Yesterday, however, the new group leader, Abdel Aziz Rantissi, backed off the threat against America.
The cartoon above is the Israeli version of this cartoon, which I think also illustrates why Hamas backpedaled so quickly.
Israel has not backed down after being threatened. Just the opposite, it vowed to continue targeting Hamas leaders.
Even though Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was a vicious, anti-semitic terrorist, he has been mourned the world over, many Arabs vowing revenge. His assassination has been condemned by many world leaders (with the notable and praiseworthy exception of President Bush). Even the tyrant-coddling United Nations couldn't resist issuing a condemnation.
But as Little Green Footballs has reported, there were even Americans who proclaimed support for Yassin and his goal of eliminating Israel:
"Reconciliation with the Jews is a crime."
"Resistance will move forward. Jihad will continue, and martyrdom operations will continue until the full liberation on Palestine."
"Resistance will escalate against this enemy until they leave our land."
"The day in which I will die as a shahid [martyr] will be the happiest day of my life."
Regarding this last quote, Joe Katzman writes: "They wish to be martyrs? So be it. Oblige them."
A senior Hamas official said on Thursday U.S. targets were not in the sights of the Islamist militant group at present but did not rule out changing that policy in future.
"I am talking about now. In the future, God knows," said Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy chief of the group's political bureau. "We have never targeted an American target or American interests despite its hostility. Until now we did not."
Israel blames Hamas, which is sworn to the destruction of the Jewish state, for suicide bombings that have killed hundreds of Israelis in a three-and-a-half-year uprising.
Reuters openly acknowledges the above, then later in the article puts "terrorists" in quotes to describe Hamas. Apparently the goal of wiping a country off the map and slaughtering its citizens is not enough to qualify as "terrorism" for Reuters.
As for the Hamas threat against the U.S. ... What more reason do we need to directly help the Israelis eliminate Hamas?
Posted by Forkum at March 25, 2004 06:44 AM