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View Diary: Oded Na'aman: Is Gaza Outside Israel? (16 comments)

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  •  No (0+ / 0-)

    Gaza is not outside Israel.

    And no, these acts are not morally acceptable in any sense or in any way.  

    Indeed, they are deeply offensive to many many of us in Israel.  And many of us have, in the course of obligatory army service, put ourselves and those under our command at risk to try and shield civilians, especially children from harm.  And that still does not make the occupation acceptable.

    But opposing the occupation and protesting the abuses it entails does not make HAMAS something other than it is.  Hamas eradicated prostitution in Gaza during the first Intifada by grabbing women who were prostitutes, or suspected of being prostitutes, and slitting them open from crotch to throat.  Very effective indeed.  Hamas eradicated FATAH in Gaza, by decapitating its activists and throwing them off buildings.  Extremely effective.  These are documented.  HAMAS has never embraced the idea of a final status based on '67 borders (as has FATAH and The Arab League member states).  The most they have offered is a potentially renewable long-term truce (hudna) of 20 years.  Their aim is not a democratic Palestinian nation state, but a theocratic one.  There charter is not merely anti-Zionist, it is explicitly anti-Semitic.

    Stating those issues does not equate to apologetics for the occupation, Israeli prosecution of it, or US sponsorship of it.

    It seems deeply problematic that every valid criticism of Israeli policy and action is twisted into an apologetic whitewashing of HAMAS.  There's no necessary reciprocal connection between them.  If you oppose Bibi Netanyahu, you should also oppose HAMAS, as they play right into his hands by giving him material with which to fear-monger the Israeli electorate.

    One can criticize Israeli policy and hold Israel accountable, both its government and the electorate that empowers it, as well as the IDF it commands, without painting HAMAS as some progressive and sympathetic organ of indigenous resistance.  Fear of HAMAS, and its manipulation by the right, has basically undermined the Israeli left's appeal.  They are part of the problem.  The question is how to get to a solution with them as a part of the political equation that cannot be ignored.  You might believe that unilateral ending of the occupation would render HAMAS a moderate organization, or that its supporters would immediately become moderate and abandon them.  I don't find this plausible in the short term.

    •  True enough, but keep the following in mind: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, imokyrok, WattleBreakfast

      Our US tax dollars and diplomatic support don't undergird Hamas, they undergird Israel.  

      And the rise of Hamas in Gaza would not have occurred without the protracted devastation to that community wreaked by Israel, just as the hard liners in Iran gained the upper hand from the moderates because of America's necon-inspired "Axis of Evil" campaign against Iran following 9-11, even though the moderate party held the Iranian Presidency at that point.

      It is a dance of death and mayhem that both parties are engaged in with each other, to be sure, but the "lead" is the US-backed occupation.  Hamas is only my responsibility insofar as I can demand that my tax dollars stop being used to create the fertile conditions conducive to the growth of extremism in Gaza, and elsewhere.

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

      by nailbender on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:15:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The rise of HAMAS in Gaza (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        whizdom, PeterHug

        was due in part to Israel trying to marginalize FATAH in the early 80s and then when Israel decided to work with FATAH Arafat and his cronies dashed the hopes of Gazans with rampant corruption, building villas for themselves and padding bank accounts while neglecting opportunities for infrastructure, economic, and civic institutional development.  The egregiousness of life in Gaza only strengthened HAMAS after it had become the only alternative.  So it's a tad more complicated than that.

        I'm certainly not trying to turn this diary into a discussion of HAMAS.  That's not what the diarist set out to do.  But it was done by previous comments who derided Israelis for painting HAMAS as baby eaters.  They are not that.  They are bad enough as is.  My comment was intended to respond to the tendency of every diary that criticizes Israel being turned into a vindication of HAMAS, or an obscuring of what it does and is.

        I do indeed think that US citizens (I'm dual Israeli-American, currently residing in Jerusalem) have the right and the responsibility to speak out.  But regardless of how we got here, moving forward we should not be simplistic that improving material and political conditions will magically alter the ideological trajectory.  There will need to be much more international involvement than if HAMAS weren't both growing in power and in perceived legitimacy.

        The peace process was derailed by several key parties.  The first were the governments of Rabin (yes, Rabin) followed by Netanyahu and Barak that intensified settlement building, either as a bad faith way to undermine the process or as a bad tactic thinking that it would strengthen Israel's bargaining position.  The latter is crazy as a war is played for advantage and a settlement is played toward a draw.  Arafat also played a role, in his corrupt cronyism and in failing to come back with a counter-proposal at Camp David.  HAMAS settled into this breach and did and does everything it could and can to undermine the ability of us on the left in Israel to convince the electorate we have partners and we can bolster them.  Israelis see rockets from Gaza and, not incorrectly, wonder if dealing with HAMAS will result in exactly what we see in Syria today.

    •  whatever one thinks of Hamas (6+ / 0-)

      it must be said over and over and over again (apparently, since so many choose to ignore it): the focus must be on Israel because Israel holds nearly all of the power in the Israel/Palestine relationship.  This includes military power, financial power, and political power.  Hence Israel's ability to conduct periodic massacres of Palestinians in Gaza whenever they wish.

      Further, Israel is responsible for much, much, much more violence than Hamas, measured in murdered innocents, wounded civilians, destruction of infrastructure, or economic devastation.  Israel is also responsible for decades of land theft and racist colonization by settlers, for cruel and illegal siege, for violent repression of all Palestinian resistance movements (from peaceful protests to the PLO to international volunteers like Rachel Corrie) and other crimes. These actions undermine (and historically have destroyed) moderate parties and movements and also inflame resentment and anger against Israel. Thus groups like Hamas emerge.  

      In sum, the focus rightly should be on Israeli aggression and occupation.  Israel has the power, Israel is responsible for the great majority of violence, and Israel's oppression of Palestinians is what creates movements like Hamas in the first place.


      •  The question then (0+ / 0-)

        is why every diary criticizing Israel is turned by some into a de facto dismissal of how much harder HAMAS makes it for the left, even the center-left to pressure Israel, both from within and from without, to alter its policies.  HAMAS is no red herring.  Dismissing HAMAS makes shifting Israeli perspectives nearly impossible.

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