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Thursday, August 21, 2003
So the "truce" between Hamas and Israel is over. Is this a surprise to anyone? As long as militant activities are tolerated, they will continue. Elimination of the Jewish nation is the reason for Hamas' existence; don't be fooled into thinking they serve any other purpose. Did you ever live in a neighborhood where there was one kid who, despite any overtures toward peaceful co-existence you offered, he still managed to be a little too violent for his own good? That was Hamas, and you were the allegorical Israel.
What kind of entity is Hamas? Evidence of their civility follows:
Dozens of Hamas supporters at the scene dunked their fists in blood, raised their hands and vowed revenge, chanting “God is great.”
Does anyone expect these people to lay down their weapons, step aside, and forge a peaceful solution to their problems in the Middle East? No, because they do not seek solutions. They seek genocide, pure and simple. Israel has a right to defend themselves, as much as America did after 9/11. President Bush stated, quite simply that "the most important thing is for the parties that care for peace to dismantle terrorist organizations that want to kill." This has been Israel's modus operandi all along, and it will continue until someone in a position of authority demands accountability from terrorist groups.
Palestinian leaders Abbas and Arafat promise "arrests", of what nature remains to be seen. The Hamas' leadership has sought not to abide by any crackdown against militants, but decries any leadership effort to do so:
“We hope that the Palestinian Authority...learns the lesson that the Zionist enemy wants to use it to realise its aims in oppressing the Palestinian people,” Osama Hamdan told Reuters. “We consider that it is up to the Authority government to stop its threats to the resistance and return to the Palestinian people in the framework of a national dialogue based on protecting them.”
Arafat and company have played politics for too long, seeking to please their constituents in the anti-Zionist movements, while maintaining a public facade of normalcy and tolerance. This is inconsistent with the stated goals of Hamas, and other groups. For the "road map to peace" to succeed, it will require unpopular decisions by Arafat and Abbas, and distancing themselves publicly and privately from Hamas will be a good start. Unfortunately, it remains to be seen how sincere the leadership of the Palestinian people are, or if they are, in fact, more similar to Hamas than we want to admit.
NOTE: The Wall Street Journal takes a similar position.
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