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Jan 20, 2009 8:45 pm


Why is Hamas Still Popular?



Despite the death and destruction rained down upon the people of Gaza, in response to terrorist attacks upon Israel, writers sympathetic to Hamas and the organization itself are claiming that the Gazans do not blame them for the current tragedy. They assert that Hamas is more popular than ever.

If this is true then people living on this unfortunate strip of land must take their share of responsibility for any violence that descends upon them in the future. Talal Nassar, the chief Hamas spokesman in Syria, has said that “future violence was inevitable.” Article 13 of the Hamas charter states that, “the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement.” Hamas promises the people of Gaza nothing but an endless cycle of carnage until the people of Israel are totally destroyed and there is no reason not to take the organization’s word on this.

If the 1.4 million Gazans not only condone but enthusiastically support the continued killing of Israelis by a relatively small number of Hamas cadres, can they really be considered innocent victims? Does not this Gazan television personality (use close captioning) share some of the blame for the high number of civilian casualties when she laughs upon learning that Hamas has fired a missile from right underneath her office? Do those people who allow their homes, schools, and Mosques to be sites for storing explosives and launching attacks have any kind of justified complaint when those structures are destroyed?

It is unrealistic and unfair for the people of Gaza to expect the people of Israel to continually be on the receiving end of violence with no response. Despite all of the Hamas braggadocio, the past few weeks make it clear that they can not defend the people of Gaza therefore the people of Gaza should not allow them to invite further retaliation.

Cross posted on The Trebach Report

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Justin A Bowen - 1/21/2009

Let's see if I can make Robert Kaercher's last thoughts a little more clear for the author:

"If the 1.4 million Gazans not only condone but enthusiastically support the continued killing of Israelis by a relatively small number of Hamas cadres, can they really be considered innocent victims?

It is unrealistic and unfair for the people of Gaza to expect the people of Israel to continually be on the receiving end of violence with no response. Despite all of the Hamas braggadocio, the past few weeks make it clear that they can not defend the people of Gaza therefore the people of Gaza should not allow them to invite further retaliation."

If the 300 million Americans not only condone but enthusiastically support the continued killing and oppression of Muslims by a relatively small number of American cadres, can they really be considered innocent victims when some of those pissed off Muslims fly planes into their buildings?

It is unrealistic and unfair for the people of America to expect the people of southwest Asia to continually be on the receiving end of violence with no response. Despite all of the American government's braggadocio, the events of 9/11 make it clear that it can not defend the people of America. Therefore, the people of America should not allow them to invite further retaliation.

See how easy that was?

The fact is, both sides are wrong. The Israelis and Americans are wrong and so are Hamas and their backers (whether it's the Palestinians themselves, the Iranians, or some other group). As long as people continue to have a one-sided view of things, to continue to think that we in the West are right and that our way of life and our views on how people ought to behave are right and that all other views are wrong, these problems are not going to go away.

Frankly, I am quite surprised that such a thoughtless piece was posted on this site.


Mark Brady - 1/21/2009

Despite the death and destruction rained down upon the people of southern Israel, in response to terrorist attacks upon Gaza, writers sympathetic to the Israeli government and the organization itself are claiming that the Israelis do not blame them for the current tragedy. They assert that the Israeli government is more popular than ever.

If this is true then people living on this unfortunate strip of land must take their share of responsibility for any violence that descends upon them in the future. The Israeli government promises the people of Israel nothing but an endless cycle of carnage until Israeli hegemony is unquestioned. Indeed many Israeli politicians demand the expulsion of the existing Arab population of Israel. There is no reason not to doubt these statements. Do those people who support the Israeli state have any kind of justified complaint when it is attacked?

If the 7.37 million Israelis not only condone but enthusiastically support the continued killing of Gazans by the Israeli army, can they really be considered innocent victims? Consider, for example, this account in the Independent (London): "He [a Gazan] returned yesterday to find the houses ransacked and scarcely habitable, with furnishing and electrical appliances tossed out of the window, gaping holes in the wall made for firing positions, furniture smashed, clothes piled on the floor, pages of family Korans torn out and remains of soldiers' rations littered in many rooms. Stars of David and graffiti in Hebrew and English proclaiming "Arabs need 2 die", "no Arabs in the State of Israel" and "One down and 999,999 to go" had been scrawled on walls. A drawing of a gravestone bore the inscription "Arabs 1948 to 2009"."

It is unrealistic and unfair for the people of Israel to expect the people of Gaza to continually be on the receiving end of violence with no response. Despite all of the Israeli braggadocio, the past few weeks make it clear that they can not defend the people of Israel therefore the people of Israel should not allow them to invite further retaliation.


Jeff Riggenbach - 1/21/2009

"Does not this Gazan television personality (use close captioning) share some of the blame for the high number of civilian casualties when she laughs upon learning that Hamas has fired a missile from right underneath her office? Do those people who allow their homes, schools, and Mosques to be sites for storing explosives and launching attacks have any kind of justified complaint when those structures are destroyed?"

Oh? Guilty of "thoughtcrime," are they?

JR


Bill Woolsey - 1/20/2009

Hamas is popular because it insists on doing God's will. In particular, allowing dispossessed Palestinians to return to their fields and farms. But
also to return all of Palestine to the system of governance ordered by God.

It will not accept the violation of God's law (thou shalt not steal.)

It is popular with Believers who feel that they are victims of theft.

The official Hamas position is that all of Palestine should be an Islamic state. The Jewish community in Palestine can live as second class citizens consistent with Islamic law. Land, of course, must be returned to the rightful individual owners. I don't know how Sunnis handle the issue, but Sistani (the
Shia from Iraq) has worked out how many sheep must be paid in compensation for the lost use since
1948. (Return of the land plus
compensation.)

Anyway, the claim that Hamas advocates the total destruction of the people of Israel is false.

I realize that most people are unable to distinguish between the destruction of a state and the subjects of that state, but I would hope libertarians would be able to figure this out.

Of course, the Jewish people living in Palestine (or Israel) should not have to live as second class citizens in an Islamic state. So, Hamas' goals are certainly a serious problem. The use of terror against civilians is a serious war crime. (And it is also contrary to Islamic law.)

But consider the following situation. After a futile attempt at armed insurrection, the forces of the state suppress the anarchist revolutionary forces. The majority of anarchists realize that armed insurrection was an error and are willing to give up on that strategy. They will put down their arms and limit their activities to peaceful protest.

However, the forces of the state insist that _first_ the anarchists agree to accept the legitimacy of the state. Officially recognize that the government is sovereign. While some anarchists have no problem with this--words are just wind-- others are more principled and will never say that they accept the state as legitimate.

And, of course, there are some anarchist dead enders who continue
violent struggle.

The forces of the state insist then, that they they must kill all the anarchists-- "they won't even recognize our right to exist." They futher insist that the nonviolent majority of anarchists violently suppress the violent minority of anarchists.

And when the government destroys majority anarchist towns or neighborhoods with bombs and artilery shells.. it will your own fault.

Right Halderman?


Robert Kaercher - 1/20/2009

"Despite the death and destruction rained down upon the people of Gaza, in response to terrorist attacks upon Israel, writers sympathetic to Hamas and the organization itself are claiming that the Gazans do not blame them for the current tragedy. They assert that Hamas is more popular than ever."

I know! Imagine that! The group that was firing back at the other group that was raining missiles and bombs on Gazans have become more popular than ever in the eyes of Gazans. I just can't understand it! Truly bizarre, isn't it?

"If the 1.4 million Gazans not only condone but enthusiastically support the continued killing of Israelis by a relatively small number of Hamas cadres, can they really be considered innocent victims? Does not this Gazan television personality (use close captioning) share some of the blame for the high number of civilian casualties when she laughs upon learning that Hamas has fired a missile from right underneath her office? Do those people who allow their homes, schools, and Mosques to be sites for storing explosives and launching attacks have any kind of justified complaint when those structures are destroyed?"

Well, if any of the particular homes, schools and Mosques that were destroyed by the IDF really were NOT launching sites or weapons depots for Hamas, then yes, I'd say they do have a valid reason to complain. There's a burden of proof on the part of the Israeli government that the particular properties and people destroyed by them really were used for aggressing against Israelis. They can't just blow up those properties/people and expect everyone else to just take their word for it afterwards that the destruction was justified.

And who knew the statements of a television personality and the actions of some out of 1.5 million people validates the concept of collective guilt??? If the author's reasoning is correct, then every American had better start building bomb shelters now, because by his logic millions of people throughout the world are entitled to visit a whole world of hurt upon all of us.




Sheldon Richman - 1/20/2009

Could it have something to do with the long history of annihilation, oppression, degradation, and humiliation at the hands of the Israelis? Have you looked at the ratio of Palestinian to Israeli deaths? It's pretty large. The Israelis are not the primary victims.

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