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      Fundamentally Freund
      by Michael Freund
      An alternative approach to Israeli political commentary.
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      Michael Freund is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister´s Office under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He has lived in Israel for the past decade.
      Av 11, 5765, 8/16/2005

      Look Who's Celebrating

      If remarks made by a senior Hamas leader the other day are any indication, then Israel’s planned withdrawal from Gaza is already providing terror groups in the region with a great deal of encouragement to continue with their lethal and inhumane struggle against the Jewish state.

      Speaking to the London-based al-Hayat newspaper, Hamas chieftain Khaled Mashaal could barely conceal his glee over the prospect of an Israeli retreat. The withdrawal, Mashaal said, is “the beginning of the end for Israel”.

      Resistance is a strategic choice,” he added, “because the withdrawal from Gaza is the first step on the way to completing the liberation.”

      It would be easy, of course, to dismiss Mashaal’s remarks as the little more than exaggerated posturing by the terror group he represents, which wants to claim credit for chasing Israel out of the area.

      But that would be a mistake, because what matters here is what lesson groups such as Hamas are drawing from the Israeli retreat – and it is clear from Mashaal’s comments that they view it as tangible proof that they are making progress in their plan to eliminate the Jewish state.

      You can tell a lot about a political or historical event by looking at who’s celebrating it – and in this case it should be obvious that anything which gives Hamas encouragement is most assuredly a dangerous and foolhardy mistake.