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Thursday, January 26, 2006

# Posted 3:50 PM by Patrick Belton  

VARIOUS VERSIONS OF HAMAS - AN INCOMPLETE SOFTWARE UPDATE?: Writing in the Guardian, the Observer's Ireland editor Henry McDonald cautions against facile comparisons between the Northern Ireland peace process and whatever it is - peace process sounds faintly nostalgic, like Max Headroom or New Coke - we have between the Palestinian territories and the government of Israel. So far, so much fair enough. But I'm not sold - at any rate, yet - by his contention Hamas (bad terrorists, and not Catholics; though note a similar preference for facial hair between Gerry Adams and Khaled Mashaal) make a model of ideological inflexibility while the Provos (i.e., good terrorists, who talk like me and probably share similar, good, senses of humour and drinking habits) make one of pragmatism and ideological responsiveness. Maybe, but he hasn't yet convinced me. Old McDonald's principal evidence is that the H-Block hunger strikers didn't kill themselves (well, they didn't mean to), whereas the suicide bombers of the H-Bomb did. Also, he depicts the IRA as ideologically heterogeneous (q.v., the Irish tradition of beginning meetings with a split) and the other lads in green as homogeneous. I think the former evidence is spurious, and the latter comes from looking closely at one and only from a distance at the other.

Better, I think, on this point these: Sam Knight's Hamas facebook in the Times, and Graham Usher's article in the Middle East Report. Whether they're right or not, I don't know; but I plan to develop an obsession on telling these guys with the facial hair apart. We're going talking to some of them tomorrow.
(15) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments:
someone please remind me when the IRA pledged itself to the destruction of the United Kingdom.
 
Wishful thinking has not had a great track record in Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Better to see the enemy clearly for what he is.
 
BTW -- If you get a chance to talk to some of these guys tomorrow, you might ask them to clarify these statements.
 
"someone please remind me when the IRA pledged itself to the destruction of the United Kingdom."

Or called for total genocide...

From the Hamas charter:

"nevertheless, the Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Gharqad, which is a Jewish tree (cited by Bukhari and Muslim)."

The Hamas charter also borrows from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

"For a long time, the enemies have been planning, skillfully and with precision, for the achievement of what they have attained. They took into consideration the causes affecting the current of events. They strived to amass great and substantive material wealth which they devoted to the realisation of their dream. With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there."
 
I'm generally an Israel dove and a Labour-Left supporter. But I have no illusions about Hamas as some sort of legitimate peace partner. Their goals are dangerous, their methods are murderous, and they will have no trouble finding money from Iran and Saudi Arabia if the EU money dries up.
 
The most popular words on every Israeli politician's lips are "no partner" ; it worked for the PLO, it now works for the Hamas (which Israeli governments over the years helped to power by rejecting the PLO) and I'm sure it will go on.. One may then wonder who the "right partner" is? We prefer to make peace with civilized, preferably blond Europeans who don't live anywhere near here and who don't have 1. beards 2. green flags. Any takers?
Yael
 
Yael,
That may be true, but it doesn't take away from the fact that Hamas is not interested in changing its charter or its tactics, which include deliberately targeting and blowing up innocent people in pizza parlors. I'm well aware of how many civilians the IDF has killed, and that it far exceeds the number killed by Palestinian terrorists. But Hamas is a more than merely brutal. Its charter is genocidal.
 
Elrod,
Remember the same thing was said about the PLO's charter. We are not talking ideology but pragmatics. If you ask Israelis what they truly want, most of them would say : No Arabs.
Yael
 
"I'm well aware of how many civilians the IDF has killed, and that it far exceeds the number killed by Palestinian terrorists"

I must point out that the IDF does not target civilians, and that minimizing civilian casualties, is part of IDF doctrine. Hamas, OTOH, has sent suicide bombers attempting to maximize civilian casualties
 
"it worked for the PLO, it now works for the Hamas (which Israeli governments over the years helped to power by rejecting the PLO)"

Israel started negotiating with the PLO in 1992.

"and I'm sure it will go on.. One may then wonder who the "right partner" is?"

I would suggest that Sharon considered Abu Mazen as a potential partner, though even Abu Mazen was ineffective in fulfilling his commitments.


" We prefer to make peace with civilized, preferably blond Europeans "


I dont see the basis for this nasty bit of rhetoric.
 
Why is this a nasty bit of rhetoric?
 
"Why is this a nasty bit of rhetoric?" Because it's a lie. And it implies that if the Arabs were blond, the Israelis wouldn't mind them blowing up pizza parlors full of innocents. Implications of obviously untrue racism are nasty by any definition. But also, luckily, stupid and pointless. The Israelis have been trying the "peace" road since at least 1992, to be answered with lies and bombs. And last year more Palestinians were killed by other Palestinians than by Israelis. And the Israelis who killed Palestinians mostly killed vicious murdering thugs. But, then, so did the Palestinians.
 
The right partner will be the one who hits the Israelis with a stick when they fight and rewards them with a carrot when they don't. Up to this time, the Israelis have been hit with a stick regardless of what they do. They have no incentive to do anything other than fight.

Personally, I suspect the right partner will emerge from the ashes of the cataclysm which occurs when the State of Hamas attacks the State of Israel and experiences true retribution.

People dislike war, but the one thing it does better than almost any other process is burn off surplus testosterone. When people have to work full-time to find enough rocks to stack into a shelter (see also Germany, 1946), their appetite for conquest is diminished.
 
Actually Robert you might re-read the line: "We prefer to make peace with civilized, preferably blond Europeans." It has several other implications aside from your simplistic racism interpretation.

Another reading would be that Israel is more interested in dealing with Europeans and Americans because of the convenient impracticality of it. America and Europe massively subsidize Israel and they are advantageously thousands of miles away. I'd prefer to make peace with someone I'm not at war with, who is giving me billions of dollars a year, and doesn't live next door. Wouldn't you?
 
A. Then why say "blonde"?

B. Does Israel get money from the EU? I hadnt heard that.

C. Its still false. The Israelis have made peace with Egypt and Jordan. Theyve been trying to make peace with the Pals for years. Arafat proved he WASNT a partner. Sharon was willing to give Abbas a chance, but was (quite reasonably) frustrated at Abbas' failure to deliver.

IF Hamas sticks to its charter, theyre not a partner either.
 
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