Friday, December 19, 2008

Arab Countries To Israel: Take Out Hamas! (2 Updates)

Considering that Hamas is an Iranian proxy and Arabs are not particularly enamored of Iran, this makes sense--especially since Hamas is an easier target than the other Iranian proxy: Hizbollah.

From Dan Diker, a foreign policy analyst with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs via Powerline:
Hamas rockets continue to smash into southern Israel today, but this morning's headline in Israel's Maariv daily newspaper will likely not be discussed in Washington media, diplomatic, and policy circles: "Arab Countries to Israel: Cut off the Heads of Hamas' Leaders." Israel's Maariv reports unnamed heads of Arab states that have passed diplomatic messages to Jerusalem encouraging Israel to kill Iranian funded and trained Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip in response to Hamas' firing of scores of rockets against Southern Israel during the current "cease fire".
This of course runs in the face of the increasingly accepted position:
Strangely, while some of Washington's closest Arab allies are recommending Israel kill the Hamas leadership a recent report by the Saban Center of the Brookings Institute, "Restoring the Balance: A Middle East Strategy for the next President", recommends that Israel and the United States talk directly with the Hamas while jettisoning the U.S. led Quartet's standing pre-conditions for dealing the Iranian backed Muslim Brotherhood group.

Also mentioned by Diker is this interesting little nugget:
A Palestinian Authority official reminded me earlier this week that Hamas received two million dollars from Lashkar e Taibe (the group that massacred nearly 200 in Mumbai this month) during a December 2006 meeting in Pakistan that was first reported in the Italian newspaper Corriera Della Serra.
I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere and didn't find anything after a quick look through Google. Has anyone been looking into this?

Diker concludes:
Washington and Western allies would do well to take notice. There is clear and growing concern and even incredulity among not a few Arab leaders and former officials at what they see as underlying naiveté behind what appears to be a softening of the US and Israeli posture towards Hamas.
Read the whole thing.

That would be the same naiveté that allows the West to pour billions into the PA while the Arab world steps back.

Obama's intent to talk with Iran would be another example of that naiveté--and can't be making the Arab world very happy.

UPDATE: At Contentions, David Hazony expands on the lessons from the Hamas/Lashkar e Taibe connection:
There are those who say: Terrorism is evil, wretched, and should be boycotted at every turn — every turn, that is, until the terrorists get a lot of power, or begin to look like sovereign states. At that point, the only way to deal with them is through talking. Power triumphs over principle, realpolitik trumps moral revulsion.

We can understand where this is coming from. After all, the Soviet Union was a very bad regime, and the West only defeated them through a combination of the soft walk and the big stick. But Hamas and Iran are much, much smaller creatures, and it seems that the bar for negotiation has been drastically lowered. Every time we legitimize such regimes through negotiation, we are overcoming an extremely important moral sensibility in ourselves, diluting it and weakening it. We are also drastically incentivizing the terrorists’ rise to power. The West used to say to its enemies: Stay small, below the radar, and we’ll mostly ignore you. Now it’s saying: Get yourself a piece of land and something that looks like an army, and the West will suddenly soften its posture.

Now would be a good time for the West to wake up.

UPDATE: Powerline now has a translation of the original Maariv article that Dan Diker was commenting on.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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1 comment:

espresso said...

Hamas military capability is being degraded as I write. That is good but the long-term issue is of course how to get the Palestinians of Gaza to abandon Hamas.

I don't think Israel has anything in particular to fear by Obama's intent to talk with Iran. In the short term - it will not yield anything but it may be part of a long term process with Iran. It's also part of a signal that the United States will engage more on the international scene. I think political and diplomatic engagement is a good thing. There will still be plenty of cases when sher military force will be needed but it ought to be proceeded by political measures.