In yesterday’s McLaughlin Group, John McLaughlin joined the chorus of voices trying to portray Hamas as a moderate group. You come to expect that type of nonsense from the rest of the panel, which includes Eleanor Clift and serial Israel-basher Pat Buchanan, but it is disappointing that McLaughlin himself would prove so naive. Thank God Mort Zuckerman and Tony Blankley were on the panel to set him straight. I’ll link to a transcript of the show when it comes available. But one part that really bugged me was when McLaughlin displayed pictures of top Hamas leaders and insisted they were moderates without giving evidence to support his claim.
For instance, McLaughlin said Mahmoud Zahar was a “closet pragmatist.” This is the same Zahar, who, as I detail below, has not backed down from Hamas’s stated goal of destroying Israel. The same Zahar who once bragged to the New York Times about how many Israelis Hamas killed in two attacks including the notorious massacre at a Passover Seder. From the NY Times article of April 4, 2002, which is available here if you subscribe to TimesSelect:
”Forty were killed and 200 injured — in just two operations,” another of the leaders, Mahmoud al-Zahar, said with a smile.
McLaughlin also said of Khaled Mash’al that “he’s probably, ultimately, a pragmatist.” It’s hard to reconcile that with Mash’al’s appearance on Al-Jazeera over the weekend, in which he said, in response to U.S. and European calls to renounce terrorism: “We are committed to the resistance and adhere to its weapons.”
Supporters of Israel have been fooling themselves into thinking that with Hamas’s victory, the mask is removed from the Palestinian leadership and now the rest of the world will realize that Palestinians aren’t serious about peace. Wake up people! Already, you have the likes of John McLaughlin trying to portray terrorists as “pragmatists.”