Wednesday, May 16, 2007

16-May-07: Report Card

Here's what the Hamas government of the Palestinian Arabs did today.
  • They continued fighting their fratricidal civil war against the gunmen of Fatah while agreeing to the sixth ceasefire in the past three days. It began at 8 o'clock this evening and ended a few seconds later.
  • Hamas "liberation" forces continued their rocket barrage against Israel's western Negev. Some 30 Qassam rockets have been fired into Israel so far today.
  • Some of those Qassams were deliberately fired into Sderot, the Israeli town unlucky enough to be within firing distance of Hamas emplacements. A 60-year-old Israeli woman was severely injured in her home which took a direct hit.
  • Their Qassams led to four other Israelis being treated for shock.
  • One Qassam struck a cluster of Israeli homes in Sderot, causing damage to several buildings. This is the complex where the Yaakobov family lives. Yaakov Yaakobov was killed by a Qassam rocket in November 2006.
  • A Hamas Qassam rocket struck Sderot this evening and knocked out power throughout the town.
  • Another Qassam rocket struck a home next door to the home of Israel's minister of defence who lives in Sderot. There was property damage but thankfully no injuries. A nearby basketball court was destroyed.
  • Note that Hamas openly claimed credit today for the Qassam rocket attacks. It announced that they will continue to be fired into Israel. An Israeli report confirms what we wrote this morning, quoting Palestinian sources who say "Hamas is trying to provoke a fight with Israel in the hopes that an Israeli military response would calm the Fatah-Hamas fighting by uniting the two against a common enemy". So what else is new?
  • But at the same time, Hamas issued an official statement blaming the entire mess on (as if you didn't know) on Israel, as well as the international community and the Arab states.
  • Hamas also expressed severe contrition today for the unmitigated disaster it has bought upon the heads of its society, its children, its economy and its culture. Not.
  • Oh, and to round off a week of genuine achievements, yesterday Hamas gunmen launched a heroic attack against a Jeep-ful of their enemies. Except that it was not their enemies but in fact their own gunmen (this we are not making up), five of whom went straight to their seventy-two virgins.
In Gaza today, there are no supplies of blood; people are being arrested or shot for the way they look (says The Times of London in an article entitled "I heard the screams of women and children"); business is at a standstill while freshly smuggled Arab weapons are fired at Arab targets; children, women and geriatrics (including incredibly naive "human shields") are being wounded and killed in the cross-fire between the selfless heroes of Fatah and their Hamas counterparts.

Carnage. Anarchy. Unlimited bloodshed. Dead women and children everywhere. The Times puts it graphically and clearly: "The random use of weapons and explosives is out of control... the elite, the politicians, sit with the Egyptian mediators at night and then come out with statements about a truce, and in the morning we see the opposite has occurred. These people are not controlling anything."

Meanwhile the Pal-Arabs find enough energy left over, as they have for several generations, to keep pouring their barrages of death into Israeli towns and homes. Not disputed territory, not military camps, not industrial complexes.

In other words, business as usual. This ongoing war.


gharqad tree said...

When this racist murder squad were elected to power, I was actually naive enough to think that this was the best thing could happen as far as opening the eyes of the world to the truth of the 'struggle' and Israel's response to it. I'm still not sure how wrong I was. Thousands of rocket attacks against civilians later, nothing has changed in the BBC's line. Two months into the Alan Johnson kidnapping, nothing has changed. The BBC's implicit line still seems to be 'If only the West hadn't cut off the free cash hand-outs to this gang of murderers then they wouldn't be killing each other and all would be well - apart, that is, for those Israelis living under constant threat of attack, about whom the less said the better'.

Arab on Arab violence is being reported, because it constitutes a crisis. Arab on Israeli violence is not being reported, because it's ...well.... kind of deserved....

My question would be, how much more of this would it take before the Palestinian Arabs lost their exalted status as No.1 Victims?

Beate in Berlin said...

Palestine Without Illusions
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, February 3, 2006; Page A19

Amid much gnashing of teeth, the Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections is being called a disaster. On the contrary. It is deeply clarifying and ultimately cleansing. If the world responds correctly, it will mark a turning point for the better.

The Palestinian people have spoken. According to their apologists, sure, Hamas wants to destroy Israel, wage permanent war and send suicide bombers into discotheques to drive nails into the skulls of young Israelis, but what the Palestinians were really voting for was efficient garbage collection.

It is time to stop infantilizing the Palestinians. As Hamas leader Khaled Meshal said at a news conference four days after the election, "The Palestinian people have chosen Hamas with its known stances." By a landslide, the Palestinian people have chosen these known stances: rejectionism, Islamism, terrorism, rank anti-Semitism and the destruction of Israel in a romance of blood, death and revolution. Garbage collection on Wednesdays.

Everyone is lamenting the fall of Fatah and the marginalization of its leader, Mahmoud Abbas. This is ridiculous. The election exposed what everyone knew and would not admit: Abbas has no constituency. Would it have been better to keep funneling billions of dollars from the European Union and a gullible United States to the thoroughly corrupt administration of a hapless figurehead? Billions that either end up in Swiss bank accounts or subsidize countless gangs of young men carrying guns?

The current nostalgia for Fatah moderation is absurd. What moderation? Yasser Arafat's 1993 paper recognition of Israel's right to exist was as fraudulent as his famous Oslo side letter renouncing terrorism. He spent the next seven years clandestinely sponsoring it, then openly launched a four-year terrorist war, the most vicious in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

With this election, we can no longer hide from the truth: After 60 years, the Palestinian people continue to reject the right of a Jewish state to exist side by side with them. Fatah -- secular, worldly and wise -- learned to lie to the West and pretend otherwise. Hamas -- less sophisticated, more literal and more bound by religious obligation to expel the Jews -- is simply more honest.

This election was truth in advertising. Now we know. What to do?

The world must impress upon the Palestinians that there are consequences for their choices. And so long as they choose rejectionism -- the source of a 60-year conflict the Israelis have long been ready to resolve -- the world will not continue to support and subsidize them.

And that means cutting off Hamas completely: no recognition, no negotiation, no aid, nothing. And not just assistance to a Hamas government but all assistance. The Bush administration suggests continuing financial support for "humanitarian" services. This is a serious mistake.

First, because money is fungible. Every dollar we spend for Palestinian social services is a dollar freed up for a Hamas government to purchase rockets, guns and suicide belts for the "Palestinian army" that Meshal has already declared he intends to build.

Second, because it sends the Palestinians precisely the wrong message. If they were under a dictatorship that imposed rejectionism on them, there would be a case for helping a disenfranchised Palestinian people. But they just held the most open and honest exercise of democracy in Palestinian history. The Palestinian people chose. However much they love victimhood, they are not victims here. They are actors. And historical actors have to take responsibility.

They want blood and death and romance? They will get nothing. They choose peace and coexistence? Then, as President Bush pledged in June 2002, they will get everything: world recognition, financial assistance, their own state with independence and dignity.

In August 2001, Hamas sent a suicide bomber into a Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem. He killed 15 innocent Israelis, mutilating many dozens more. A month later, Hamas student activists at al-Najah University in Nablus celebrated the attack with an exhibit, a mockup of the smashed Sbarro shop strewn with blood and fake body parts -- a severed leg, still dressed in jeans; a human hand dangling from the ceiling. The inscription (with a reference to the Qassam military wing of Hamas) read: "Qassami Pizza is more delicious."

The correct term for such a mentality is not militancy, not extremism, but moral depravity. The world must advise the Palestinian people that if their national will is to embrace Hamas -- its methods and its madness -- then their national will is simply too murderous and, yes, too depraved for the world to countenance, let alone subsidize.

The essential first lesson of any newborn democracy is that national choices have national consequences. A Hamas-led Palestine, cut off entirely, will be forced to entertain second thoughts.