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April 13, 2014 2:44 pm

Former Terrorist: Palestinian Leadership to Blame for Failure of Peace Talks (VIDEO)

avatar by Aryeh Savir / Tazpit News Agency

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Dr. Tawfik Hamid. Photo: Provided by subject.

Dr. Tawfik Hamid is a unique and often solitary voice in the Islamic world. A self-described former terrorist, he was a member of the militant al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya group, together with Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, who subsequently became the leader of Al-Qaeda. Hamid stresses he has never actually committed any acts of violence.

Currently a Senior Fellow and Chair for the Study of Islamic Radicalism at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, Hamid has a medical degree in internal medicine and a master’s degree in cognitive psychology and educational techniques. He says that some twenty-five years ago, he recognized the threat of radical Islam and the need for reformation based upon peaceful interpretations of classical Islamic texts.

Hamid believes the real message of Islam has been hijacked by many people throughout history who have defamed the religion and portrayed it incorrectly. He says he started to preach in mosques to promote his message, and, as a result, became a target of Islamic militants, who threatened his life.

Expressing his opinion recently on the ongoing peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Dr. Hamid placed the blame for their failure on the Palestinian leadership. He stated that the Arabs’ suffering must be acknowledged, but its source is their own leadership. He said that the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are cynically and immorally using the Arabs’ plight for political gain.

“One million Arabs live in Israel with the Jews and they are not suffering like the Arabs who are actually controlled by the Arabs. To be honest, you have to say that the Palestinian suffering is because of their leadership, not because of Israel,” Dr. Hamid said.

“The solution is in the hands of the Palestinians,” he said, “They have to take the decision to stop the suffering of their people.” Hamid asserted that the key to peace is for the Palestinians to change their attitude towards Israel. If they truly extend their hand in peace, all can be resolved, he said.

Watch a video of Dr. Hamid’s message below:

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