Home > Conflict & Security, Middle East, Politics > The Road Less Traveled, Hamas Style

The Road Less Traveled, Hamas Style

Dion Nissenbaum writes in Checkpoint Jerusalem:

Sitting under a poster of Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the white bearded, wheelchair bound, Hamas leader assassinated by Israeli air strike in 2004, Khaled Mashaal picks up a pen to sketch out his illustrated re-interpretation of Robert Frost’s famous poem, “The Road Not Taken.”

Mashaal draws a dead-end road, the path of failed political negotiations with Israel taken by Palestinian leaders Mahmoud Abbas and the late-Yasser Arafat.

Then, offering a kind of Hamas adaptation of Frost’s entreaty that travelers take the road “less traveled by,” Mashaal pens in arrows circumventing the political dead-end.

“When a series of Palestinian leaders tried one road – the way of political dialogue – and then hit a blockade, do you think it is realistic to keep going down the same path?” asks Mashaal.

“We and all the Arabs see that this option ends in a blockade. They should convince the Arabs and the Palestinians that other options exist and not only one that is blocked. We in Hamas are ready to walk another way in order to reach the goal, which is securing the rights of the Palestinian people and ending the occupation. But HamasFrost_2 is not ready to walk the same way that Israel and America are forcing us to walk. The road everyone knows is blocked and doesn’t get you to the goal you want.”

This is Khaled Mashaal’s political vision reduced to a rudimentary illustration.

But there are many who would argue that it is Mashaal and Hamas, not Abbas and Arafat, that have led the Palestinian people down a road of resistance that has crashed headlong in the Gaza Strip.

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