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Don’t alienate Hamas

Posted By Obadiah Shoher On February 28, 2006 @ 10:50 am In Hamas | 2 Comments

I have long argued for involving Hamas in the political process. The idea is to turn efficient terrorists into corrupt politicians. Power corrupts even the staunchest, and Hamas would surely sell its ideals for red-carpet receptions.

That approaches requires tolerating their rhetoric for the time being. Words are just words. Israeli Basic Law proclaims the Jewish State within the ostensible biblical borders. So what? Egypt didn’t demand the Basic Law be revoked as a prerequisite of the Sinai treaty.

But Israel acts stupidly, and America follows. What do you expect, ostracizing Hamas? After Arafat’s death, Hamas was the only symbol, the only charisma. The West should remember what happens when an aggressive government is ostracized and isolated. That path led to WWII.

That is happening now: Hamas started by offering a truce, the greatest moderation possible, because Muslims can offer a truce only to infidels. Quasi-religious Hamas could not theoretically offer peace to Israel. Ostracized and bullied, Hamas of course slipped onto the habitual path of radicalism—and will stay there. The best-case scenario of bureaucratizing a terrorist organization transforms into the worst-case scenario of a terrorist organization acquiring a state of its own.

Forget about Hamas’ pronouncements. Take them with a grain of salt. Have them put the frock coats on. Put martinis in their hands. Make them smile with foreign celebrities at photo-ops. Look below the surface; control your reactions. Learn ideological warfare.

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