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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Thoughts on the 'Palestinian election' results

A lot of people are quite upset that Hamas has won the 'Palestinian elections.' I've done some thinking about it and I'm not sure it matters. Here's why.

I'm not convinced that Hamas winning the election rather than Fatah makes a whole lot of difference either vis a vis our battle with the 'Palestinians' or vis a vis our battle with the Iranians. I don't share the 'fear' that the Israeli Foreign Ministry has that the world will suddenly decide that it has to recognize and deal with Hamas. I think the Euroweenies have and will continue to deal with Hamas anyway (independent of the outcome of the 'elections') and that the Bush administration will drop the "Lebanon model" and use the "Iran model" instead for dealing with Hamas. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.

The PA at least said the things the US demanded that they say. Remember Rita Hauser coaxing Arafat to say the 'right words' in 1988?

In everything that has happened in the US dealings with the PA since 1993, it has been Israel taking the lead. The US has dealt with the PA because Israel wanted it to. If Rabin and Slimy Shimon had not brought the PA back from Tunis in 1993, the US would have left them to rot there. The reason the US has dealt with the PA for the last 12.5 years is that Israel's position on dealing with the PA has been ambiguous. Every time Arafat would say something that was inconsistent with 'recognizing Israel's 'right to exist,' the Israelis would choose to ignore it and the Americans would play along.

With Hamas, there is no such ambiguity. Israelis across the spectrum (well, nearly across the spectrum - see below) will not deal with a group of terrorists that makes statements to the media like "recognizing Israel is not on our agenda." If Israel doesn't deal with them, the US won't press Israel to deal with them - and won't deal with them itself - because W would look like a huge hypocrite and because Congress will rise up against him. Congress has already spoken regarding Hamas.

That does not mean that there won't be more withdrawals from explusions of Jews from Judea and Samaria. There might be. But they will be 'unilateral' and they will be couched in terms of Israel setting its borders (which is how the Gaza withdrawal expulsion was characterized). Unfortunately, setting borders that the other side will never recognize is an exercise in futility, but I think that will happen if Kadima Achora (or for that matter Labor) forms the next government in Israel, and I think it would have happened whether Hamas or Fatah had won yesterday.

But there's more to it than that. Check out this post on (Professor) Steven Plaut's blog:

A strong Hamas victory is the only thing that stands a chance of forcing Israelis to open their eyes and wake up. As long as the PLO is in charge, the gigantic game of make-pretend continues. When the Hamas is marching about with costumes of suicide bombers and with its swastikas and other paraphernalia, then there can be no delusions about the nazification of the Palestinians. It is not that the Palestinians would really be any LESS nazified with the PLO in charge. It is just that the Abu-Mazen reps at the Potemkin negotiations and the make-pretend respectability of the PLO hoodlum chiefs allow the politicians and the media to continue to
pretend that there is a peace process.

The Hamas victory, and I wish it had been stronger, puts the lie to the game of make pretend. No longer can any intelligent Israeli pretend that there is any way to deal with the Palestinians other than war. The only way to stop the Kassams and suicide bombers is R&D = Re-Occupation and Denazification. And with the Hamas in charge, everyone in Israel is forced to acknowledge this.

Well, almost everyone. Haaretz and the Far Left have actually been preparing the Israeli public for a Hamas victory in recent months, and they are spreading the new epistle: "We can do business with the Hamas." Leftist after leftist proclaims that the solution is to negotiate with the Hamas. After all, the Hamas is as "genuine" and "representative" of Palestinians as the PLO and it even wins "elections". Some Hamas officials are encouraging the trend of self-annihilation in Israel by putting out duplicitous statements about how the Hamas acknowledges that Israel exists (as an empirical reality that needs to be corrected, that is). Statements that recall Arafat's duplicitous words.

So get ready for new calls to enter into negotiations with the Hamas. We can try to persuade them to have a salad bar on the cattle cars taking Israeli Jews to concentration camps, and perhaps institute recycling and free tuition at the concentration camps Hamas is seeking to build. Israeli professors will soon be wearing their Hamas lapel pins. Hamas poetry will soon be taught to Israeli school children. Israeli schools will be screening films celebrating the heroism of Palestinian suicidebombers (like the University of Haifa screened this week).

And Second Shoah Now will be the fastest growing movement in Israeli society, holding mass demonstrations for peace in Rabin Square.


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