Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Thoughts about the Hamas victory

If you want deep, intelligent, educated thoughts about Hamas' recent victory in the Palestine elections, read this Richard Baehr article at American Thinker. If you want my quick reaction, read on. Believe it or not, I think Hamas' victory is a good thing. I'll back into this point with an anecdote. I took my children to see Narnia which is, to date, the scariest movie they've ever seen. What fascinated me was how their fear response played out. In the beginning of the movie, there is nothing to see -- it's all hinted at, with rustling behind trees and threats of bad deeds and evil creatures. This part simply terrified my kids. By movie's end, it's all out in the open, with a defined enemy and a fearsome battle. They thought it was wonderful. Even during the scene when the White Witch sacrifices Aslan, and the movie screen is filled with grotestque creatures out of nightmares, my kids were great -- what they actually saw was less fearful than what they'd imagined. Now, no one has ever imagined Hamas' very real threat to Israel (it's manifest in every bombing), but Hamas operated in the background, with the politicos in front making lying noises about peace. Now, the gloves are off. An entity that has repeatedly and violently called for Israel's total extinguishment is in charge. Israel, for the first time since she was attacked in 1973, has a defined nation state against which she can do battle. Of course, what remains to be seen is whether Israel has the political will. Richard Baehr notes that the Left will always remain in thrall to its delusional thinking about how nice the Palestinians can be someone would just give them a chance. But in the election coming up between Olmert and Netanyahu, Baehr thinks Bibi will win -- something I thought even before Hamas' victory. When push comes to shove, the average Israeli is going to ignore the weak Left and go for the strong Right. There's also the minute possibility that, having a state and a role in government, Hamas will abandon its terrorist ways. An excellent example of someone who did that was Menachim Begin. You may not remember but, before Israel was granted/won nationhood, Begin belonged to an organization that believed in terrorist strikes (although, to give them credit, they targeted the military, not civilians). Once Israel came into existence, Begin and his crew recognized that their goal had been achieved and instantly moved into the role of true statesmen, not terrorists. This is unlikely to happen with Hamas. First, we have history: Arafat never could do it. He used the fact that the West regarded him as a statesman, even though he wasn't, to feather his nest and to fund further violent acts against Israel. Second, Hamas, although it has a Palestianian state and a government role, has not achieved its goal. As Baehr says:

Look to the founding DNA of the organization. Hamas is not on the scene today because it was needed to fill a social service vacuum (even if this may be a part of the reason for their electoral success). Hamas, since its inception, has existed to end the occupation of Palestine. But unlike Yassar Arafat, who tried at times to finesse the meaning of his desire to destroy Israel by calling for an to end to Israel’s occupation of territories captured in the 67 war (and, wink, wink, from the rest of Israel later), Hamas was always more direct. Tel Aviv was occupied. The Galilee was occupied. Haifa was occupied.
So, Hamas doesn't mean peace for Israel, but Hamas' victory does mean that the right is more likely to win in Israel's next election, and that Israel will have a visible, hostile, defined target, rather than than fighting the inchoate specter of subterranean attacks from within her own terroritories. And I think that's a good thing.