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Monday, February 20, 2006

Terror Takes Office

In FrontPage Magazine, David Hornik looks at Hamas' ascendancy to power as a failure of the West, including Israel:

The swearing-in of a Hamas legislature in Ramallah on Saturday can be seen as symbolizing Israel’s and the West’s failure to preempt the Islamist threat, instead letting it grow to emergency proportions through various kinds of temporizing and self-delusion. Britain, France, and Germany were assigned to use “soft power” and hold endless talks with Iran until a particularly lunatic and dangerous leader was elected while Iran’s nuclear program advanced to the point of no return. Israel, after drubbing Hamas militarily during 2004, accepted a ceasefire, handed Hamas a territorial base in Gaza, allowed it to run for office, and now faces a Nazi regime on the outskirts of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

A particularly amazing case of prevarication and passivity emerged last week when Israeli security officials warned of a “large-scale disaster,” and urged emergency preparations, in case Kassam rockets fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza hit sensitive facilities, including chemical storage tanks, in nearby Ashkelon. Seemingly, the best way to cope with a threat of thousands of people being burned or gassed to death through an artillery strike is not passive preparations, but military action against the threat. But since effective action entails reinvading Gaza and this is considered politically inexpedient for many reasons, it is considered preferable to gamble with the lives of thousands. [See my two previous posts about Ashkelon. CiJ]

Meanwhile, only weeks after it was elected, Hamas’s legitimation by the world community continues. President Putin, having already invited Hamas leaders for talks while reportedly considering weapon sales to the organization, has taken the lead in signaling that an Islamist terror group—even one known to be closely allied with “his own” Chechen rebels—is different from all others if it is mainly anti-Jewish. Turkey, often cited as a successful case of Islamic secularization and democracy, has already wined and dined Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, whom Israel tried to assassinate in Amman in 1997. The message is the same: whereas Muslim anti-Turkish terror leader Abdullah Ojalan sits in a Turkish prison for life, Mashaal only kills Jews and is an honored guest.

Meanwhile Europe, while making proper noises about the “unacceptable” nature of a Hamas government, is continuing financial aid to the PA while it “waits and sees” what sort of regime takes shape—which means, in translation, finding ways to keep paying the jizya to Europe’s Islamic attackers/protectors. And while America, to its credit, has stopped direct aid to the PA and is encouraging other countries to do the same, it is also urging that highly fungible “humanitarian” aid be continued—suggesting that Palestinians must always be coddled even when they elect an overtly genocidal government, and that the PA, unlike the Taliban or Saddam regimes, always has to be nurtured and sustained, never invaded and dismantled by its mortally endangered neighbor Israel.

The constant posing of conditions to Hamas of recognizing Israel, disarming, and changing its charter, in which Israel’s caretaker Olmert government goes along with the Quartet, also signals that Hamas is a potentially rational, constructive force, steadily dilutes awareness of its real nature, and gives it a bonanza of opportunities to exploit Western useful idiocy. It was, after all, Yasser Arafat’s “recognition” of Israel in 1988, and continued skillful pandering to Israeli and Western dreams and delusions, that allowed him to attain land, weapons, aid, a Nobel Peace Prize, and a launching pad to wage a savage terror war against Israel. Hamas is already said to be considering cosmetic changes in its charter, and in PA president Mahmoud Abbas—an iconic “Palestinian moderate”—has an ideal fig leaf to make use of. What is already clear is that Hamas somehow has a different status than the Taliban or Al Qaeda as an organization always on the verge of “reforming” and reaping the rewards.

Read the whole thing.


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