Monday, January 12, 2009

Hamas: Democratically Elected, Yet Illegal (Updated)

Critics of Hamas are unusually fond of reminding everyone that Hamas was democratically elected. There is a very simple response to that:
It is an illegal government, brought to power by an unprovoked war against the Palestinian Authority (PA) which was the internationally recognized regime in the Gaza Strip. Hamas may have won the elections but it then seized total power, suspended representative government, and destroyed the opposition.
That is the part that Israel's critics conveniently ignore. There is another side to Hamas--the side that is not ignored, merely the part that Israel's critics will make excuses for:
Moreover, Hamas is a radical terrorist group which openly uses antisemitic rhetoric and actively seeks to wipe Israel off the map. It oppresses the Palestinian population and leads them into endless war. It teaches young Palestinians that their career goal should not be as a teacher, engineer, or doctor but as a suicide bomber.
The fact that critics of Israel will not mention that the Hamas government is an illegal government does not mean that we have to--we should not hesitate to write openly about Hamas, the illegal government of Gaza.

Thing about that for a second. Where else do you find a country told that they must make peace with an aggressor government that came to power as the result of a coup?

UPDATE: Cliff May Recalls:
Three years ago, Hamas won a surprise victory over Fatah in legislative elections. But for Hamas leaders, this initiation into the democratic experience was not life-changing. So, in June 2007, they launched a military coup against Fatah and the Palestinian Authority in Gaza.

Within four days, “Hamas gunmen clad in black ski masks controlled the dusty streets,” writes Jonathan Schanzer in his new book, Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine. “It would not be long before the fall of the [Palestinian Authority’s] fortress-like security compound, al-Suraya. Indeed, Hamas fighters had burrowed a tunnel beneath the building, detonated deadly explosives, and breached it.” Hamas fighters also threw several of their Fatah opponents off the roofs of high-rise buildings. In European and Arab capitals, demonstrations did not break out.
Of course, it is not only the Arabs who did not stage protests; Western leaders did not, and have not, publicly recoiled at the thought of aiding Hamas. However they do bridle at the thought that Israel should deal with the regular rocket attacks from Hamas--whether by withholding from Hamas the materials used to bomb Israeli citizens or at taking military action.

The Western world--Democracy in inaction.

[Hat tip: Soccer Dad]

Technorati Tag: and and and .

No comments: