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« Muslims Riot in Oslo | Main | Disproportionate Nonsense »

January 10, 2009

Comments

Andrew

But consider the possibility that if Israel destroys Hamas in Gaza, there will only spring up a worse organization.

http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2009/01/04/worse-outcomes-than-a-strengthened-hamas/

I've been reading that one of the indirect reasons for Hamas's rise was that Israel and the US were deliberately trying to marginalize Fatah in the hopes that a more moderate negotiating partner would emerge. Oops!

Abiola

Sure, there's a *possibility* that such a thing could happen, but that doesn't mean a better alternative would be to do nothing: after all, there was at least as much of a possibility that Hitler's death would have made him a martyr on whose behalf the Germans would have fought to the death, or that nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki would have hardened already fanatical Japanese resistance ...

Generally speaking, the argument that crushing an implacable enemy could lead to the rise of a worse one is one without much historical or even logical support. It's not as if Hamas is "moderate" in any sense of the word whatsoever as it is - that this Matt Duss character thinks of "Salafism" as somehow distinct from and worse than Hamas just shows his glaring ignorance of Islamic movements in general and Hamas (which is part of the far-from-moderate Muslim Brotherhood) in particular.

jhkim

The thing is, I don't think that the offensives are doing anything to actually get rid of the extremism among the Palestinians. Rather, it seems to me that the more bombs that Israel drops, the more hatred they inspire and more popular Hamas becomes. At this rate, they will just have to kill more and more of the Gazans.

The Hamas leadership and many supporters are most certainly repulsive, but the ultimate question is what should be done about this?

In the past, we have negotiated with Nazis, Imperial Japanese, Soviets, North Koreans, and plenty of other horrible regimes during the process of conflict. Negotiating didn't mean that we supported them, just that we were able to discuss our differences. We agreed to peaceful coexistence with the Soviets and North Koreans despite our differences.

Abiola

The Soviets were deterred by the prospect of being nuked into ashes, not by "negotiations" without brute force to back them, and even so tens of millions still died in numerous proxy wars around the globe - Korea, Vietnam, Angola, Mozambique, Afghanistan, etc. It is naive to think a group which loathes your very existence will simply give up its efforts if you say you want to talk, a reality Obama and his worshippers will wake up to soon enough.

As for the idea that Israel's campaign has only firmed up support for Hamas, not only is no evidence ever provided for such a thing, but it is also undercut by both history and also much of the reporting being carried out in Gaza itself. Unless Gazans are different from the rest of humanity, there must be a level of suffering at which even they will realize the futility of supporting Hamas, and the only question is whether Israel's latest campaign managed to reach that point or not: if the latter, then the blame must lie with those hysterically screaming "genocide!" and demanding a premature ceasefire enabling Hamas to keep its pride intact.

Finally, it's always interesting to me how people keep suggesting that Israel's actions inevitably radicalize the Palestinians, yet never consider that the terrorist activities of the Palestinians also have the same effect on the Israelis. If the Palestinians don't consider this consequence bothersome enough to refrain from terror, why should the Israelis care whether or not the Palestinians are "radicalized" even more? It's not as if we're talking about a mostly moderate people anyway - they elected Hamas in 2006, just *after* Israel completely pulled out of Gaza, settlements and all: far from interpreting Israel's unilateral disengagement a step forward for peace, the people of Gaza treated it as a victory for Hamas and its tactics, and that delusion is what brought things to where they are today, not Israel's belated decision to deal with Hamas.

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