Dangerous Dan Thoughts and musings on the world

1/27/2006

Hamas Wins

Filed under: Politics,World — Dangerous Dan @ 12:08 am

The Middle East Peace Process (TM) has certainly been put in an interesting spot with Hamas taking control of the Palestinian government. Hamas's avowed goal is the destruction of Israel and it's recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.S., the EU, and others.

At the moment, Israel has said it will not speak to or negotiate with the new government. This is understandable since Hamas has that whole "destroy Israel" platform and the Israelis are likely a little upset at the numerous civilians killed by Hamas rocket attacks and suicide bombings.

The states that prop up the Palestinian government with foreign aid have also been put in a pickle. They have until now blamed the regional problems on Israeli aggression and have also excused the terrorist tendencies of previous Palestinian governments by saying that at least those in charge were not as violent as those who could be in charge, i.e. the less crazy people were running the asylum and so they were reasonable when compared to the nutjobs in the padded rooms. That won't work so well anymore. As Bluto points out here, it will be illegal for the U.S. to give aid to the Palestinians while Hamas is in charge. The Euros, the primary enablers, will have trouble justifying giving material aid to a terrorist group.

So what to do? Many countries are saying that for Hamas to be a good member of the world community (and to ensure their continued support), it will have to recognize Israel and its right to exist, support the Oslo Accords, renounce violence, work for peace, etc., etc. Essentially, it will have to do all the things it now and in the past has made a point of explicitly rejecting. Past parties in charge of the Palestinian government, e.g. the PLO and Fatah, weren't high on those things either. They, however, were successful in paying lip service to the world's demands for rhetorical obeisance while still privately supporting terrorism. Thus, they were wolves in sheep's clothing. Hamas, on the other hand, so proudly parades its status as the baddest wolf around that sheepskin will be a poor fit indeed. Any claims it makes about supporting peace with Israel will strain credulity to the point that not even the Euros will be able to find excuses to believe them.

So as it is, Hamas can either choose to be an open wolf or a disguised one. Considering it has built its reputation and popularity on its lycanthropic image and that attempting to present a wooly visage is too dubious for plausible belief, it will probably choose to continue being what it has always been: a terrorist organization bent on destroying Israel by any means necessary. It might as well be what everyone knows it is.

This is bad for the Middle East Peace Process (TM), so called, but probably better for Middle East peace. As Emanuele Ottolenghi argues here, the mask is now off. A wolf has always led the Palestinians, but at least now its obvious and foreign governments can now no longer point to a wool exterior in excusing their own behavior or aid. Real progress can be better made in the long term when an enemy is open about being an enemy.

What's unfortunate is that the Palestinian people continue electing factions that advocate violence and, accordingly, they wind up working against their goal of having their own autonomous state. My contention has been that the Palestinians could accomplish more in six months than they have in sixty years if they just adopted a policy of civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance, while simultaneously proving they were not a material threat to Israel. Instead, they continue down the same failed path they've traveled the past half-century with the ever-present promise that victory is just over the next hill. Too bad.

1 Comment »

  1. I dig the trademarked term. :-) Excellent post.

    Comment by Mike — 1/27/2006 @ 2:17 pm

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