Tuesday, February 14, 2006

# Posted 11:11 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

DESTROYING THE HAMAS GOVERNMENT: I am furious that anyone at the State Department or elsewhere would even consider it. Not that the alleged plan is immoral -- it involves only financial pressure, not violence -- but rather that it is so inexplicably foolish.

Yet I will reserve my judgment in part, because all of the pieces of this puzzle have not emerged just yet. According to a report by the NYT's Steven Erlanger,
The United States and Israel are discussing ways to destabilize the Palestinian government so that newly elected Hamas officials will fail and elections will be called again, according to Israeli officials and Western diplomats.
As usual, a reliance on anonymous sources complicates thing tremendously. Both Erlanger's report and the editorial that accompanies it seems to take these anonymous sources at face value. But what is their agenda?

I see three basic possibilities. First is the possibility that Erlanger's sources are whistleblowers. They are opposed to this very foolish idea and are using the media to ensure that the idea gets shot down.

The second possibility is that his sources are floating a trial balloon. They sense the strength of international opposition to Hamas and want to see how far it can be pushed.

The third possibility is that the sources are disaffected hardliners frustrated with the reluctance of the US and Israeli government to punish Hamas more aggressively.

I guess all there is to do now is wait and see. Anything less than a denial from the White House would seem to validate Erlanger's story. But even a full denial may be more or less persuasive.

What I want is a statement from the President himself that America punishes no one for the outcome of free and fair elections. And that such punishment would subvert the strategy of democracy promotion on which this administration's entire foreign policy rests.
(18) opinions -- Add your opinion

What is it exactly that makes you furious about the US and the EU possibly witholding aide unless Hamas recognizes Israel?

I understand your point that working to disable a freely elected government looks bad, but to me witholding aide is not an intrusive and forceful tactic. It may - hopefully - reveal Hamas as the poor leaders we think they are.
Over the past dozen years (and before that as well), the Palestinians have been paid billions of dollars in their efforts to destroy the Zionist Entity.

To cut off that funding simply because Hamas has been elected (in, one should add, one of the most democratic elections ever held in the history of democracy) is not only unfair. It is unethical. It is hypocritical. It is flat out wrong.

Shame on the US and shame on Israel.
Don't be furious Oxblog. Erlanger's NYT story is horse manure on the journlistic face of it. He leads with the conclusion - his own -- that the U.S. and Israel are seeking to topple Hamas. But the facts he presents to support that conclusion also support a different conclusion, namely that the U.S. and Irael are withholding funds on principle and are thus resigned to the possibility that this may lead to Abbas calling new elections.

This is not a subtle difference, and Erlanger's tendentious lead, cobbled together simply because the ambiguous facts allow him to do so, smacks of point scoring with editors so they would run his story, as we say in the industry, "out front" on page one. Erlanger gets his brownie points, the NYT editors get a sexy piece in the paper decrying the undemocratic Bushies depsite their rhetoric, but sadly, the poor reader is left misinformed. Notice the NYT didn't run the state department's denial out front in following day's paper.

Here's what probably happened: Erlanger gets a bunch of off-the-record interviews with state department officials, but at the end, doesn't have much of a story to show for it. So he takes facts one might spin in any which way, and colors them in the darkest possible tones, and declares his paycheck earned.

I wouldn't waste any more time parcing the story. After all, look at the supporting facts; none of them is really news. Sloppy hackery.
The MSM is not dead if it can take a story this devoid of substance and get you worked up about it!

A little more skepticism, please.
So any democratically elected government, even one dedicated to the violent overthrow of a neighboring state, the mass killing of innocent civilians, the extermination of a people and the imposition of a tyrannical religious fundamentalism, should be perfectly OK with everyone and we should continue to shower them with billions of dollars? What nonsense. What evil.
adding to the last comment, if Hitler had been elected today, would you have been opposed to any sanctions against him?
I think any gift from our taxpayers should be within our country's power to make or withhold, and that power lies with Congress and the President. They should listen to critics, yes, but then do as they see fit. So far the Bush policy toward Israel and Palestine--a complete departure from that of previous administrations--has been rather successful, in my opinion. If he wants to cut off money to Hamas we can be sure he has considered the proposition carefully and has good reasons.
I heard on the radio that france and spain are trying to get Hamas off the terrorist list.

Why am I not surprised.

I also understand there's a poll out showing the American people are beginning to side more w/Israel and don't want their money down the ***thole. And at some point in time, they'll let their congressmen know and that'll be that. What can I do, the American people don't want it.

They elected who they wanted, the arabs are willing to fund them as they should have a long time ago.

Sandy P.
Anon 11:43, didn't a guy named Hitler get elected in the Palestinian election. The U.S. should not work to help or hurt the Hamas government. It is better for radical muslims to fail on their own.

Check This Out:
Cheney: 'I'm the Guy Who Pulled the Trigger'

David Adesnik as you know as well as anyone a democratic electoral process relies on, among other things, a freely informed electorate. The Palestinian electorate is anything but freely informed. The controlled Palestinian media and madrassas have done their work well in sowing their seeds of hatred of the descendents of " apes and monkeys" who live next door.

You and the Administration are living in denial.
Uh... David? Aren't you confusing two points that are quite distinct?
Point #1: The Palestinians had free elections. We should congratulate them. The people have spoken! Good for them.
Point #2: The duly elected new government of Palestine wants to destroy the independent democratic nation next door. We should support said nation next door in its continued survival, ostracize the bloodthirsty warmongers running Palestine, and generally make their lives difficult until they change.
I sincerely fail to see why #1 is somehow incompatible with, or should prohibit, #2. I realize it'll be hard to communicate this dual story. But this being hard is no excuse to going soft on warmongers. Even duly and freely elected ones.

-- perry
The Palestinians voted for war, they get war. They don't have a God-given right to war AND the dividends of peace (foreign aid and Isreali cooperation)
We can and should promote democracy. Ethically it is correct to say that a people should be free to choose their leaders, their laws, and their path in this world.

This is ethically correct, but may also serve our interests in that there is some belief that such a democratic people are less likely to feel oppressed and breed terrorists or other extremists.

However, we do not need to support, provide aid, or even ally ourselves with a government merely due to their being democratically elected. Witness Turkey, France, others with whom we have altered our support based on their (democratically elected) governments’ choices.

We can and should make our decisions about support, aid, treaties, and other such international relationships based on the case at hand, not some blind sense of continuation of previous commitments based on prior circumstances.

If the will of the Palestines is expressed in their vote for Hamas, and Hamas does not support our interests, then we need not support theirs. If this results in their failure, such is the fate of their position.
"What I want is a statement from the President himself that America punishes no one for the outcome of free and fair elections."

Define "punish" first. What I want is a statement from the President himself the America will treat violent, dangerous terror organizations like the criminals the are, regardless of how they came to power. I respect the fact that they had elections over there, but when did actions stop having consequences? I'm getting very sick of demands that I respect things (governments,cultures,religions) that don't deserve any.


In the midst of much controversy and after weeks of planning, preparation and debate, administrators and organizers have put the final touches on the Palestine Solidarity Movement Conference to be held at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. The conference is expected to have 500-600 attendees. Georgetown has resisted calls from pro-Israeli activists to cancel the conference on the grounds that the conference promotes terrorism. The conference is being hosted by a campus group called Students for Justice in Palestine.

University President John J. DeGoia said at a meeting with students last month that university-sponsored groups like SJP have the right to host peaceful meetings on campus regardless of their viewpoints. The PSM has received criticism from some groups for advocating divestment of US business investments in Israel and for its' members reluctance to openly condemn Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens.

According to a letter published in The Washington Post (February 12, 2006) from two noted academics, Eric Adler and Jack Langer, they assert that the PSM certainly is controversial and also dangerous.

"The purported aim of the PSM is to encourage divestment from Israel. To this end, its conferences boast a cavalcade of anti-Israel speakers whose speeches often degenerate into anti-Semitism. At the 2004 conference at Duke University in North Carolina, for example, keynote speaker Mazin Qumsiyeh referred to Zionism as a "disease." Workshop leader Bob Brown deemed the Six Day War "the Jew War of '67." Not to be outdone, Nasser Abufarha praised the terrorist activities of Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The PSM maintains that it is a separate organization from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which sends foreign students to the West Bank and Gaza to foment anti-Israeli sentiment. All the same, the two groups seem to have intimate ties. At the 2004 PSM conference, for instance, the International Solidarity Movement ran a recruitment meeting called "Volunteering in Palestine: Role and Value of International Activists."

In that session, the organization's co-founder, Huwaida Arraf, distributed recruitment brochures and encouraged students to enlist in the ISM, which she acknowledged, cooperates with Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Another co-founder, George Rishmawi, told the San Francisco Chronicle in a July 14, 2004, news story why his group recruits student volunteers.

"When Palestinians get shot by Israeli soldiers, no one is interested anymore," he said. "But is these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice."

The group got its wish in 2003, when ISM member Rachel Corrie 23, was killed while trying to block Israeli bulldozers from demolishing Palestinian houses in Gaza. The Israelis said the houses were covering tunnels used to smuggle weapons to Hamas.

In another letter published by Lee Kaplan of Front Page Magazine, it states, "Please note the following recruitment and training seminar given at this event this Saturday to be hosted by Huwaida Arraf and Joseph Carr. Titled, "Supporting Palestinian Non-Violent Resistance to Occupation: Volunteering with the International Solidarity Movement."

The above session will be to recruit students to go to the West Bank and stand as human shields for terrorists and stone throwers who will attack the Israeli army, try to remove the Security Fence built to keep out terrorists and to interfere with checkpoints set up to interdict suicide bombers. In addition, Israel recently deported all Jews from Gaza last year, and 98 percent of the Palestinian population in the West Bank is under Palestinian Authority.

"Occupation" at this conference refers to Israel's existence as a Jewish state, albeit a pluralistic democracy and ally of the USA, and calls to end Israel's "occupation" are in fact calls for the end of Israel. The Conference seeks to do this also by openly promoting the Arab League boycott of Israel that is illegal under US law. Please note that Noura Erekat, another guest speaker at this event, has openly stated in e-mails that Israel within 1948 borders is "occupied Palestine."
It is now a matter of record that the Palestine Solidarity Movement, also known as the International Solidarity Movement, has contacts with Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) as defined by the U.S. State Department. The fact that the collaboration is nonviolent may not matter, as US law prohibits any material support (other than medical supplies and religious items) to Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

There is no question that the Palestine Solidarity Movement calls for the complete eradication of the State of Israel. If there is one thing you can say about Hamas is that they are honest. Unlike the other “Palestine” oriented organizations who couch their rhetoric is more palatable or subliminal ways, Hamas states their truth and the other “Palestinian” organizations feel the same way, but don’t have the courage to say it, in the fear it will alienate their Western supporters, particularly liberal, leftist Jews.

Here is what Hamas had to say this week. The Hamas web site this week presented the parting video messages of two Hamas suicide terrorists, according to Palestinian Media Watch. The first said: “We are a nation that drinks blood, and we know that there is no blood better than the blood of Jews. We will not leave you alone until we have quenched our thirst with your blood, and our children’s thirst with your blood.”

The second said: “We will destroy you, blow you up, take revenge against you, [and] purify the land of you, pigs that have defiled our country.” Let’s not kid ourselves. Fatah, Hizbullah, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP, and other more upscale intellectual Palestinian organizations concur with this vociferous, vitriolic, hate filled speech. When are we going to get it? THEY DON’T WANT PEACE !!!

The issues surrounding the controversial conference to be held at Georgetown University are not about free speech, but rather, about a conference which promotes terrorism. Any conference which seeks to, “recruit students to go to the West Bank and stand as human shields for terrorists and stone throwers who will attack the Israeli army, try to remove the Security Fence built to keep out terrorists and to interfere with checkpoints set up to interdict suicide bombers”, is plainly advocating terrorism.

President Bush stated during his recent State of the Union address that if people are talking to Al Qaeda or promoting terrorism, he wants to know about it. This conference is a platform for all kinds of Islamic terrorists to promulgate their beliefs. Of course, they are organizing this conference under the banner of “academic freedom” and “freedom of speech”. How easy it is to whitewash terrorism under such innocuous labels. This conference deserves to be condemned by all those who claim that global terrorism will not be tolerated or supported.
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