More mideast absurdities

08.21.03

Hamas and Islamic Jihad both announce that they are ending the cease-fire with Israel “in response” to Israeli actions against their leadership. Hamas has also called upon Palestinian PM Mahmoud Abbas to resign.

Point #1: You can’t “end” a cease-fire that never existed in the first place. Throughout the so-called hudna, both terrorist groups continued to carry out attacks against Israel civilians. This announcement only recognizes the actual state that has been in place all along.

Point #2: The statement that the ending of the cease-fire is “in response” to Israel’s assassinations of a Hamas leader is hypocricy at its core. Of course, the world has a short memory. The Palestinians know that they can murder 20 innocent Jews on a Jersualem bus one day, including small children, and the next day claim that they’re ending a cease-fire “in response” to Israel’s retaliation, and that the world will blame Israel. As usual.

Point #3: Anyone who thinks Hamas’s statement against Abbas will result in civil war is kidding themselves. Abbas won’t fight back against Hamas. He hasn’t shown the slighest bit of power or courage in taking on the terrorist groups since assuming his leadership role. He’s been propped up by the US and the international community until now, but he’s got no real power. And things can only get worse, as the inevitable showdown that Abbas has been avoiding is finally called by Hamas.

Sometimes I get so angry while writing this stuff up that I can barely find the right keys to type.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hanthala 08.21.03 at 4:37 PM

“He hasn’t shown the slighest bit of power or courage in taking on the terrorist groups since assuming his leadership role.”

Amazing. How the hell is the PA supposed to do anything when half the Palestinians’ already shoddy infrastructure has been destroyed by the Israeli occupation forces? And its not like any Palestinian has freedom of movement. On that last point, all those so-called “security measures” (walls, check points, curfews, round ups of all men, etc.) which are also crimes against humanity and war crimes, evidently don’t stop would be bombers. The only thing they seem to be good at is humiliating Palestinians on a daily basis, making their lives near impossible (and causing the not-so-occasional death).

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2 David H 08.21.03 at 5:49 PM

Hanthala,

Lets take a hypothetical situation here. Lets say that the PA had 20,000 well armed troops. Do you think they would crack down at that point?

I guess my question is, at what point would the PA have enough “power” to try and stop the terrorists? The answer is important, because it leads to 2 different solutions.

If the PA is fairly close to getting the power it needs to wipe out Hamas, then the correct Israeli policy would be to leave the occupied territories post haste and let the PA assert itself.

However, if the PA is a long ways away from being able to control Hamas, then Israel would be foolish to leave the territories, since only they have the ability to control the terrorist organizations.

So… which is it?

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3 segacs 08.21.03 at 6:14 PM

Hanthala’s posts: “blah blah blah Israel’s fault blah blah Israel’s fault blah blah blah Israel’s fault”.

David: You forgot the question of motive. If the PA had 20,000 well-armed troops capable of taking on Hamas, would they use it for that purpose? Or would they use the troops to wage war on Israel? My guess is the latter.

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4 Nanook 08.22.03 at 2:26 AM

Segacs, you don’t need to wonder. The PA had many more than 20,000 troops, with training courtesy of the CIA. Some of them went on to form the nuclei of the nationalist terrorist groups. Others are unemployed again. Still others are still on the job, still don’t do very much, and still don’t get paid for the privilege.

If the PA was truly incapable of agreeing to the hudna, then it wasn’t very smart of it to agree to the hudna; a better move would be to call in the U.N. to do the policing it’s incapable of.

Except that it’s not true. Nor is it necessarily even the majority position of the PA; it’s not a coincidence that Abbas and his cabinet threatened to resign unless Arafat finally reigned in his attack dogs. It’s become a cliche, I know, but you have to wonder, what else has Arafat become than an anti-Palestinian militant, working by all means to ensure a PA that lines up against its senior officials, against Palestinian intellectuals, and against peace?

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5 David H 08.22.03 at 4:24 AM

Segacs, I had the concept of motivation in mind when I brought up the hypothetical situation. As pointed out by Nanook the PA already has the 20,000 troops, reasonably well armed ones too.

If they wanted to crush Hamas, it could be done. The general claim by the palestinian apologists like Hanthala is that the PA is incapable of taking out Hamas since Israel has destroyed their security apparatus.

My contention of course is that even if the PA had all the military might of Israel, it still would not crack down on Hamas. I wanted to give Hanthala a chance to rebut that perception of mine. I wonder if he truly believes that the PA would crack down on Hamas if they had the power, or if he only says it because it sounds good.

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6 Me 08.22.03 at 2:09 PM

The Israeli government knows quite well — and the Israeli press is reporting — that this attack was organized and carried out from Hebron, a Palestinian city which is under complete Israeli military occupation. The Palestinian Authority has absolutely no forces or freedom of operation there, and there is, in fact nothing they could have done to stop this attack.

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7 David H 08.22.03 at 4:29 PM

Me,

I’m accepting (for now) the contention that the PA cannot stop the terrorists. My question is this: If the PA could indeed stop the terrorists, would they? And how much more power do they need before they are in this position?

And what should Israel do while the PA is still unable to deal with the terrorists? If by your own admission the PA has no forces in Hebron, shouldn’t Israel then maintain control of the city?

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8 Hanthala 08.23.03 at 2:58 AM

Dave:

In response to your first post I reitereate mine: the PA may have ONCE had the power to do it but now they do not because of the Israeli occupation forces.

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9 Me 08.23.03 at 4:37 PM

Dave,

There was that small matter of a truce which the PA managed to negotiate with the militants, which brought to a virtual stop the suicide bombings.

The Israeli army, with its military ‘solution’ has never been able to accomplish this.

The suicide bombings have begun again, horribly, unfortunately. But what was the cause of their resurgence?

In my opinion, the violations of the terms of the ceasefire (check one of my other posts) by the Israeli government — highlighted by the renewed policy of assassinations.

‘Ceasefire’ means just that. Israeli missiles are ‘fire’ too, and they did not cease.

For who did what to whom when, check out the following link — and try and discern which was the attack (ie. the first violation of the truce), and which the response.

news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1059479252306&p=1012571727172

Note that, one by one, the Israeli army targeted the leaders of the very organisations which had agreed to the truce.

So here we are again, with the military ‘solution’ being touted as the only (though never having been successful) option.

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10 David H 08.23.03 at 7:54 PM

Hanthala,

I wasn’t asking IF the PA had the power to deal with the terrorists. I was asking whether you think the PA would use that military power against the Hamas organization or not.

However, since you believe that the PA does not currently have the capacity to rein in the Hamas, who should be responsible for dealing with them? Offhand, it seems like Israel is the only player in the area that can even begin to act against the terrorist organizations.

Can you think of any others? Hamas is not going to go down willingly, there is going to be bloodshed. My question is, whose blood should it be?

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11 Hanthala 08.23.03 at 8:55 PM

Hamas would go down with the occupation. Not because it (as an organization) would be satisfied with the two-state solution, but because it would lose a lot of support and with that, a lot of would-be bombers. Stepping up the occupation and the brutalities just plays into the hands of the likes of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc.

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12 Hanthala 08.23.03 at 10:07 PM

Oh, and murdering the only Hamas leader to preach the two-state solution was real fucking smart…I guess it is when what you want is a one state solution: A Jewish state from the river to the sea.

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13 Hanthala 08.23.03 at 10:10 PM
14 Nanook 08.23.03 at 11:39 PM

On Hamas disappearing, prospective futures are hard to argue one way or the other — but other Islamic Brotherhood offshoots have done quite well in other Arab countries; it’s hard to see why this one would be sent darkly into the night.

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15 Hanthala 08.24.03 at 3:08 AM

Correlation Nanook. Between Palestinian support and non support at different stages. Not all “the Arabs” are alike btw. What goes on in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, or Morroco may not be a reliable indicator of what would happen in Palestine if…

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16 Nanook 08.25.03 at 12:28 AM

Huh? Of course not “all the Arabs” are alike — one would have to be truly stupid to believe otherwise — and naturally what goes on in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, or Morocco might not be a reliable indicator of anything at all. This is obvious, and it is why I say that prospective futures are hard to argue one way or the other.

If, on the other hand, one is trying to predict the future — like when you state unequivocally that Hamas would go down with the occupation because it would lose a lot of support and with that, a lot of would-be bombers — it’s useful to examine similar situations that have arisen in diverse but linked contexts; I’d have thought that obvious, too. Given an Islamist movement which operates across the lands it believes to be the umma islamiyah and once-and-future caliphate; conducts its ideas, recruitment, and activities across pan-Arab networks both formal and informal, print and electronic, religious and public; and has successfully been shuttling people, capital, and ideas across these networks for some time now, it is eminently reasonable to doubt the abject failure of that movement when it has had so much success in the diverse countries you name — Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco — as well as others far closer to Israel and Palestine, like Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.

The idea that the Islamist movement and, specifically, the Islamic Brotherhood’s offshoots are a pan-Arab one is not really a controversial one. Both the movement’s adherents and its opponents agree on it.

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17 Hanthala 08.25.03 at 5:49 PM

Yes, yes, Nanook, but such movements can only exist and gain strength when there is a reason for them to do so. The end of the occupation wouldn’t mean the end of Hamas altogether but its support would not be what it is now. Hamas exists because of the occupation and enjoys such support at the moment because people have lost hope that Israelis ever going to get out of the territories and allow a Palestinian state to emerge.

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18 Nanook 08.25.03 at 10:59 PM

Maybe. I think you’re right that Hamas support would fall, especially because I think that reaching any peace settlement will require a public counterweight to the kind of outreach that Hamas has long conducted — which, in a practical sense, will mean for the first time a strong voice publicly disagreeing with them.

As to what this means for the end-of-the-day success or failure of Islamist groups in such an environment, I would certainly like to be as optimistic as are you; hopefully we will have the chance to find out.

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