Jan 30, 2006

The suicidal left, Israeli division

It's one thing for the bien pensants of the US and Western Europe to kid themselves about the nature of the radical Islamists, but you'd think the Israelis would know better.

Steven Plaut at FrontPage, alerts us to this piece by Gideon Levy in Haaretz.
The good news from the occupied territories is that Hamas won the elections…one can find quite a few points of light in the Hamas victory. First, these are very authentic results, achieved through elections that were respectably democratic, even though they took place under the least democratic circumstances imaginable, the occupation. As usual, we were threatened by our experts with "anarchy," and, as usual, the Palestinians did not meet those expectations. There was no shooting and no rioting; the Palestinian nation had its say with admirable order. It said `no' to a movement that did not bring it any achievements in the just struggle against the occupation, and it said "yes" to those who appeared to the voters to be braver and with clean hands...

Second, both Israelis and Palestinians can learn important lessons from the results of the election. The Israelis have to finally learn that applying force will not get the desired results...To that end, both sides, Israel and Hamas, must free themselves of the slogans of the past. Those who pose preconditions, like disarming Hamas, will miss the chance. It is impossible to expect that Hamas will disarm, just as it is impossible to expect that Israel would disarm. In Palestinian eyes, Hamas' weapons are meant to fight the occupation, and, as is well-known, the occupation is not over. Practically, and indeed morally, the armed are armed if they are equipped with F-16s or Qassam launchers. If Israel were to commit to an end to killing Hamas operatives, there is reason to assume that Hamas would agree, at least for a while, to lay down its arms…If Israel were to be friendly toward Hamas, it could benefit.

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