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February 03, 2006

Understanding Hamas

I have posted on three op-eds by Richard Cohen in the last month or so. Two out of the three were pretty darn good and even the third one wasn't that bad. So imagine my surprise when I read YET ANOTHER good GREAT op-ed by Cohen. I am not sure if this is a sign of the Apocalypse, but I will be scanning the horizon for four guys on horses just to be safe.

Man, I need to buy you a drink, because you ARE ON FIRE! Seriously. Next time you make it down to South Georgia, I'll buy you a drink. Just for this op-ed.

Anyway. Let's get down to business. Mr. Cohen is writing about Hamas today and about some simple truths that seem very apparent to us, but will soon be lost to the world.

Speaking of Hamas

We have seen this sort of thing before, and it is not very comforting. The rule -- the only rule -- is to take zealots at their word.

The same can be said for Iran.


Then he delves into a comparison that I have seen serval people make, that Hamas coming to power is simelar to Nazis coming to power in 1932. What makes this remarkable is how he makes the comparison. I found myself nodding and saying, "Yes, that's exactally how it should be done."

I saved for this paragraph any reference to Hitler himself so as to postpone the reflexive outburst of "Nothing can be compared to the Nazis!" Normally I agree, and I usually shy from such comparisons. But I am not likening Hamas or Islamist militancy to Nazism; I am only likening the mind of one sort of zealot to another. All too often they mean what they say.

The best part comes as he warns the U.S. and the rest of the world not to be lulled into apethy by what Hamas does and says, since they will be doing a song and dance for money.

In due course we will be told that what Hamas has been insisting on for years -- the utter destruction of Israel -- is not really a serious goal. Hamas should not be taken literally, and anyway it will be forced to moderate both its platform and its policies by the reality of governing. When, for instance, it repeats the words of its charter -- "The solution of the problem [Israel] will only take place by holy war" -- we will be assured that it is just throwing red meat to what in America is called "the base."

As if that paragraph is not strong enough, he ends with:

The leaders of Hamas brim with the word of God and the certainty of their cause. From here on they will lie about their ultimate aim and smilingly assure us that what they have always said they no longer mean. Their intention is clean government, efficient garbage service, good schools and level soccer fields -- and also to con Europe and America into continuing to send money to the Palestinians. All over the world, people will believe them and urge the United States and Israel to do the same. Take my word for this. Anyone can see the future. It's all in the past.

I have written about Hamas before (see here) and how they are playing the same game Iran is playing. Saying what they really mean, but then telling the world that so and so is just passionate or that they really do not believe such things. Like Cohen says, the world will be lulled. It will be less than a year before our European "allies" begin carping on how terrible the U.S. is because we have cut off aid to the Palestinians. They will point to all the good Hamas has done and is doing. There may even be a period of relative peace as well. But their goal is the same - Israel must go.

I was listening to NPR's Morning Edition Monday when the interviewed Muhammad Abu Tir. The number two man in Hamas:

Abu Tir says he knows Israelis are worried by the Hamas victory, but if Israel ends it's occupation of Palestinian terratory, he says there's no reason to worry.

"The Israelis are worried. Their worry stems from the opression that they have exercised on the Palestinian people. Why don't they urge their forces to withdraw from our land? Haven't they had enough of opressing and supressing?"

Sounds great doesn't it? I mean, many people on the Right and Left feel that Israel should give up parts of the occupied terratories if not all of them. But when we say "occupied terratories" we mean the land Israel aquired after 1967. For Israel before 1967 see here. For Israel now see here.

BUT

When a Palestinain says "occupied terratories" they mean ALL of Israel. It is a way of trying to calm the cash cows of Europe and America without actually giving up their real goal, the destruction of Israel.

As Cohen said: the only rule is to take zealots at their word.

Truth.

WunderKraut needs a vacation over at WunderKraut.com

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posted by WunderKraut at 09:16 AM

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