Monday, March 03, 2008

What I Learned About Hamas

From reading the NYT and the Washington Post this morning:

First, the Times:

Ever since the militant Islamist organization Hamas took over Gaza eight months ago, President Bush’s peace plan for the Middle East has been to prop up the more moderate Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, in the hopes that Palestinians would rally behind him as man who could bring them statehood and make Hamas irrelevant...

As long as Hamas controls Gaza, it can subvert negotiations between Israelis and moderate Palestinians whenever it sees fit...


Hamas, the militant Islamic group, took control of the Gaza Strip last June after routing the pro-Abbas forces there...

While the Post says

The Palestinian territories have been deeply divided since June, with the radical Islamic movement Hamas taking over in Gaza and the secular, Fatah-led Palestinian Authority remaining in the West Bank...

Gaza has suffered for months under a strict Israeli-imposed economic embargo, and residents said the latest violence further strained infrastructure that is already near the breaking point...

Israel has said its operations are designed to protect the nation from Hamas, which Israeli officials say has lately been receiving higher quality weapons from Iran.

"We have to destroy the Iranian enclave," said Yuval Steinitz, a leader in the Likud Party who advocates a full-scale invasion of Gaza. "We have to level a heavy blow to the terrorist infrastructure."

Reading these articles, one would never know that Hamas was elected by the Palestinians in Gaza. The election bringing Hamas to power in Gaza was, ironically, encouraged by the United States, who hoped or assumed that the more "secular" and "reasonable" Fatah (another Palestinian organization that the U.S. and Israel once labeled as "terrorist" being as it was the establishment of the late Yasir Arafat) would win. But after Hamas won the American-Israeli-led election process, neither would recognize the results or talk to Hamas.

But the American press at least seems to have forgotten all of this.

Meanwhile, I thought that last bit about Iran was pretty charming. Expect to see that connection made a lot more as the U.S. election proceeds and demands are made to "liberate" Iran/eliminate the terrorism-sponsorship from Tehran.

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