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Friday, April 18, 2008

Glick: Why the Hamas boycott is unsustainable

Caroline Glick hits a home run today with this column on why the boycott of Hamas is unsustainable. Take a look and then I'll make a comment or two at the end.
It is hard to know what to make of either the Bush administration's criticism of Carter, or for that matter the Olmert-Livni-Barak government's shunning of the former president. Legal restrictions on maintaining contacts with terror operatives aside, Carter's hostility to Israel and his enthusiastic embrace of Hamas are the logical outcome of their own policies. Indeed, several government ministers from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's Kadima party have expressed willingness to engage Hamas. And at present, through Egypt and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, the Olmert-Livni-Barak government is negotiating with Hamas toward a temporary cease-fire that would leave the Hamas regime in Gaza intact and armed.

The basic belief that informs both the Olmert-Livni-Barak government and the Bush administration is the same as Carter's. Namely, they believe that the Palestinian war against Israel is the consequence of Palestinian statelessness. Then, too, both governments accept the Arab and European assertion that the lack of Palestinian statehood is the root cause of the Arab and Islamic world's rejection of Israel's right to exist and of the larger pathologies of the jihad-supporting Arab and Islamic world.

This basic ideological premise has been the core belief of the Israeli and American policy-making classes since the advent of the Israeli-PLO "peace process" in 1993. And in light of this premise it is hard to see how the official boycott of Hamas is sustainable or even logical. The belief that the root cause of all the Middle East's troubles is a lack of Palestinian sovereignty generally, and more specifically the view that Israel's continued control over areas it secured during the third Arab war against Israel is the root of the conflict, renders Israel solely responsible for resolving the conflict. It is Israel, after all that is blocking Palestinian control over Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. It is Israel that is putting up obstacles to Palestinian sovereignty.

This is the view that informed Israel's 1993 decision to embrace the mass-murdering father of modern terrorism Yassir Arafat and his PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. It was this view that caused Israel to turn a blind eye to Arafat's transformation of Palestinian society into the most jihadist society in the Arab world through the constant indoctrination of his official Palestinian media organs, education systems and mosques.

It is this view that still brings Israel's leaders to refer to Judea and Samaria as "occupied"; to negotiate the partition of Jerusalem; to outlaw Jewish building in Judea and Samaria and limit Jewish building in Jerusalem; to demonize Jewish opponents of their view as "extremists" and "enemies of peace": and to ignore the need to defend the western Negev from the Palestinian rocket campaign in Gaza.

It is this view that causes Israel's leaders to embrace Arafat's successor and deputy of 40 years, Mahmoud Abbas, as a "peace partner" while turning a blind eye to his open support for terror and Israel's violent destruction; his Fatah party's deep involvement in terror attacks against Israel; his financial support for terrorists and families of jailed and dead terrorists; and his operational ties to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Syria and Iran.

It is this view that has caused the US to treat Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria as moral equivalents of terrorism; to support the establishment of a Palestinian state that will be ethnically cleansed of all Jews; to pressure Israel to allow pro-terror Palestinian militias to deploy in Judea and Samaria and to curtail its counter-terror operations; to provide financial, military and political support to pro-terror Palestinian militias; and to pressure Israel to stop building homes for Jews in Jerusalem.

And, of course, it is this view that renders the US and Israel's current boycott of Hamas unsustainable and illogical. If Israel is to blame for the lack of Palestinian statehood, then nothing the Palestinians believe or do is relevant. The organizational separation of Hamas from Fatah is irrelevant. Hamas's subservience to Iran is irrelevant. Just as is the case with Fatah, so too, Hamas's embrace of terror as a means of advancing Israel's complete destruction is not a reason to boycott it. It is blameless. Carter is right.

To maintain their belief in Peace through Israeli capitulation as a panacea for all the Middle East's deformities, Peace adherents have been forced to replace their natural skepticism with artificial credulity. For in contrast to the Children of Israel in Pharaoh's Egypt, not only have they received no evidence that their faith in Peace is reasonable, they have seen in the terrorist murder of more than 1,500 Israelis since 1993 and in the daily incitement for Israel's destruction and massing of Palestinian terror armies of jihad overwhelming proof that their faith is unfounded. Indeed, just this week, Israel Radio reported that Abbas was planning to bestow the highest official PA honors on two female terrorist murderers jailed in Israeli prisons.

Actually, the story about Abbas's plan to publicly embrace mass murderers is instructive of how the blind faith in Peace has been maintained now for 15 years. The Israel Radio broadcast forced the Olmert-Livni-Barak government for the first time to acknowledge Abbas's support for terrorists and so placed in question the rationality of their entire policy of capitulating for Peace. At their insistence, Abbas announced he was cancelling the awards.

But as Prof. Mordechai Keidar from Bar-Ilan University pointed out in a radio interview Wednesday, the only thing extraordinary about Abbas's planned ceremony was that it was reported by the Israeli media. The PA has been annually bestowing its highest honors on jailed mass murderers. It's just that the flock of Peace faithful who run Israel's media have never reported the story before.

Yet, in spite of its leadership's and media's attempts to hide the truth from them, the Israel public has insisted on maintaining its natural skepticism and limiting its faith to its revealed God. Tel Aviv University's monthly Peace Index, which surveys the Israeli public's views on issues relating to the "peace process," showed that despite the government's and media's pro-Peace rhetoric and attempts to obfuscate reality, the majority of Israeli Jews have not accepted their views.

The majority of Israeli Jews view Judea and Samaria as "liberated" rather than "occupied" territories. They do not believe that signing a peace treaty with the Palestinians will bring peace, and they oppose destroying the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. A poll of the public's views of the government's plans to negotiate the partition of Jerusalem taken this week by Bar-Ilan's Begin-Sadat Center showed that 71 percent of Israelis oppose partitioning Jerusalem and ceding the Old City to the Palestinians.
And perhaps this explains the oft-cited claim that 64% of Israelis believe we should be talking to Hamas. 64% of Israelis - at least - understand that there is no difference between Fatah and Hamas. They are both terror organizations.

Read the whole thing.


At 6:53 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The truth is Jimmy Carter is indeed right. There's no real difference between Fatah and Hamas. They both advocate the destruction of Israel and terror as a weapon to achieve that aim. The main difference Fatah in contrast to Hamas, is willing to talk to Israel on how to shrink the Jewish State. Here too, Hamas has no real objections as long as talks do not involve negotiation of Israel's legitimacy.

Either terrorists are bad or there are honorable people of good will but they cannot be both. That's a fact of life Israel's government has yet to appreciate in formulating its policy towards the Arabs.

At 8:46 PM, Blogger J. Lichty said...

normanF - of course you are correct. Remember, even the Nazi's took their time in liquidating the Warsaw Ghetto.

At 10:09 PM, Blogger B'nai Elim Blogmaster said...

Olmert and his Gang are controlled by their own unabated egomania and narcissism. Their quest for power guides their actions rather than the good of Israel. Caroline's excellent piece placed the problem squarely into the laps of the Israeli people. If Israel is to survive, policies must change and waiting for the 2010 elections is not the answer. If the Olmert gang "negotiates" away Judea and Sameria and partitions Jerusalem, no one will be to blame but us. We must stand together, in Israel and the Diaspora, to force elections and bring a Strong New Government… that will protect and defend the Land and People of Eretz Israel!


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