Fund Hamas?

Should we fund Hamas?

(See here) a piece that appears on AlterNet written by Nora Barrows-Friedman that reports on the economic plight of many Palestinians living in the territories occupied by Israel.

Now, let me expose my own bias. I am at least somewhat sympathetic towards the Palestinians. However I do not think my sympathy devolves into irrationality.

The Palestinian People held free elections and placed Hamas into power. Now the Palestinians expect the people who provide the funding to accept their majority decision and still continue to provide the funding.

Think about it this way. "George Evil" wants to end his marriage but does not want to go through a messy divorce. George decides killing his wife will be easier. George finds a hit man to do the job. When the hit man shows up at George's wife's doorstep and puts the gun to her head, he first demands payment from the wife before he pulls the trigger. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense does it?

Does it make any more sense that Israel and the rest of the western world, that do not want to see the destruction of the nation of Israel, must for some reason be willing to fund a "freely elected" government that is sworn to the destruction of Israel?

Look, I feel bad about the economic hardships caused by the boycott. However the Palestinian People (at least the majority of them) have only themselves to blame for the hardship. No Hamas leadership, no boycott.

It is ridiculous for left wing extremists to expect Israel and the western world to fund those who radically oppose what they are in favor of.

Let me give another example. You supported John Kerry in the last election however George Dubyah Bush won the election. Now George Dubyah Bush expects you to pony up and help pay for his outstanding campaign debts because he was the winner and you should help fund the candidate who won majority support. Not a whole lot of sense there either is there?

Those who expect those who stand in opposition to Hamas to fund Hamas are living in some kind of dream world. There is economic suffering in Palestine? Well, good. The boycott is effective. Perhaps some Palestinians will be motivated by economic self interest next time they go to the ballot box.

Maintain the boycott until Palestinians rise up and elect someone reasonable. Marwan Barghouti gets my vote!


Blogger Michael said...

There is also a certain degree of irrationality in blaming the victims. Democracy cannot be won by coercion or with the point of a gun.

If you were a Palestinian being oppressed by the nation of Israel for the past several decades, voting for a government that is subservient to the machinations of Israel (or at least, your perception as of such) is probably the last thing that you would do.

Furthermore, regardless of the "political thought" of the average Palestinian civilian, collective punishment of a civilian population for the actions of their government is illegal. In fact, depending on what the punishment is, it is a war crime. There appears to be a vast Western amnesia that the vast majority of Palestinian deaths from Israeli military operations are civilians, NOT militants.

It has been less than a year and the atrocities in Southern Lebanon performed by the IDF is now unspoken.

Saddam hanged for less (insofar as the actual crime he was charged with in the sham of a trial).

Funding Hamas directly is clearly absurd; however, the blockade of humanitarian relief to the Palestinian territories as a political tool is inhumane and morally unteniable.

Insofar as this:
However the Palestinian People (at least the majority of them) have only themselves to blame for the hardship. No Hamas leadership, no boycott.

Let me remind you of your previous proclaimations of admirations of a certainly Biblical figure (from the Gospel of Matthew):

22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

I would charge that sentiment as positively "un-Christian"; but hey, I'm an atheist. ;-)

Michael Tam

2/10/2007 05:59:00 AM  
Blogger Little David said...

Ah, but I do not describe myself as a Christian. (I do love Jesus though.)

I do sometimes wonder what would happen if Jesus had been forced to deal with someone like me in a dicussion - grin. Jesus said "Turn the other cheek." Little David then asked "But Jesus, what then if he just slaps the other cheek?" "Turn the cheek again," Jesus replied. But Little David still was not satisfied and asked, "But how long must we go through this? How many times must I turn the cheek? Have I done so enough when my lips are bloodied? Is it enough when the slaps start to knock teeth loose that I stop?" And Jesus replied....

You've given me an idea for a new piece. I might continue to explore the above conversation in a new article!

OK, so Israel, instead of targetting ALL of the Palestinians (because not ALL of them voted for Hamas) should then only target the elected government and take action against that government then?

I will not try and defend everything Israel does as being unworthy of criticism, however at some point the right of self defense does kick in. Israel should not be forced to "play nice" with a Palestinian governmental authority that is sworn to destroy Israel and funds and encourages suicide bombings.

I will repeat that much of what Israel does adds fuel to the fire and actually incites reciprocal violence from the Palestinian populace. Peace Now does a fine job (although sometimes gets carried away) with identifying and criticizing these actions. However these actions do not of themselves give carte blanche to the Palestinians for unrestricted rights of violence either.

I believe that "humanitarian" relief should be allowed into Palestine. I have read of where even Israel has been willing to release funding for the purchase of medicines and the like if it could be shown this funding would not fall into the hands of Hamas where it could be diverted to other things. However, my definition of "humanitarian relief" does not encompass funding the machinations of Hamas governance.

2/11/2007 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Israel has systematically prevented external aid agencies into the Palestinian territories since the elevation of Hamas.

I cannot see any justification for this exceept as a form of punishment on the population as an attempt of political coercion of the government.


2/12/2007 03:29:00 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

The religious comment was mostly facetious.

However, it bemuses me no end when right wing Christian groups demonise the Palestians and reveal their utter hypocracy.


2/12/2007 03:31:00 AM  
Blogger Little David said...

I was unaware of any attempt to prevent aid groups from doing their work in Palestine. I might do some searching for that to see if I can find what the justification is for this.

The "religious conservatives" on BOTH sides are a problem. However not all deeply religious people think alike. The Presbetyrians, as a group, decided to divest from Israeli holdings a few years ago due to the occupation and "the fence" for example.

2/12/2007 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Little David said...

I searched the web for something to support your claim that external aid agencies are prevented from operating in the occupied territories. I was pretty much unsuccessful in finding anything on my own to substantiate this. I am not saying it is not so, but perhaps you can provide a link that does so.

The best I could come up with is this article titled Starving a nation that appears to be quite symapthetic to the plight of the Palestinian people. I noted that while the article went long on describing the "horrible" conditions Palestinians deal with, the lone picture accompanying the article, and the caption below it, shows how UN aid agencies are allowed to distribute food in the occupied territories.

I will acknowledge that this article is rather dated, having appeared in May 2006.

2/12/2007 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

The implications of new Israeli policies on the Occupied Territories.

See the part on health.

An International Red Cross bulletin on the situation on the Gaza Strip.


2/22/2007 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger Little David said...

What does either link have to do with whether or not the Western World should fund Hamas?

It is my opinion that the funding of Hamas is a seperate and distinct issue and the links you provided are not related to the issue.

2/28/2007 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Eh... it doesn't.

But you asked:
I was unaware of any attempt to prevent aid groups from doing their work in Palestine.

The above are independent reports to the contrary.


3/03/2007 05:00:00 AM  
Blogger Little David said...

When do efforts to relieve suffering become efforts to "aid and abbet the enemy"?

I am torn by this issue. Innocent Palestinians should not suffer, but neither should innocent Israelis.

I will admit I am at least a little one sided in my viewpoint. I will confess a willingness to allow the Israelis the ability to recoil at peace attemtpts that are met with violence. However I do not see a need to sacrifice my attempt at "reasonableness" to allow the majority of Palestinians to ElECT a government that is sworn to "driving the Jews into the sea".

Just how "reasonable" is "reasonable"? My viewpoint is that the MAJORITY of Palestinains have voted to be unreasonable. Let them then thus suffer. Suffering is good for the soul. Perhaps the soul will vote otherwise next time.

Please do not point to the suffering of the Palestinian People when the majority of the Palestinian People voted to suffer. It is my opinion they voted for more suffering then they have yet endured.

3/15/2007 11:44:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home