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Melanie Phillips: Hamastan ^ | January 30, 2006 | Melanie Phillips

Posted on 01/30/2006 9:20:05 AM PST by Tolik

I was abroad all last week and so have only just been catching up with the reaction in Britain to the creation of Hamastan in the West Bank and Gaza. As one might have expected, much of it has been a woeful combination of the staggeringly ignorant and the wilfully blind. The prevalent view seems to be that

a) now they have the weight of responsibility on their shoulders, Hamas will be forced to become more moderate

b) only if we talk to them will we have any chance of persuading them away from violence and into a peaceful democratic process.

Oh dear.

Since the election, Hamas operatives have been making it plain beyond any shadow of doubt that they are not going to moderate their aims one whit. There will be no recognition of or peace with Israel, period. It’s war to the finish. End of argument? Far from it. Western ostriches don’t hear or believe this because they don’t want to hear or believe it. They look for example at Northern Ireland and say, well, the IRA turned into Sinn Fein and now they are part of a peaceful and democratic government.

Let’s leave aside for the present the issue of Northern Ireland’s unfinished business and the mafia-society that has been created there. The key point is that the Islamist terror represented by Hamas is of a completely different order from Irish republican terror. The latter represented a negotiable position. One may not have approved of its demand for a united Ireland and disapproved even more of its terrorist methods; but the bottom line was that if Britain had given in to that demand, it would not have been the end of Britain. The IRA did not want to eradicate the British, murder all Britons and impose a Catholic tyranny. The Islamists want to eradicate Israel, murder all Jews and impose an Islamist theocracy on the land. That is a non-negotiable position. It is not susceptible to moderation. The Hamas agenda is not a political agenda as understood by the west, which separates church and state. The Hamas agenda is pure, undiluted religious fanaticism.

People should read the Hamas Covenant in full. Here are some extracts which show how absurd it is to imagine that these people could ever become ‘moderate’:

Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement. Abusing any part of Palestine is abuse directed against part of religion. Nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its religion. Its members have been fed on that. For the sake of hoisting the banner of Allah over their homeland they fight. "Allah will be prominent, but most people do not know… There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors... The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up...liberation of Palestine is then an individual duty for very Moslem wherever he may the face of the Jews' usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised...

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...
In order to face the usurpation of Palestine by the Jews, we have no escape from raising the banner of Jihad. This would require the propagation of Islamic consciousness… We must spread the spirit of Jihad among the [Islamic] Umma... introducing fundamental changes in educational curricula in order to cleanse them from all vestiges of the ideological invasion which has been brought about by orientalists and missionaries... 'I swear by that who holds in His Hands the Soul of Muhammad! I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I will assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill'...

The various Zionist Organizations which take on all sorts of names and shapes...Islam...will wipe out those organizations which are the enemy of humanity and Islam... The Nazism of the Jews does not skip women and children, it scares everyone. They make war against people's livelihood, plunder their moneys and threaten their honor….
It stands behind the diffusion of drugs and toxics of all kinds in order to facilitate its control and expansion... Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims...


It is this uncompromising reality which has led some commentators to hope that Hamas has actually walked into a trap. They didn’t actually expect or want to win, goes this thinking, because they didn’t want the responsibility. Now they will have to choose: moderate themselves in order to be accepted by the world, or not moderate themselves in which case their genocidal, fascistic character will be entirely unambiguous. The two-faced game the Palestinians have played for the past forty years will thus finally be exposed.

Emanuele Ottolenghi has provided an elegant exposition of this argument that ‘worse is better’:

As the government of the Palestinian Authority, now they will have to say whether they accept the roadmap. They will have to take control over security and decide whether they use it to uphold the roadmap or to wage war. There will be no excuses or ambiguities when Hamas fires rockets on Israel and launches suicide attacks against civilian targets. Until Tuesday, the PA could hide behind the excuse that they were not directly responsible and they could not rein in the 'militants.' Now the 'militants' are the militia of the ruling party. They are one and the same with the Palestinian Authority.

If they bomb Israel from Gaza — not under occupation anymore, and is therefore, technically, part of the Palestinian state the PLO proclaimed in Algiers in 1988, but never bothered to take responsibility for — that is an act of war, which can be responded to in kind, under the full cover of the internationally recognized right of self-defense. No more excuses that the Palestinians live under occupation, that the PA is too weak to disarm Hamas, that violence is not the policy of the PA. Hamas and the PA will be the same: What Hamas does is what the PA will stand for.

Continuing to pursue a violent path will automatically switch off all international aid. Perhaps Hamas intends to offset the resulting loss of revenue by hosting Holocaust-denial conferences in Gaza and terrorist training camps in Rafah, but it will still have to explain to the Palestinian public why it’s better to renounce public aid to wage war.

Meanwhile, Hamas will have to confront the Egyptians (and the Jordanians) and tell them what the PA under Hamas now stands for. And Egypt and Jordan will have to change course, accordingly. Egypt has an increased military presence along the Gaza border and several officers in Gaza to help 'stabilize' the security situation — which so far has meant keeping the flames low enough not to bother Egypt but high enough not to let Israel off the hook completely. What will Egypt do now? Cooperate with Hamas in Gaza while it dreads Hamas’ twin, the Muslim Brotherhood, at home? Will it act more decisively to stop the ever growing flow of illegal weapons being smuggled into Gaza from the Sinai, or turn a blind eye even as the increased militancy in Gaza might embolden the Brotherhood in Egypt? No more ambiguity for Egypt either...

The appeasers and the apologists are already queueing up to argue that Hamas has already embarked on the road to realism. But unless Hamas reneges on its ideology and endorses a new course, then Israel’s claim that there is no Palestinian partner is vindicated. The resulting Israeli policy of unilateralism is vindicated. Israel’s argument that the Palestinians do not want peace is vindicated. Israel’s argument that Islamists’ nuances and differences of opinion are just tactical, not strategic, is also vindicated. And the prospects of a Palestinian state will become even more remote.

It's a sophisticated analysis, and maybe this is indeed what will happen. The rogue card in Ottolenghi's pack, however, is the attitude of the west. If this were a sane and rational world, Ottolenghi’s logic would be unanswerable. But unfortunately it is very far from sane and rational. The west shows daily that it will go to extraordinary lengths to deny the screamingly obvious and take refuge in its lethal fantasies of rational actors prosecuting irrational conflicts. Thus Hamas is guaranteed to sow terminal confusion by engaging in precisely the same kind of lies and mind-twisting manipulation that has brought such success for the Palestinian cause among the dupes of the west. For a taster of this strategy, read the MAB activist and Hamas supporter Azzam Tammimi in today’s Guardian (where else?):

The fact that Hamas does not, and will not, recognise the legitimacy of the state of Israel does not mean that Hamas is not capable of negotiating a peace deal that would end the bloodshed. Hamas is prepared to negotiate a settlement based on the concept of a hudnah (truce). As far as Hamas is concerned - and that is the position of the majority of Palestinians inside as well as outside Palestine - Israel has been built on land stolen from the Palestinian people. The creation of the state was a solution to a European problem and the Palestinians are under no obligation to be the scapegoats for Europe's failure to recognise the Jews as human beings entitled to inalienable rights. Hamas, like all Palestinians, refuses to be made to pay for the criminals who perpetrated the Holocaust.

However, Israel is a reality and that is why Hamas is willing to deal with that reality in a manner that is compatible with its principles. Contrary to the claims of alarmists who see the Hamas election victory as a threat to peace, new opportunities for making peace could now emerge. The peacemaking episodes of the past were based on assumptions absolutely unacceptable to the majority of Palestinians and those who support the justice of their cause. From Oslo to the road map it was always assumed that Israel was the victim that needed to live in peace and security and that the key to this was the end of Palestinian terrorism. The new peace process that Hamas may indeed be willing to be part of should be based on the fact that the Palestinians are the victims and have been victims since Israel was created on their soil. It is not Palestinian terrorism that is the problem, but Israeli aggression.

Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, who was cut to pieces when Israel shot him with an air-to-surface missile, spelled it out long ago. We shall never recognise the theft of our land, he said, but we are willing to negotiate a ceasefire whose duration can be as a long as a generation, and let future generations on both sides decide where to go then. His ceasefire conditions are fully compatible with international law. Israel would have to give back what it occupied in 1967 - then without any Jewish settlements - and release all Palestinian prisoners. For that Hamas would halt its armed struggle and instead pursue peaceful means.

The IRA, whose leaders negotiated a deal with the British government, continues to dream of uniting Northern Ireland with the Republic; it was never a condition for the peace talks that they should first abandon that dream. Well, let the Palestinians dream of the end of Israel and let the Israelis dream of Eretz Yisrael from the Nile to the Euphrates, but let's negotiate an end to the violence. Hamas alone is capable of that because Hamas will not give up the right of Palestinians to go back to the villages and towns from which the terrorists who stole their land drove them.

Ah yes, the IRA. Tammimi’s argument is calibrated to chime with the inexhaustible gullibility of his western audience which so desperately does not want to believe that what it is looking at is a threat the like of which has never before been seen on this planet and which makes the analogy with Irish terrorism or any other kind of terrorism simply ludicrous (quite apart from the fact that the IRA only entered the political process because militarily they were beaten). The fact is that Hamas is a religious army whose jihad is said to be prosecuted in God’s name. And that programme is founded upon a pathological prejudice against the Jews, based on their belief that the grotesque libels of European Jew-hatred are true. Here’s that Covenant again:

With their money, they [the Jews] 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...

They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it....Their plan is embodied in the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'...Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Moslem people. 'May the cowards never sleep.'

Tammimi is a smart guy, and may be more than just a Hamas ‘supporter’. On BBC Radio Four’s Moral Maze not long ago, he said -- in response to evidence of the Hamas Covenant’s virulent Jew-hatred -- that ‘I am rewriting the Covenant’ to exclude such material. He knows perfectly well that the west is eager to hear that Hamas has excluded such material so that it can persuade itself that it no longer hates the Jews. Just to write that sentence is to expose the risibility of the thinking. Read the Covenant and then ask whether people who have sanctified boundless, irrational, demented hatred in the name of God can really unthink this and resile from their ‘sacred’ duty to kill Jews wherever they find them. But the capacity for self-delusion in the west appears to be boundless.

President Bush is currently talking tough: no assistance or financial support unless Hamas renounces violence and recognises Israel. But the danger is that Hamas will adopt the brilliant strategy employed by Arafat – to be sufficiently ambiguous in their public pronouncements to enable the west to continue with the farce of the ‘peace process’ while Hamas continues either to kill Jews or plot how to achieve a final solution to the Jews’ presence on the Jews' own, historic, reclaimed land.

The dust has not yet settled on this development. We will soon see whether we are indeed into a new game, or a continuation of the old dance of death.

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Israel; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: hamas; hamastan; israel; melaniephillips

1 posted on 01/30/2006 9:20:06 AM PST by Tolik
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To: Lando Lincoln; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; Valin; King Prout; SJackson; dennisw; monkeyshine; ...

Nailed It!

This ping list is not author-specific for articles I'd like to share. Some for the perfect moral clarity, some for provocative thoughts; or simply interesting articles I'd hate to miss myself. (I don't have to agree with the author all 100% to feel the need to share an article.) I will try not to abuse the ping list and not to annoy you too much, but on some days there is more of the good stuff that is worthy of attention. You can see the list of articles I pinged to lately  on  my page.
You are welcome in or out, just freepmail me (and note which PING list you are talking about). Besides this one, I keep 2 separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson and Orson Scott Card.  

2 posted on 01/30/2006 9:21:05 AM PST by Tolik
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To: Tolik

Bump for later

3 posted on 01/30/2006 9:25:34 AM PST by Valin (Purple Fingers Rule!)
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To: Tolik

For too long the West has attempted to ascribe western thought processes to the Muslim mind. There is no intent on the part of Hamas to moderate in any way shape or form their view toward Israel and the fact that the existence of Israel is unacceptable. They will all gladly die before that position is altered. For some reason many in the west simply cannot come to grips with that mindset.

Any type of apparent moderation on the part of Hamas would be strictly tactical in nature. The longer the west continues to hypothesize concerning the moderation of Hamas the more desperate the situation becomes. We now have to accept the fact we're dealing with terrorists whose ideology does not allow for the possibility of moderation.

4 posted on 01/30/2006 9:51:23 AM PST by bereanway
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To: Tolik

Anyone expecting 'moderation' from Hamas is seriously deluded - if they make any gestures toward moderation it will only be for whatever tactical gains they seek at the moment. Idiots in the west spent years trying to help 'moderate' the Taliban, buying into assurances from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, et al that such a thing was possible. The sooner everyone recognizes that Hamas is indistinguishable from Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, the better. Of course, the PLO/PA under Arafart/Abbas was/is also a terrorist entity through and through.....

5 posted on 01/30/2006 10:02:32 AM PST by Enchante (Democrats: "We are ALL broken and worn out, our party & ideas, what else is new?")
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To: Tolik
But the danger is that Hamas will adopt the brilliant strategy employed by Arafat – to be sufficiently ambiguous in their public pronouncements to enable the west to continue with the farce of the ‘peace process’ while Hamas continues either to kill Jews or plot how to achieve a final solution to the Jews’ presence on the Jews' own, historic, reclaimed land.

But they can't. There is nothing about another terrorist attack or even a rocket assault against Israel, unless it comes from the Lebanese border, that is the slightest bit ambiguous.

Winning the election has put Hamas in somewhat of a bind. They can't both govern and engage in terrorism.

Perhaps the EU will find a way to see that as ambiguous, but it will never happen here in the US.

6 posted on 01/30/2006 10:23:30 AM PST by Dog Gone
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
If you'd like to be on this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.

Articles on Israel can also be found by clicking on the Topic or Keyword Israel.


7 posted on 01/30/2006 1:19:54 PM PST by SJackson (elected members of Hamas: businesspeople, professionals, not terrorists. Scott McClellan)
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To: bereanway

Also known as Muhammad's eternal Jihad. Hamas believes in Muhammad's eternal Jihad that continues until the whole world is Muslim. Hamas is an offshoot of the infamous Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt

8 posted on 01/30/2006 2:04:07 PM PST by dennisw ("What one man can do another can do" - The Edge)
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To: dennisw

At least they are open about their objectives.

With Fatah, the English language party line accepted the "two-state" solution (really only as a stepping stone to a "one-state" solution), but that was enough of a fig leaf for head-in-the sand crowd to think that they were somewhat reasonable.

With HAMAS, what you see is what you get. From the river to the sea, with as much infidel blood spilled as possible. It'll at least be incrementally more difficult for the media to carry the "Palestinian's" water with HAMAS in charge.

9 posted on 01/31/2006 10:47:20 AM PST by absalom01 (NRA,CRPA)
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