The Hamas Wall

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From an interview with Sari Nusseibeh, the prominent Palestinian moderate, who lately has been advocating a joint Israeli-Palestinian confederation, rather than the traditional two-state solution, which he thinks is no longer workable. He blames everyone for the situation he currently sees, though this quote stood out for me, because today's journalism doesn't seem to recognize all that often that it was Hamas that forced the creation of the wall between the West Bank and Israel (for what it's worth, the wall, in my opinion, is a necessary defensive barrier, but at points on the map it also becomes an excuse for a land-grab by Israel. But mainly it was erected in order to keep Hamas suicide bombers from murdering civilians):
SPIEGEL: (Hamas leader) Khaled Mashaal recently said that Hamas should focus on non-violent resistance. Do you believe him?

Nusseibeh: I remember a situation with him, maybe 10 years ago. It was at the height of the second intifada, and it was the first time I was invited for a comment on Al-Jazeera. I tried to explain why suicide attacks were not good, that they would not achieve anything. I did not initially realize that Mashaal was on the other side. He replied that I was talking rubbish and that suicide attacks are great and shooting and killing is great. That is why I got so fed up when I heard him now saying he wants civil resistance. Why is he coming up with this now, after 10 years of having ruined us? The entire wall (ed's note: the West Bank barrier) would not have been built. Things would be so different today.


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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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