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« African Anti-Semitism Countered | Main | Though Shalt Not Bear False Witness »

May 25, 2006


Nili Scham

Whats this with Israel tranfereing weapons to Abbas loyalists? What were they thinking? Never mind the fact that the weapons will probably not get used for 'defense' purposes but Israel has now gone and got itself involved in the faction Palestinians fighting!

Just a Caring Individual

Typical Israel. They created and armed Hamas originally.

Just a Caring Individual

Oh...a and viva Ronnie viva!


Just a caring individual, its so nice that Ronnie’s anti-Israel bashing has made him some friends. He is a bit low on supporters at the moment. Ironically in the end all he will have are Jew haters as allies. And even they will surely turn on him.

Vaz Lube

It's myth that Israel created Hamas. Care to show us the evidence?


Nili, the arms transfer is part of Olmert’s commitment to Bush to try negotiate first. They are giving Abbas one last chance to fulfil his road map commitments. If with these arms he still does nothing well … bye bye road map hello further unilateral disengagement.

They tried this with Arafat during Oslo as well. We saw the consequences. Lets hope Abbas is different.


Perhaps it is time , we remembered the victims of the friends of Ronnie Kasrils and Just a caring individual


Myths and Facts from Mitchell Bard:

Myth about Israel Creating Hamas

Nili Scham

Mike, how many 'last chances' have we given the Palestinians? I think that we can see that Abbas doesn't have control of them, so we give him weapons to create control? We saw what happened after Oslo, as you said, lets hope Abbas is different!


Nili, honestly I have a lot of respect for Abbas. He is no Zionist but I don’t expect him to be. He has denounced violence as a tool for solving the conflict. That is an enormous step forward.

I believe that a prosperous and democratic Palestinian state is the key to a genuine and lasting peace. Abbas is our only chance of that in the near future.

So we have to way up the costs and benefits. How significant is the risk really that these arms will inflict mass causalities on Israelis. I don’t think that great. Also believe that they could smuggle the guns in any way from somewhere else. But if Abbas does use them to destroy Hamas the upside is endless. So I am for it despite the risks.


I have to second Mikes reasoning. Although I dont think we can even negotiate with Abbas, I dont see much harm in strengthening him.

whether it's Abbas or Hamas, I dont support negotiations as things stand. But once we do make our unilateral moves then someone will have to govern the Palestinians. And I prefer that person to be Abbas. (But they are proving to be ungovernable as their pseudo civil war shows).


Steve, you write "But once we do make our unilateral moves then someone will have to govern the Palestinians"
But if negotiations do start , what positions will we have to negotiatew on?
Having withdrawn from most of Yehuda and Shomron , Israel will be in a weaker negotiating position?
Then they will have to discuss 'the right of return' i.e the flooding of what is left of Israel with millions of Arabs , and the giving up of Jerusalem and the lands that have not been unilaterally withdrawn from
Unilatreal withdrawal is a suicidal recepy for the destruction of Israel chas v' sholem

Nili Scham

Mike, I completely agree that Abbas is no zionist and most Palestinians aren't. And I do respect him for denouncing violence from his position.

You speak abut a democratic state and yet after democratic elections putting Hamas into power, Abbas still has the political stronghold. I query when you say "But if Abbas does use them to destroy Hamas the upside is endless." You are contradicting yourself. Democracy = Hamas ruling and yet you are in some way supporting Abbas destroying Hamas's rule - can you clear up this misconception?

Gary, I think that once this unilateral withdrawal occurs (it is inevitable), the Palestinians have lost the fight for right of return in a sense, because they have control of part of the territories where 'returnees' would be coming to. So they would have to allow 2 million refugees (or whatever the number is) into 'their' area. Logistical Problem :)


Nili , I don't think we have to worry too much about Hamas being democratically elected. Remember so where Hitler and the Nazis democratically elected by the majority of Germans.
At the same time , we should not put too much faith in FATAH either
Their armed wing -the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade have carried out thousands of attacks on Israeli civillians , and while Abbas has spoken of ending violence against Israel,the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (A very powerful element in Hamas) has certainly not and openly celebrated the death in the last suicide bombing of American Jewish teen Daniel Wulz.
I'm afraid that unilateral withdrawal woill not bring peace.
Peace will only come when the Arabs (and their leftist backers around the world) realize that the State of Israel is here to stay.
Or as Golda Meir said "When the Arabs love their own children more then they hate ours"


Sorry I meant the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade are a very powerful section of FATAH , not of Hamas!


Gary, I agree it probably won't bring peace. This is the main issue I find difficult in arguing this. No one listens to me when I say that it isn't premised on peace.

Sharon nor Olmert are naive enough to call it a peace plan.

It is a plan that intends to consolidate what we have. It is a plan that intends to provide demographic security. It is a plan that intends to separate us from them.

If we thought it was going to bring peace then we would not need to continue building the security barrier.

We understand that there is no one to make peace with. But that doesn't mean that we must lose everything.


Nili, Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply. But you ask tough questions.

You have a common misconception about democracy. Democracy is not just free and fair elections. As Gary pointed out with the example of Hitler. There are others. Take the current president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, he was democratically elected by is sliding fast towards dictatorship.

So although Hamas was democratically elected, I don’t think they are democratic. They are actually the antitheses. They hate Western democracy and wish to replace it with Islamic Sharia law. Abbas on the other hand for all his faults is more liberal. There is a much better chance of him maintaining and even strengthening democratic institutions in a future Palestinian state.

A democracy is characterised by the rule of law. Legally speaking Hamas as a terrorist organisation should not have been allowed to run in the elections. Also your understanding of the Palestinian government is simplistic. The scope of the President’s power are extensive. So Abbas does have legal legitimacy in having control of some of the security forces and some aspects of foreign policy. So he is not acting so undemocratic.


The Palestinian elections weren't free elections. Free elections, as sharansky says, are held in an environment where people are free to express their views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm.

Scharansky goes on to say that only when the basic institutions that protect a free society are firmly in place - free press, independent courts, 1 rule of law, freedom of religion, constitution - can free elections be held.

A society that is not free but in which elections are held should not be considered democratic.

That said, we do have to accept the results of their unfree elections. But as Mike says, Abbas by Palestinian law does still have some far reaching powers.

Nili Scham

Thanks for clearing up the misconceptions - especially about Abbas's rule. I agree with what you said Steve about democratic elections but democracy in Arab countries has never taken the face of 'western democracy.' With that said, we can still see that Hamas's victory was the result of a majority vote, and the fact that they want to impose Islamic Sharia Law seems to be what the majority of Palestinians want (please correct me if I am wrong!). Regardless, I think that though they are a terrorist organisation (and the international community and especially Israel must not deal with them untill they denouce violence and recognise Israel), their people voted them in and they must be allowed to rule and with whatever decisions they take, they must take the responsibility. Whether that be of their terrorist members being targeted by Tzahal or Israel sealing off of the 'territories' in response to violence. In terms of Abbas's rule, I do agree that he is more liberal and would be better to deal with, but as Steve has said we must respect the outcomes of the elections. The head of Hamas announced this just yesterday when he refused to deal with Abbas untill he recognises the results of the 'democratic' elections.


No Nili, I think you are wrong. Tyranny of the majority is no better than tyranny by a minority. Even if the majority oppose women having equal rights in South Africa, for example, the government may not take away their rights. Similarly many South Africans support the death penalty but it is unconstitutional. Human rights are more important in a democracy that the views of the majority.

Nili Scham

Mike, I do agree with you that Human Rights are important. And I am in no way suggesting that they should be compromised but the Palestinians have shown what type of leadership they want. They want rule of their religion and Hamas to deal with their 'national' affairs. It is a tricky area when religion and human rights come into conflict (I think this is what you are suggesting?). Personally I say, give them what they want, but treat them accordingly.

Interesting to note, on a completely different angle, that Fatah won the student elections.

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