As Purim approaches, thousands of Israeli children and families grapple with poverty
It is reported that the democratic process was on display in the Palestinian elections. What was actually took place, however, offers pause about the future. Though the region was holding its breath hoping that Abu Mazen could maintain control over the Palestinian Authority, it soon became obvious that Hamas, after a surprising victory (76 of the 132 seats), would now actively control the government.
Hamas’s involvement in the political process is a Trojan horse. It is participating in this “democracy” only to destroy it. Its charter calls for the elimination of Israel through the use of force if necessary, and that position has been reinforced with its recent political success.
In fact, Hamas leaders contend that the only reason for the Israeli disengagement from Gaza was an escalation of violence. Their transparent goal has always been to establish a viable competing entity against Mazen’s Fatah and Fatah’s own violent offshoot, the Al Aksa Brigades.
With its newfound political influence, Hamas will convert itself into the military arm of the prospective Palestinian state. It has used Arab oil money, on the order of $150 million annually, to develop loyal bureaucrats in local governments – more than 2,000 bureaucrats in Nablus alone.
Despite the presence of former president Jimmy Carter as an election observer who routinely condemns violence, Hamas refused to renounce its violent guiding principles and goals. Even the widely anticipated post-election calm will be little more than a ploy to extort favors from foreign governments.
Arguably the most popular figure on the West Bank is Marwan Barghouti, who sits in an Israeli prison for his terrorist activities. It became clear in recent months that Abu Mazen had neither the will nor the power to restrain the radicals in his midst. Violence will now evolve from covert to overt with Hamas in the leadership.
All the talk about a peaceful settlement resides solely in Israel. In fact, as almost every Israeli realizes, there will be new attacks at some point if only so that Hamas can demonstrate its power and influence.
Between September 2000 and October 2005, 522 Palestinians in Nablus – among them 80 children and 28 women – who were deemed either sympathetic to Israel or spying for it were killed by Hamas.
While optimism is in the West Bank air and hope exists that Hamas, now that it has attained political power, will moderate its stance, realism has already intruded. A suicide bomber injured 80 people in Tel Aviv. Hamas thugs have sequestered private property whenever and wherever they like. Gangs are flourishing and there are reports that Al Qaeda has offered Hamas leaders money and logistical support.
The Bush administration has promised Israel that it will not recognize any Palestinian government in which Hamas participates. But this is easier said than done now that Hamas has achieved an electoral victory. After all, the State Department had called for elections that include all factions. Surely Hamas has demonstrated it is a faction with political clout.
At the moment Mazen and even Barghouti are calling for a Palestinian state along the lines of the 1967 borders (the Green Line) with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as long as violence isn’t renounced and controlled, negotiating gestures are mere words punctured as easily as soap bubbles.
If one goes by the Hamas charter and the history of this terror organization, there is only one goal it has in mind: control of all the land from the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea. As Barghouti noted recently in an interview on Al Jazeera, “Partners in blood are partners in decisions.”
Hence a peace process is largely a fiction. Israel has two realistic options: one, expand the security fence and impose an arrangement on the Palestinians that offers Israelis some security behind defensible borders, or two, remain patient until there is a real desire for negotiation on the part of the Palestinians.
The typical West Bank resident may indeed want peace and prosperity. It is likely he sees his personal fortunes tied to Israel. Yet the West Bank and Gaza are not normal places. A pathology of destruction and grandiose vision reigns. As long as Hamas controls the purse strings and offers a belief in conquest, young Palestinians will find its brand of militancy appealing.
What these young voters may not fully appreciate is that Hamas offers stability through total control; procedural democracy is a mere fig leaf for those ideologically committed to war.
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The president has made clear – I can’t state this more firmly – the policy is Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.
Obama has an apparent inability to understand Islam in particular and Mid-East culture in general
Pesach is a Torah-based holiday whose fundamental observances are rooted in Torah law; Purim is a rabbinic holiday whose laws and customs are grounded in the rabbinic tradition.
In honor of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s successful speech before Congress.
Mr. Spock conveys a message with painfully stark relevance to our world today, especially in the context of PM Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.
Obama created the “partisan politics” by asking Dem. party members to avoid Bibi and his address
Enough is enough. The Jewish community has a big tent, but the NIF should have no place in it.
I vote for the right and get left-wing policy. Every. Frigging. Time.
The Holocaust was the latest attempt of Amalek to destroy the special bond that we enjoy with God.
UN inspectors were flabbergasted when Iran allowed them full unfettered access to All nuclear sites
Obama’s real problem is that he knows Netanyahu has more credibility on the Iran issue than he does.
Kristof’s op-ed “The Human Stain” was flawed and wrong; more than anti-Israel, it was anti-Semitic.
The threat and the ominous effects of an air attack against Iran is the pull and tug of sovereignty versus suzerainty. Is Israel an independent nation free of American influence? Does the president of the U.S. have a veto over Israeli military actions? Or is Israel free of outside influences, a state enjoined by what it believes to be its self interest?
The revisionists are still hard at work in their attempts to recast the history of Israel’s birth. Without fanfare the Israeli Education Ministry has approved a textbook for Arab third graders in Israel that concedes the war that gave birth to Israel was a form of ethnic cleansing.
While these hoary tales circulate even in respectable Arab and Persian circles, what is overlooked is the role Jews have played in the eradication of some of the most deadly diseases that afflict Jews and non-Jews alike.
The Bush administration has promised Israel that it will not recognize any Palestinian government in which Hamas participates.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/seeing-through-hamass-fig-leaf/2006/02/08/
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