Wednesday, June 20, 2007

From the Horse's Mouth: They're Terrorists

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has finally come to the obvious conclusion: Hamas is a terrorist organization. Specifically, he said that members of this Palestinian Islamist party are "murderous terrorists." This should not be a radical statement, considering that (according to the Council on Foreign Relations) the group has killed over 500 people since 1993 using tactics including short-range rockets, small arms fire, and suicide bombings. Many, if not most, of the victims were innocent civilians. But it took the humiliation of Abbas' Fatah party in Gaza for him to finally see the light.

But, as I wrote in a previous posting, Abbas' party is no better. In fact, it may even be worse. With governments all over the world committed to Abbas' "moderate ideology," they continue to overlook the fact that Fatah does not have the discipline to commit its members, let alone non-Fatah Palestinians, to any peace settlement. Simply put, any agreement signed by Abbas wouldn't be worth the paper it's written on. And it is exactly this faux-agreement the global powers are pushing for.

It's no coincidence that Fatah was completely overpowered in the Gaza Strip. Even though Fatah had more gunmen, firepower, and Western-backing, Hamas had cohesion. They had the organization and common goals to forge ahead. This is why Hamas will eventually be the ruling power in all of the Palestinian territories.

Yes, Hamas is a terrorist group. And yes, Hamas (at least some parts) is committed to Israel's destruction. But they will see in their governance of Gaza that they have to deal with Israel, or else their "constituents" will die. They will have no food, water, or electricity, unless at least some coordination is made with the Jewish State. This may lead the way to future understandings, and possibly to a future peace deal, which they would have the power to enforce.

Richard Nixon opened relations with China. Menachem Begin signed an accord with Egypt. Hamas could be the key to peace with the Palestinians.


Daniel GP said...

Great post, Adam, and welcome to the blogging world. What do you think about concerns of some U.S. lawmakers about resuming aid to the Palestinians?

I agree that this money - and the weapons it buys - may eventually end up with Hamas, but even if it doesn't, the Palestinians have done nothing lately to respect prior agreements with Israel, recognize Israel's right to exist, and stop terrorism. These are the preconditions for resuming aid, not whether the party in power is named Hamas or Fatah or how much territory it controls.

Pres. Bush praises Abu Mazen as a "voice that is a reasonable voice amongst the extremists". But what's the use of a voice in Gaza these days? We need to see results. A Fatah-led government unable or unwilling to stop Palestinian terrorism brings us no closer to peace than does a terrorist Hamas government.