Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Hamas winning is a great thing dare I say? A ray of truth perhaps being shone on the conflict for at least a while anyway.

  1. Hamas - Now they have to govern themselves.
  2. Western Liberals - Used to get away with fronting that Fatah was a "secular" alternative that "accepted Israel's existence" and "could be negotiated with".... They can't possibly make this fantasy stick about Hamas. (Fatah is the one who mainstreamed suicide bombing to Pali kids -and- NEVER repealed Charter calling for the Destuction of Israel) Hamas is just more honest in English and Arabic than Fatah. Now the UN, EU and State Dept can't paint the same false fantasy about Hamas.

Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe agrees with me 100%.

Hamas victory is good news
By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist January 29, 2006

WESTERN reactions to the outcome of the Palestinian election last week came in two varieties: highly negative and decidedly undecided.

In the first category was Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who moaned that the Hamas defeat of Fatah was a ''very, very, very bad result." In New York, the Anti-Defamation League pronounced the results ''a tremendous setback."

Others insisted that the significance of the election couldn't be known until Hamas decides whether or not to abandon its foremost objective: the liquidation of Israel. In the words of FBI Director Robert Mueller, ''Hamas has a choice to make." It was a line echoed everywhere, from the British Foreign Office to the New York Times editorial page.

Well, put me in a third camp: I think the sweeping Hamas victory is by far the best result that could have been hoped for.

I say that not because Hamas is anything other than a blood-drenched terrorist group, but because its lopsided win is an unambiguous reality check into the nature of Palestinian society. And if there is one thing that the West badly needs, it is more realism and less delusion about the Palestinians.

Some of that delusion was on display at the White House on Thursday, when President Bush painted the Palestinian election as a ''healthy" exercise in civic reform:

  • ''Obviously, people were not happy with the status quo," Bush explained. ''The people are demanding honest government. The people want services. They want to be able to raise their children in an environment in which they can get a decent education and they can find healthcare. And so the elections should open the eyes of the old guard there in the Palestinian territories. . . . There's something healthy about a system that does that."

Spare us, Mr. President. If a slate of neo-Nazi skinheads swept to power in a European election, would you say that the voters were seeking ''honest government" and ''services"?

Palestinians are not stupid, and it insults their intelligence to pretend that when they vote to empower a genocidal organization with a platform straight out of ''Mein Kampf," what they're really after is better healthcare. Islamist extremism isn't needed to fix Palestinian hospitals any more than fascism was needed to make Italian trains run on time in the 1920s. If Palestinians turned out en masse to elect a party that unapologetically stands for hatred and mass murder, it's a safe bet that hatred and mass murder had something to do with the turnout.

By the same token, Hamas's new duties are not going to turn it into a moderate group of diligent civil servants. When violent Islamists win political power, their brutality and zealotry do not diminish. (See Khomeini, Ayatollah and Taliban, Afghan). The notion that Hamas now has ''a choice to make" is just another example of the delusional thinking that is so pervasive when it comes to the Palestinian Authority.

In his remarks on Thursday, Bush went on to say that he didn't ''see how you can be a partner in peace if you advocate the destruction of a country as part of your platform" or ''if your party has got an armed wing" and that Hamas is therefore ''a party with which we will not deal." If that means that the Bush administration will shun the new Hamas government as it once shunned Yasser Arafat, well and good. But why was Mahmoud Abbas treated any differently?

  • Like Hamas, Fatah -- the PLO faction Abbas and Arafat co-founded 45 years ago -- advocates Israel's destruction in its basic charter.
  • Like Hamas, Fatah has an ''armed wing" -- the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades -- that is guilty of horrific terror attacks.
  • Fatah's emblem shows crossed rifles against a map of ''Palestine" that depicts all of Israel; on the Hamas emblem, the map is the same, but the crossed weapons are swords.

The only important difference between the ousted Fatah party and the incoming Hamas leadership is that for PR purposes the former sometimes pretended to accept Israel's right to exist, while the latter is openly and unabashedly committed to Israel's elimination.

Yet that is why the Hamas landslide is good news.

It will now be much harder to wish away the unpleasant fact that after a dozen years of PLO misrule, Palestinian society is deeply dysfunctional, steeped in hatred and violence. All but the willfully blind can now see that the Palestinian Authority is no ''partner in peace." Until it is decisively defeated and thoroughly detoxified, the Palestinian people will never enjoy the blessings of liberty and decent governance. Ironically, the ascendancy of Hamas may have brought that day a little closer.

Jeff Jacoby's e-mail address is jacoby@globe.com

UPDATE: Richard Landes Keeping Our Eye On the ball three reflections on Hamas makes the basic point that Hamas will eventually become whitewashed as well. They'll either have their "military and social" wings recognized as actually being distinct and different, aka the IRA or they'll just be whitewashed. The reason?

In my opinion the Western World and UN needs this show to continue for -

  • Altruistic reasons - there has to be a silver rainbow we can strive to
  • Its a business - UN and EU bureaucrats need something to be "accomplishing" to feel/look important.
  • You have to recognize Hamas bcs everyone else will eventually do so and whitewash them, so if you don't you are an "extremist" and articles on Hamas being bad and genocidal don't sell as well as the ones that actually show Israel is equal or "worse than".
  • Parent syndrome - We can't say no to or really withhold anything and the Palestinian gov't forces even Hamas know this. They simply need to wink and nod a little and the $$ will keep coming as well as contacts either un-official or officially.


At 4:39 PM, Blogger Tovya @ Zion Report said...

Good post. I wrote the same thing a few days back.

At 8:51 PM, Blogger Richard Landes said...

okay, let's spin an optimistic scenario. the response to the danish cartoons turns things around, and an increasing number of people begin to understand what kind of a basic moral stance has to be taken, basic, not the frills that come with moral condescension, but reciprocal, as all moral relations need to be. then across a whole front of issues, we insist on basics, refuse to deal with prevarication when we see it, and encourage the arab and muslim world to level up rather than bring everyone down in the paranoid quagmire.

and not to suggest that journalists might have moral ambitions, but wouldn't it be nice to see reporters begin to challenge the statements they hear from these organizations, rather than "neutrally" pass them on as if they had validity. that's what gives us the baneful effects of moral relativism.

but, to get realistic a moment, the power of this weird moral insanity we're in right now is great. it's as if we have no confidence in our own civilization. astounding accomplishment with so much potential, and we somehow feel the need to destroy it.

At 8:35 AM, Blogger Richard Landes said...

well, i guess my optimism was not justified.

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