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Monday, May 15, 2006

How We Brought Hamas to Power

I think that Elan Journo gives the United States too much credit for bringing Hamas to power in this FrontPageMagazine.com article. I think that Israel deserves at least as much credit.
But as has been proven repeatedly by their actions and by numerous polls--and now by the recent election--the overwhelming majority of Palestinians aspire not for a civilized state but to eradicate Israel and replace it with a brutal dictatorship. Because they embrace this vicious goal, hordes of Palestinians idolized arch terrorist Yasser Arafat for waging a terrorist war to wipe out Israel and establish a nationalist dictatorship. During Arafat's brutal reign, they abetted his terrorism and celebrated his atrocities. They served as cheerleaders or recruits for terrorist groups.

Yet Washington, deluding itself that Palestinians seek legitimate goals, rationalized Palestinian barbarities as the lashing out of oppressed victims. And so, as they mounted more attacks, Washington urged ever more concessions to the Palestinians. It has urged Israel to respect, not punish, them. The United States forbade Israel from laying a finger on Arafat, and extended this tender solicitude to Hamas leaders, like Salah Shededah. When Israeli forces found this organizer of suicide bombings and assassinated him, President Bush condemned Israel for its "heavy-handed" measures. Washington actually whitewashed the blood-stained Arafat and his crony Abbas as peace-loving statesmen and invited them to the White House.

Even as Palestinian terrorism raged, in defiance of Palestinian obligations under successive "peace deals," America continued to dole out rewards. It sent hundreds of millions in aid to the terrorist-sponsoring Palestinian Authority. When Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza strip, rendering itself more vulnerable to predations, America wholeheartedly approved--and insisted on further land concessions. Palestinians, who swiftly began rocket attacks from Gaza, were jubilant; they correctly saw themselves as the victors whose terrorist war had won our approval and forced Israel to retreat.

American policy teaches Palestinians that their goal of destroying Israel--and the terrorism they employ to achieve it--is legitimate and practical. The ascendance of Hamas therefore was predictable. It is by far the more consistent proponent of that murderous goal.

Hamas openly seeks the destruction of Israel; it righteously wages a war of rocket attacks and suicide bombings against Israel. The once-dominant Fatah has also long sought Israel's destruction, but it never delivered final triumph over Israel. That failure--Hamas and many other Palestinians conclude--stems from lacking dedication to the goal. Fatah's leadership, more interested in retaining power than in advancing the people's cause, deviated from the path of war: it countenanced negotiating with and recognizing Israel.
Yes, but.... The decision to unilaterally expel all the Jews from Gaza was Israel's decision. George Bush didn't ask for it and had to be talked into it by Sharon. Similarly, Olmert's convergence consolidation surrender plan is Olmert's idea - not Bush's. And the withdrawal fleeing from Southern Lebanon was Ehud Barak's idea and not Bill Clinton's. Let's face it folks: Israel has done at least as much as the US has done to bring Hamas to power. And probably more.


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