Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kuwaiti Columnist Fuad Al-Hashem Explains the Anti-Hamas Tone in His Articles

Following are excerpts from an interview with Kuwaiti journalist Fuad Al-Hashem, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on September 25, 2009.

Interviewer: "First of all, I'd like to talk to you about a provocative article which you wrote during the war on Gaza, under the title: 'Use Chemical Weapons, Olmert.' In that December 2008 article, you called upon Olmert to intensify the torment of the people of Gaza, and you used the well-known slogan: 'Use chemical weapons, Olmert.'1


"Do you believe in that slogan – 'Use chemical weapons, Olmert'?"

Fuad Al-Hashem: "It's not my slogan. It's [a paraphrase] of a slogan used by the Palestinians themselves in the days of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, when missiles were falling on Riyadh, on Khobar, and on Kuwait itself. They are the ones who coined this slogan..."

Interviewer: "Missiles did not fall on Kuwait, because it was occupied..."

Fuad Al-Hashem: "That's right. Instead of standing alongside [the Saudi city of] Al-Dammam, which later suffered from the Iraqi invasion as well, they chanted ['Use chemical weapons, Saddam, from Kuwait to Al-Dammam']. I just wanted to see how they would feel, what their reaction would be, if somebody were to utter a similar slogan."

Interviewer: "But you do not subscribe to this slogan."

Fuad Al-Hashem: "I don't control the button for the Israeli nuclear weapons. I never said I did. Olmert controls the nuclear button."

Interviewer: "True, but as a journalist, you express your opinions. Were you hoping that Olmert..."

Fuad Al-Hashem: "No, I just wanted to give them a taste of their own medicine."


Interviewer: "During that same war, you wrote about the killing of Nizar Rayan, a Hamas leader. That article was provocative too, because you talked about a struggle 'from between eight thighs.' You were criticized in the wake of that article."

Fuad Al-Hashem: "Yes. Strongly criticized."

Interviewer: "You don't regret writing this?"

Fuad Al-Hashem: "No. The people who criticized me should ask themselves one question. In a time of war, when Israel is killing fighters on the streets of Gaza – what is a leader doing at home? He was among his wives when he was killed. What does a fighter do, in wartime..."

Interviewer: Maybe he was strategizing...

Fuad Al-Hashem: "Strategizing from between eight thighs is not appropriate for revolutionaries. In all the revolutions throughout history – the Cuban revolution, the Bolivian revolution..."

Interviewer: "Don't you think that if someone is killed by the weapons of the Israeli occupation, it is inappropriate for a journalist to talk about [his wives'] thighs?"

Fuad Al-Hashem: "He's the one who married eight..."

Interviewer: "Four wives."

Fuad Al-Hashem: "Four wives – that makes eight thighs. I got it right. I just translated the number of wives into the number of thighs."

Interviewer: "But don't you think that was offensive?"

Fuad Al-Hashem: "If that was offensive, I wish they had offended us in such a trivial way during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and had accused us of something, or objected to something that way. But they supported the Iraqi invasion, and that is something we will never forget.


"The Al-Watan newspaper has many Palestinian workers, and I help many of them..."

Interviewer: "You help them personally?"

Fuad Al-Hashem: "Yes, I help pay for their children's schooling. They are wretched people. They are the victims of their leaders and their regime, who flung them into this wilderness. Look at the price that the Palestinian people paid for the position taken by the late Arafat regarding the invasion of Kuwait. Look what happened to the Palestinians in the Gulf."

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