Lionizing Rantisi

The (UK) Observer has a Rantissi obituary that urges readers to remember the Hamas leader’s softer side:

The man who loved the Palestinian children so much that he admitted openly that he was prepared to slaughter Israeli infants to guarantee the future of their Palestinian counterparts – and could see no contradiction…

He spoke hate, and ordered the suicide bombers into Israel. But, despite speaking of driving the Jews into the sea, he knew that a negotiated settlement was inevitable, that neither his organisation nor the other militias could defeat Israel.

His organisation had the influence and discipline to deliver a real settlement as well as carnage…

Despite his strident voice, Rantissi, like Yassin, would often hint that he regarded the armed struggle against the Israelis as more negotiable than his sermons and speeches might have suggested, believing that violence was an essential tool to Palestinian liberation…

For while Hamas has proved the catalyst for the some of the most fervently anti-Israeli feelings in the Palestinian areas, it has often provided the most subtly thought out.

Love of children, subtlety, discipline, reasonable negotiation…these are the memories the Observer has of Abdel Aziz Rantissi (they also happen to be the most valued traits of the Observer’s English readership). How’s this for subtlety:

“We knew that Bush is the enemy of God, the enemy of Islam and Muslims. America declared war against God. Sharon declared war against God and God declared war against America, Bush and Sharon. … The war of God continues against them, and I can see the victory coming up from the land of Palestine by the hand of Hamas.” – Rantisi, 3/28/04