter, what does hamas hope to gain from israel by trading away this opposition?

-- Andrew Daniels

  • It is common knowledge that Hamas received millions, if not billions, of dollars from outside sources. Why is this money being poured into weapons to kill innocent civilians in Israel, instead of being directed toward improving the standard of living for the Palestinians, who live in poverty -- or so we are told?

-- Sheryl Danilowitz, Toronto

  • Regardless what you think of Israel - peace for your people, prosperity and the continuation of your way of life must be more important than holding on to old grudges - don't you agree?

- Phil Stevens

Is access by Israel to precious aquifers of water in the West Bank a major reason that Israel continues to build settlements there?.

-- Alan Carter, Vancouver, B.C.

  • The United States has not been an honest broker for peace in the Middle East.  In fact, it sometimes appears that Israel controls the government of the United States through AIPAC. Why do Palestinians continually look to the United States for a solution to the problem in Palestine?

-- Neil Patterson

  • Why do you promote hatred to your children?
  • Why do you make seemingly conciliatory comments on a topic in English followed by extremist things in Arabic on the same topic?
  • How have the Palestinians won the PR war?
  • How does Hamas intend to slow the growth of even more extreme groups within Palestine?

-- Jonathan Lampert

  • Why does Hamas sends rockets to kill civilian Israelis, but protests when Israel tries to protect itself?
  • Why, as a terrorist, don't you personally have the courage to strap a belt around your waist and blow yourself up instead of sending others to do that?

-- Roger Gilodo, Etobicoke

  • Is there another organization, other than the U.S., that could better broker a solution in Hama's eye?
  • If you can recognize that some areas are important to all religions, would internationalizing areas, such as Jerusalem be acceptable?
  • The alignment of borders is a challenge but if they can be agreed upon, would an DMZ operated by the some organization be acceptable to prevent future incursions.
  • If some organization provided air security for all countries, while allowing countries to maintain land troops, would this be acceptable?

-- Paul Naish, Toronto

  • Lots of political parties are stuck with legacy policies that they have to put aside in order to get on with the practicalities of governance. Is Hamas prepared to deal peaceably with ALL of its neighbours, whether officially recognized or not?

-- Leon Wood

  • Is the idea of Israel as a Jewish-religion state the crux of the problem? What if Israel called itself a multicultural state, with two official languages, no official religion, and a Jewish-Arab military, would that remove the obstacle to negotiation?
  • In the event that Israel and Palestine did negotiate a realistic peace plan, what is Hamas's plan for demilitarizing and deradicalizing its members?

-- Nancy Mucklow

  • Does Hamas ever harass or attack people who try to leave Gaza to study or work abroad?
  • Does Hamas acknowledge the potential benefits of non-violent resistance?

-- Gail Coleman

  • When will Hamas recognize the existence of the Jewish State of Israel and renounce its goal of destroying Israel?

-- Jan and Mark Lapedus, Toronto

  • Where is Gilad Schalit? Why won't you let the Red Cross have access to him?

-- Art Zaltz

  • Why do you think it's okay to provide propaganda to small children and teach them hate?

-- Jillian C. York

  • Why does Hamas not permanently renounce violence and embrace nonviolent resistance against Israel?
  • Does Hamas accept that democracy comes first, even at the expense of its own power?
  • Does Hamas consider the planned murder of civilians to be a crime, no matter what the circumstances?
  • Do the people have the right to reject shariah law?
  • What does Hamas think should happen with the Jews living in Israel? Should they leave? Where else will they live? Should they convert to Islam? What if they refuse?

-- Laurence Knight

  • Why does Hamas not invest in infrastructure such as bomb shelters?
  • Why does Hamas want to spread Islam around the world? Why cannot people live with freedom of religion?
  • Why does Hamas resort to "terrorist like activities" such as suicide bombing instead of negotiating?
  • Why does Hamas think that the 1967 "border" are still negotiable? Was not Israel attacked and won the extra land via the war?
  • Why doesn't Hamas negotiate land with its fellow Arab countries, where there is so much land?
  • Why should the West take Hamas seriously when they are a terrorist group?

-- David Pollack

  • With regards to the West, what are some of the fundamental misconceptions about Hamas, in your opinion?
  • The Palestinian narrative held by North American news media outlets fundamentally conflicts with the Palestinian narrative espoused in the east. What do you feel are the credible, verifiable, sources of information regarding this conflict?

-- Robert Mohid

  • If Hamas says it is only about ending the Israeli occupation, why does Hamas constantly spread conspiracy theories about Jews, call for their death, and not seek any reconciliation whatsoever between Israel and the Palestinians?

-- Ran Ukashi, Winnipeg

  • Would it not be more productive to recognize Israel's right to exist, so that Israelis may be forced to the negotiating table on the basis of the 1967 borders and recognize the Palestinian people?

-- Nabil Mailloux, Kingston, Ont.



Hamas's meaning is the Islamist resistance movement. What happens to Hamas's raison d'etre in terms of resistance if there is a peace agreement signed between the state of Israel and the Palestinian Authority?

-- anonymous

  • Now that Hamas and Fatah are reconciled after being previous enemies, will Hamas condone and support violence against Israel if a peace treaty is signed allowing Palestine to be a nation?
  • And if Hamas does condone and support violence, will that not obstruct its plans for nationhood? Israel is far better armed than Hamas is, and is always apt to defend itself, therefore, Hamas cannot win by fighting against Israel. Does Hamas acknowledge this?

-- Nekoda Beaton

  • Is it in Hamas's best interests to be honest about its goals and pursuits when so many other political entities avoid their intentions and speak to what the public wants to hear?

-- Justine Ible

  • What does Hamas have to say about the hundreds of thousands of Jews kicked out of Arab countries? Do they also not have the right to return and reclaim their stolen property?

-- David Shamoon, Markham, Ont.

  • In the eyes of Palestine, and more specifically Hamas, what would you like most in regards to help from Canada?

-- J.M. Deagle

  • What do you see as potential challenges ahead for Hamas and the Palestinian people should the goal of a Palestinian state, in conjunction with or as a replacement of Israel, be realized?
  • Do you feel that a vision of Palestine as a place where people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds can co-exist is a realistic one, given the animosity that has built up since 1967?

-- Brian Fehst, Whitby, Ont.

  • How does Hamas view the option of one unified, secular bi-national state with equal rights and the vote for the Jewish and Palestinian founding peoples? Is Hamas aware of the fact that this is more and more discussed as an option among intellectuals?

-- Diane V. McLoughlin

  • Why won't Hamas accept a Jewish nation in the Middle East?
  • Why does the Hamas Charter advocate killing Jews?
  • Why do Hamas religous leaders defame Judaism?

-- Eric Beckerman, Florida

  • What assurance can you give that, as a credible player, you are going to abide by the rules as per the international law (i.e. recognizing Israel as a state) should you become the official voice of Palestine?

-- Alvin Góngora, via Facebook

  • Why does Hamas dress women up like ninjas?

-- T Justin Powzy, via Facebook

  • Why do you show cartoons to your children that teach them to kill Jews and other infidels?

-- Christopher Slatter, via Facebook

  • Under what, if any, circumstances would you recognize Israel's right to exist?

-- Jon Kerner, via Facebook

  • Do you believe that there exists a Jewish People with roots in the Holy Land?

-- Mark Surchin, Toronto

  • Some of my friends are planning to travel to Gaza on the Canadian boat to Gaza, part of the international flotilla that hopes to help to break the sea blockade of Gaza in late June. They are social activists, committed to non-violence. What do you think of this initiative? Do you welcome this action, even though most of them do not share your religion or your conservative social values?

-- Elizabeth (Beth) Guthrie, Toronto

  • What can Canadians do to facilitate a workable two-state solution?

-- Cory Nicholls

  • In order for Hamas to become a legitimate political entity, it would be wise to reject violence against external Jewish targets and domestic opponents. Why does Hamas not follow this tactic?

-- Yves Crepeau, Sackville, N.B.

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