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"Palestinian Support for Hamas Has Not Declined" - Part II

JINSA Report #: 

January 27, 2009

If "support" for Hamas is in part fear of Hamas - as it is of every dictatorship - and if "support" for Hamas is support for an ideology organized and operated by people who commit war crimes*, how much should the world care if Palestinians say they "support" Hamas? How much did the Allies care about German public support for National Socialism? Or the Japanese who insisted that the Emperor was a deity and their duty was to die for him? How much do the Marines care about public support for al Qaeda in Iraq, or for the Taliban in Afghanistan?

We didn't and we don't.

To the extent that it is fear, they need to be rescued. To the extent they actually support Hamas and Fatah - which are strategically no different; both require that Israel and Jordan be replaced by a Palestinian State in which Jews may or may not be tolerated - they cannot be permitted to succeed. There are ideologies that are unacceptable, movements that cannot be given legitimacy, and governments that fail.

Admittedly, the world is having a tough time with the principle, not only regarding the Palestinians. In Sudan, the government is abetting if not conducting genocide in Darfur. In Zimbabwe, the government has caused epidemics and starvation among its people. In Iran, the government calls for genocide against Israel and builds nuclear weapons. In the old Iraq, the Saddam government gassed its own people and launched missiles at the civilians of Tehran, but those who never called for his prosecution want trials for us.

International opinion has been extraordinarily tolerant of the depredations by Palestinians, including against their own their children, but rejects Israel's defense against it. Are they afraid of Hamas, or do they support its aims? Only here in the United States has opinion strongly supported Israel. But it remains to be seen how the new administration will address the issue. Recalling the previously unsuccessful George Mitchell as an envoy does not bode well for facing the truth and moving forward.

The truth is that the Palestinian experiment in self-government has utterly, abjectly and possibly irrevocably failed - not for lack of financial or political support from the world, including Israel, but because the Palestinians never agreed to the conditions that accompany civilized independence, including a decent respect for the neighbors. The result is ever-increasing radicalization and impoverishment of the Palestinian people by two Palestinian governments at war with one another and with Israel.

If the United States is to help the Palestinians out of the morass of their failed leadership and help Israel achieve the recognition and security to which it is entitled, it matters little what the Palestinians say they want. It matters greatly that we accept that the reality that neither Hamas nor Fatah will bring peace to its people or recognition to Israel.

*Firing at civilians, hiding among civilians, training child soldiers and executing prisoners are all violations of the Geneva Convention.

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