Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Let Hamas Fail on Its Own

I read a newswire piece on Reuters this morning detailing Israeli government efforts to isolate Hamas diplomatically and economically in the hopes of forcing its collapse. I am absolutely stunned at the lack of foresight the Israelis are showing by pursuing this strategy. Nearly every Middle Eastern government relishes the opportunity to blame the United States and Israel for the present state of affairs in their own countries. They love to distract their populations from their own ineptitude as leaders and brain wash their people into believing that the reason their quality of life is less than ideal is because of something the Americans and the Israelis are doing. It is a sound propaganda strategy that has successfully served the more corrupt governments in the Middle East.
If Israel pursues this strategy (at least publicly pursues it) they will actually be providing Hamas with a shield, protecting it from any consequences of any potential failures they experience as a governing body. If Hamas fails to achieve a workable relationship with the Israelis and improve the quality of life for the Palestinian people, they will have a ready-made excuse for their failures. They will be able to point the finger squarely at the Israelis and say to the Palestinian people, “we could have made a better life for you, but the Israelis made it impossible. They used their contacts and lobbyists to choke off the funds and diplomatic relations making it impossible to govern”. And unlike most other times when blaming the Israelis is completely ridiculous they would actually have a good point this time.
I don’t like Hamas. It is a terrorist group and it is dedicated to the destruction of one of the United States’ most stalwart allies. But they were elected in some of the most well run, free and fair elections the region has ever seen. They won on a platform not of Israeli destruction but of anti-corruption, anti-Fatah, and social welfare extension. I have serious reservations about their ability to deliver to the Palestinian people now that they are in control of the Palestinian Legislative Council. But the United States and Israel has to allow for Hamas to fail on its own. Any efforts to facilitate that failure will only reinforce the perception that the US and Israel don’t rally have any interest in Middle Eastern democracy. Efforts made to hasten the failure of Hamas will only make them stronger.
Yasser Arafat was a fraud, but he made a living out of distracting the Palestinian people and blaming Israel for his failure to improve their quality of life, even though it was his corruption and ineffective leadership style that mostly impacted the state of affairs in Palestine. But he died a revered figure!!!! Lets not give Hamas a safety shield. Let Hamas fail on its own.

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