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Anorak | Bolster Fatah And End The ‘HAMAS-IDE’ In Gaza

Bolster Fatah And End The ‘HAMAS-IDE’ In Gaza

by | 15th, June 2007

hamas.jpgIT’S a turbulent time in the Middle East and New York’s newspapers don’t know which way to turn.

For the New York Times, Hamas’ seizure of the Gaza Strip is a defeat not just for the Palestinian people, but also for Israel and for ‘American policy’.

The eagle-eyed editorialists at the Times, you see, have spotted something:

Though all Palestinian gunmen wear masks, at least the Fatah masks conceal a brain that accepts Israel’s right to exist.

The Times’ solution to the crisis then, is for Israel and America to do all it can to bolster Fatah:

“That should include a total freeze on settlement building and expansion, a prompt easing of the onerous, humiliating and economically strangulating blockades on Palestinian movements within the West Bank, and the swift release to Mr. Abbas’s office of all tax revenues rightfully belonging to the Palestinians but still in Israeli hands.

“It should also include an offer of regular, substantive talks with Mr. Abbas on issues related to a final peace settlement, like borders and provisions assuring the economic viability of an eventual Palestinian state.”

The New York Post is more upbeat, reveling in the bloodthirsty revenge that accompanied Hamas’ takeover under the headline “HAMAS-IDE“.

Neoconservative columnist John Podhoretz even manages to find find comparisons between the violence that accompanied Palestinian self-rule in Gaza…and the Sopranos:

“What they got was two brutally murderous gangs, Fatah and Hamas, competing for power by throwing people off the roofs of buildings and slaughtering rivals in front of their wives and children.

“What they got was Tony Soprano (Fatah) vs. Phil Leotardo (Hamas).

“…This isn’t a civil war – it’s a gang war. And thousands of Palestinian bystanders are going to get shot while these two gangs go to the mattresses.

“Ah, the joys of self-rule.”

Meanwhile the Post’s editorial page turns from Hamas-ide to “HAMAS-ISTAN” and finds…good news!

“With Hamas in control of Gaza and the official breakup of the Hamas-Fatah unity government, it’s no longer possible to pretend that Israel has a reasonable partner with which to negotiate.

“That was never anything but a fiction, of course, but now that Hamas has promised to set up an Islamist rump-state (doubtless with the aid of its Iranian masters), it’s clear that war-war has won out over jaw-jaw.

“So be it.

“Now, when Hamas turns its guns on its chief target, Israel will have a clear field of fire to shoot back.”

All out war! Hurray!

The New York Daily News is more sober. With a front page dominated by large black letters: “DAY TERROR TRIUMPHED”.

Inside readers learn the awful truth that “Israel has a radical Islamic state sitting on its doorstep.”

And courtesy of Daily News columnist Michael Goodwin the now know an even scarier truth that “Islamic fanatics are madmen who use terrorism as a means to establish an Islamic theocracy.”

Gee whiz. Tell us something we didn’t know Michael:

“This is not just a problem for us, Israel or law-abiding, decent Muslims. It is the world’s problem. As British Prime Minister Tony Blair said, there is an ‘arc of extremism’ that unites Muslim fanatics around the globe. ‘It doesn’t always need structures and command centers or even explicit communication. It knows what it thinks.’

“We – the civilized people of the world – must decide what we think. While we still have the choice.”

Of course, Michael’s idea presupposes that “we” must have a brain in order to be able to think and on the strength of the coverage so far, there is little evidence of that. Perhaps the Wall Street Journal will enlighten us? If only.

A day after Hamas seizes control of Gaza, the weighty WSJ leads with an editorial about an energy bill currently going through Congress, followed by shorter editorials on union political activity and the arrest of an alleged leader of Jemaah Islamiyah.

Surely they haven’t missed the news? Hamas has taken control of Gaza!

Thank god the Journal has Barry Rubin on hand.

Rubin, who is director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center (try sticking that on a business card), tells readers that the mess is all Fatah’s fault, having “dug its own grave” by spurning chances for a Palestinian state and by failing to tackle incompetence and corruption.

Under the headline Hamastan, Rubin wrings three depressing conclusions from Hamas’ victory.

1. “The conflict will go on for decades because Hamas “will not be persuaded to moderate”.

2. Western aid and diplomatic support should cease until the “Palestinian movement” [whatever that may be] accepts Israel’s right to exist.

3. “It is time to support Israel proudly and fully.”

The brilliance of these three conclusions is hard to deny. Though, like the rest of the New York press, it doesn’t really offer much in the way of insight. That is left to the New York Sun, which—rightly or wrongly—actually tries to examine the wider geopolitical implications of the turmoil:

“Some will say the violence in Gaza proves the error of disengagement. Others will suggest it proves the logic of disengagement. Our view is that it demonstrates the nature of our common enemy in the war that is being levied against us by both our Islamist foes and the remnant allies of the Soviet Union. Mr. Bush will be watching to see how the American relationships in the region — the Sunni Arab states of Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia on the one hand and Israel on the other — can work together against Iran. Syria’s Baathists are tied to Iran. Lebanon is terrorized by an Iranian-backed Hezbollah. Hamas is funded and armed by Iran.

“Containing Iranian power and influence is central not only to the American position in Iraq but to the entire region. That is the big game that overshadows all of the other diplomatic moves under contemplation.”



Posted: 15th, June 2007 | In: Reviews Comments (9) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink