KHALED MESHAL, the head of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement widely egarded in the West—and even more so in Israel—as a gang of terrorists bent on destroying the Jewish state, exudes a tranquil confidence as he calmly lays out his case in a well-guarded safe-house in Damascus, the Syrian capital. “The world will deal with us not because it wants to deal with us but because it has to deal with us…Hamas is a moderate and open organisation that is ready to talk to anybody. It has emerged as an important player in the region. It’s clear it cannot be bypassed.”

西方世界普遍认为巴勒斯坦伊斯兰抵抗运动哈马斯是一伙决意要摧毁以色列这个犹太国家的恐怖分子,在以色列国内则更是如此。哈马斯领导人哈立德•马沙尔(Khaled Meshal)在叙利亚首都大马士革戒备森严的安全住所内平静地阐述了其观点,语气既冷静又自信。“西方国家不得不与哈马斯打交道。虽然不情愿,但他们没有选择的余地……哈马斯是一个温和、开明的组织,愿意与任何人进行谈判。它已成为该地区事务的重要参与者。很显然,哈马斯是绕不开的。”

An increasing number of Western politicians, diplomats and soldiers, though not the American administration nor yet the European Union and certainly not Israel, are groping towards that conclusion. The trimly bearded, stocky Mr Meshal, relaxed and often humorous, plainly thinks time is on his side. Aged 54, he has the demeanour of a winner. Indeed his Islamist movement won the only general election, in 2006, that it has contested. Hamas views Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinians’ internationally recognised president, who heads the rival and more secular Fatah party, merely as a “transitional figure”.

越来越多的西方政治家、外交官和普通士兵也正在得出这样的结论,然而美国政府和欧盟,当然还有以色列,他们认识不到这一点。这位身材矮壮,蓄着胡子的马沙尔先生语气轻松又不失幽默,显然认为时间在他一边。他现年54岁,举止间一派赢家之态。在2006年举行的巴勒斯坦唯一一次大选中,他领导的伊斯兰抵抗运动确实赢得了胜利,当然这个结果还有争议。阿巴斯是得到国际公认的巴勒斯坦总统,他领导下的法塔赫相比之下要世俗化一些。但在哈马斯眼里他只是一个“过渡性人物”。

Ever fewer Israelis can imagine doing a deal with Fatah, let alone with Hamas, though President Shimon Peres, in a cryptic comment, recently seemed to urge Europeans to try drawing Hamas into the diplomatic fold. Most Israelis think Hamas wants to throw them into the sea. Besides, they would struggle to forgive it for the scores of bombings and attacks its people carried out during the intifada, or uprising, between 2000 and 2005, killing hundreds of Israeli civilians and soldiers, often blowing themselves up at the same time. In any event, Hamas is still isolated from the main diplomatic game, as Fatah’s more emollient negotiators strive to make headway.

虽然佩雷斯总统最近发表了一个秘密评论,似乎在敦促欧洲人将哈马斯也拉入到谈判中来,但越来越多的以色列人反对同法塔赫作交易,就更别提哈马斯了。大多数以色列人都认为哈马斯的立场是要将他们赶入大海,消灭以色列国。此外,在2000至2005年的巴勒斯坦起义期间发生了数十起针对以色列人的爆炸袭击事件,杀害了数以百计的以色列平民和士兵(在这些爆炸事件中大多数袭击者同时将自己也炸上了天)。以色列人难以饶恕哈马斯的这一罪行现实的情况是,由于法塔赫的谈判代表不那么强硬,而且努力使谈判取得进展,哈马斯仍然被排斥于重要的外交博弈之外,。

This week, three months after Barack Obama gave Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, the coldest shoulder ever felt by an Israeli leader, the two men had a politer meeting in Washington, DC. This time Mr Obama made the standard assurance that America would never let Israel down, even implying rare support for Israel’s nuclear deterrent. Mr Netanyahu, he averred, was “willing to take risks for peace”. For his part, Israel’s prime minister said he would take “concrete steps” to enable the indirect “proximity talks” between his government and the Palestinians’ more moderate wing, to develop into face-to-face talks that could, in hopeful theory, lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state beside an Israeli one. There has been no indication, so far, what those concrete steps might be—or whether Mr Netanyahu is truly bent on getting a deal.

本周,在奥巴马总统冷淡了以色列总理内塔尼亚胡3个月后(这是有史以来以色列领导人所能感受到的最寒冷的美以关系),两人在华盛顿进行了一次礼节性会见。这次会谈中,奥巴马像历届总统一样做出承诺,美国永远不会放下以色列不管,甚至罕见地暗示支持以色列拥有核威慑力量。内塔尼亚胡则再次重申:“愿意为和平承担风险。”这位以色列总理表示,就他本人而言,他将采取“确实的步骤”,以使以色列政府与巴勒斯坦较温和派别间的“近距离间接谈判”发展为面对面谈判。理论上说,这场谈判如果能够成功,将紧邻以色列建立一个独立的巴勒斯坦国。到目前为止还没有迹象显示,内塔尼亚胡先生要采取一些什么样的确实步骤,或者他真的是要致力于达成一项协议。

Mr Abbas, who was given red-carpet treatment by Mr Obama in Washington only a month ago, has no apparent desire to bring Hamas to the negotiating table any time soon. The two factions are still at loggerheads. A year and a half after its election win, Hamas violently evicted Mr Abbas’s Fatah from the Gaza Strip. Since then, Fatah has sat back as Israel, increasingly criticised by most of the rest of the world, has blockaded the territory. It was partly thanks to the clumsily lethal confrontation between Israeli commandos and a flotilla that challenged the blockade that Hamas, as Gaza’s ruling party, has stridden back into the limelight.

尽管上个月奥巴马总统在华盛顿用红地毯隆重接待了阿巴斯,但他迄今为止并没有明确表示希望立即让哈马斯加入到谈判中来。这两个派别仍然是针尖对麦芒。在赢得大选一年半后,哈马斯用武力将阿巴斯领导的法塔赫从加沙地带驱逐出来。自那以后,以色列就开始了对该地区的封锁。这项行动受到世界大多数国家愈来愈强烈的批评,而法塔赫在此期间无所作为。此时发生了以色列突击队与一个挑战封锁政策的船队间的冲突,并由于操作失当而导致了严重的伤亡。控制了加沙的哈马斯能够迅速重返世界关注的中心,部分要归功于此次事件。

The pro-Western Arab countries most closely involved, in particular Egypt, are still keen to bolster Mr Abbas’s party and keep Hamas out of the negotiating game. For several years Egypt’s government has been trying, after a fashion, to patch up differences between Hamas and Fatah, but in reality it loathes Hamas, originally a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, because it bitterly opposes Egypt’s regime and its ailing president, Hosni Mubarak.

与此有重大利益关系的亲西方阿拉伯国家,特别是埃及,仍支持阿巴斯一派,将哈马斯排斥在谈判进程之外。埃及政府数年内勉强作了一些弥合哈马斯与法塔赫分歧的工作,但实际上它厌恶哈马斯。这个组织原先是穆斯林兄弟会的一个分支,它激烈反对埃及的政治体制及境况不佳的穆巴拉克总统。

Meanwhile Hamas waits on the sidelines as the proximity talks stumble, despite the doggedly hopeful assertions of Mr Obama’s Middle East officials. George Mitchell, America’s envoy, keeps his cards to his chest, unable so far to point to any gains. Mr Abbas’s Palestinians, who insist that two of the biggest issues—redrawing the borders of the would-be states and arranging their security—should be tackled first, say the talks have got nowhere.

尽管奥巴马政府负责中东问题的官员断言谈判前景乐观,这场近距离间接会谈还是举步维艰,而哈马斯只是在一边冷眼旁观。美国特使乔治•米切尔(George Mitchell)将牌捂得很紧,目前还无法猜测他都有哪些牌可以打出。阿巴斯一派的巴勒斯坦人认为会谈没有取得任何进展,他们坚持两项最难以解决的问题必须首先解决,也就是重新划定未来两国(目前还只是可能的两国)的边界和做出保证这个国家安全的安排。

They are especially concerned that Mr Netanyahu should extend his freeze on the building of Jewish settlements in the West Bank after the promised ten-month period elapses in September. It was his refusal to do so and his determination to exclude East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians see as their future capital, that previously so enraged Mr Obama that he refused to welcome Mr Netanyahu warmly the last time he visited the White House. Mr Obama and the Israelis have talked up this week’s meeting: the American president is acutely conscious, in the run-up to November’s congressional elections, that he has been accused by the Republicans of being unduly harsh towards Israel.

他们特别关注在约旦河西岸修建犹太人定居点的问题,内塔尼亚胡所承诺的为期十个月的冻结期9月份就要到期了,他们认为应该延长这一期限。而内塔尼亚胡在这一点上拒绝让步以及他决定将东耶路撒冷问题排除在谈判议题之外的做法深深地激怒了奥巴马,在尼塔尼亚胡上一次造访白宫时,奥巴马态度冷淡。巴勒斯坦人视东耶路撒冷为其未来的首都。奥巴马总统和以色列人都公开谈论了本周的会面,显然奥巴马敏锐地意识到11月将举行的国会选举,而在目前进行的前哨战中他有失分的危险,共和党人已经在指责他对以色列过于苛刻。

So Mr Meshal is waiting for the talks to fail, hoping for a groundswell of diplomatic calls for Hamas to be part of future negotiations, even if it refuses to recognise Israel first. He notes with relish the weakening diplomatic clout of Egypt, the reluctance of Saudi Arabia to take the lead, the rise of Turkey and its froideur with Israel following the flotilla episode that left nine Turks dead, and the resilience of both Syria and Iran, both backers of Hamas. At the same time, he savours the apparent enfeeblement of America, as it flounders in Afghanistan and fails to pacify Iraq. “They can’t even deal with the Somali pirates,” says Hamas’s foreign-affairs spokesman, Osama Hamdan, with a chuckle.

因此,马沙尔先生正在静候谈判的失败,希望一场要求哈马斯加入未来谈判的外交浪潮能够平地而起,即使哈马斯拒绝首先承认以色列也无所谓。他津津有味地(对中东地区各大国的现状)逐一进行了点评。埃及的外交影响力日渐式微;沙特阿拉伯不愿意做出头鸟;土耳其正在崛起,在发生了9名土耳其人死亡的船队被袭事件后,它与以色列的关系非常冷淡;叙利亚和伊朗富有弹性,这两个国家都支持哈马斯。同时,他还品味着美国的明显衰弱。美国在阿富汗深陷泥潭,也未能使伊拉克实现和平。哈马斯的外交事务发言人乌萨马•哈姆丹笑着说:“他们甚至都对付不了索马里海盗。”

A growing number of Americans, though not yet officials in the administration, are keen to seek him out, claims Mr Meshal. “The American administration and European officials are having to hold themselves back [from talking to Hamas] and that’s a bigger burden for them than for us. The world must engage with us, if not today, then tomorrow. Internally, the EU knows it must meet Hamas. The current policy is a burden on the Europeans.”

马沙尔断言,越来越多的美国人(虽然还不包括政府官员)都热切地希望他出山。“美国政府和欧盟的官员们不得不克制他们想要与哈马斯进行谈判的念头,如此一来他们扛上的包袱就比我们要重得多。这个世界不得不与我们打交道,如果不是在今天,那就是拖到明天。欧盟在内心里知道它必须与哈马斯进行谈判。它目前执行的政策给欧洲人造成了负担。”

Mr Meshal also points to a split in the peacemaking Quartet of the EU, Russia, the UN and the United States. The Quartet says it will not engage with Hamas unless, among other things, it recognises Israel. Yet Russia’s president, Dmitri Medvedev, recently held talks with Mr Meshal, making it plain he intends to foster relations.

马沙尔还指出,欧盟、俄罗斯、联合国和美国是参与调停的四方,但他们之间也出现了裂痕。这四方均表示哈马斯除了要满足其它一些条件外,还必须承认以色列,否则不会与它打交道。而俄罗斯总统梅德韦杰夫最近同马沙尔举行了一次会谈,明白无误地表达了他打算促进双方关系的意愿。

Chicken and egg
鸡与蛋

There may be wishful thinking in some of this. While Mr Meshal predictably exults in Turkey’s new warmth towards Hamas, Israel still has strong links with the government in Ankara, despite the current spat. Yet Europeans are growing less insistent, so far mostly in private, that Hamas should recognise Israel before it can join the diplomatic fray. Hamas implies that recognition would come at the end of negotiations, not at the start. Mr Meshal has reiterated many times in the past few years that he accepts two states either side of the boundary drawn before the Israel-Arab war of 1967. “We’ve given positive signals that we’re ready to be realistic and to deal pragmatically with the current situation.”

然而马沙尔先生对某些事情的分析判断也许只是他的一厢情愿而已。马沙尔对土耳其新近展示给哈马斯的温情狂喜不已,这可以理解。但尽管目前双方发生了口角,以色列仍然保持着与安卡拉政权的牢固关系。欧洲人是不再固执于哈马斯必须首先承认以色列然后才能加入谈判的条件了,但迄今为止这种观点也主要是在私下里谈谈而已。哈马斯暗示对以色列的承认应该是谈判的结果,而不是参与谈判的条件。过去几年间马沙尔一再重申,他接受以1967年阿以战争前的边界为基础的两个国家的方案。“我们已经发出了积极的信号,我们准备以务实的态度和务实的手法应对当前局势。”

He repeatedly endorses the “national reconciliation document” of 2006 that grew out of an agreement between prominent Hamas and Fatah prisoners in Israeli jails (where at least 6,300 still languish), which clearly calls for a Palestinian state along the 1967 border, contradicting the fearsome Hamas charter of 1988, which demands a state on all of pre-1948 Palestine, including what became Israel. Less helpfully, the document of 2006 also insists on Palestinian refugees’ “right of return” to land and homes lost after Israel was founded. And Mr Meshal still stubbornly refuses to disavow the Hamas charter, dismissing it breezily as an old document in reality overtaken by events yet still—by implication—useful as bargaining chip.更多信息请访问:http://www.24en.com/

他反复肯定了2006年由关押在以色列监狱中(目前至少还有6300人仍然被囚)著名的哈马斯与法塔赫人士协商一致后签署的《民族和解文件》,这份文件明确要求沿1967年边界建立巴勒斯坦国,否定了哈马斯1988年发布的令人恐怖的宣言。该宣言要求在1948年前的整个巴勒斯坦土地上,包括后来成为了以色列国的那部分地方建立一个巴勒斯坦国。2006年的这份宣言还毫无益处地坚持巴勒斯坦难民有权返回以色列成立以来所失去的土地和家园。马沙尔先生仍然顽固地拒绝放弃哈马斯宣言,轻描淡写地将它说成是一个已经落后于事态发展的旧章程而无需关注了,但暗示它作为一个讨价还价的筹码还是有用的。

That will hardly convince the Israelis, but Mr Meshal sounds endlessly wary of making concessions that might not then be reciprocated. In his view, Mr Abbas and Fatah have done so with humiliating frequency. “We have learnt from the experience of past PLO negotiations,” he says, referring to the Palestine Liberation Organisation, the umbrella body of which Fatah is the chief part, which recognised Israel in 1988. “We are different from the PLO. First, we don’t give in to threats—we’re not afraid. And second, we are patient.”

仅此很难说服以色列人做出妥协,但马沙尔先生似乎对做出没有得到即时回报的让步持极端谨慎的态度。他认为,阿巴斯与法塔赫过去经常这样妥协让步而饱受了屈辱。马沙尔说:“我们已经从过去巴解组织进行的谈判中得到了经验教训,(巴解于1988年承认了以色列,法塔赫是其主流派别。)我们与巴解组织不同。首先,我们不屈服于威胁,我们无所畏惧。其次,我们有足够的耐心。”