Sunday, June 20, 2010

Should we in the West oppose Hamas in Gaza?

Billy Blogblather responded to Lawrence's note, "William James and the Leftist-Radical Islam Nexus" as follows.  After Billy has his say, Lawrence will comment bellow

Lawrence quoting Ken Timmerman in his posting in today's Power Line entitled "The MoveOn/Hamas Nexus":

"" An American communications firm best known for shaping the liberal into a national movement has tackled a new project: orchestrating an international anti-Israel campaign aimed at breaking the blockade of the Gaza strip."

Hmm.  I've never heard of Timmerman or Power Line so you'll have to forgive me if I don't take the man at face value..  So what is it -- is the campaign to break the blockade or to orchestrate an anti-Israel movement?   The two are very different animals.  Lawrence doesn't tell us what evidence Timmerman has for either assertion -- but who needs proof when you've got prejudice, right?

Lawrence continues quoting:
"" Fenton Communications, which has offices in Washington, D.C., New York, and San Francisco, signed two contracts last year with Qatar to develop "a communications action plan for an 18-month campaign" aimed at delegitimizing Israel and generating international support for the Hamas-run Gaza strip, "

Lawrence and Timmerman may not remember, but Hamas is the democratically elected government of the Gaza Strip -- democracy can be such a bother, I know.

 "Fenton Communications...signed two contracts last year with Qatar...aimed at delegitimizing [sic] Israel..."

Now that is interesting.  Wiki tells us:"Qatar established trade relations with the State of Israel in 1996.[ In January 2008 Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Thani in Switzerland, at the Davos Economic Forum. The existence of the surreptitious talks has so far been kept secretive by Israel.
Alongside Barak's momentous encounter, some sources have said that a senior figure from Qatar paid a visit to Israel in mid-January 2008 and met with Israeli leaders to discuss the situation in Gaza and the possibility of jump starting stagnant negotiations over the release of Gilad Shalit.
Despite Qatar's support of Hamas and its good relations with Hizbullah, Israeli leaders have maintained direct contact with the emirate. In January 2007, in his last months as vice premier, current President Shimon Peres paid a high-profile visit to the capital city of Doha.
Peres also visited Qatar in 1996, when he launched the new Israeli trade bureau there.
Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni also met with the Qatari Emir at a UN conference last year. In April 2008, she visited Qatar where she attended a conference and met the Emir, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Oil and Gas.
However, following the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, Qatar hosted an emergency conference of Arab states and Iran to discuss the conflict. The Hamas administration in Gaza, as opposed to the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, represented the Palestinians, undermining support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbass. Khalid Meshaal, the leader of Hamas, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, and President Ahmadinejad of Iran urged all Arab states with remaining ties to Israel to cut them. In effect, Qatar, along with Mauritania, cut all remaining ties with Israel. The conference showed the rising Arab support for Hamas over Fatah as well as the influence of anti-Israeli leaders like al-Assad of Syria and Ahmadinejad of Iran.
In 2010, Qatar twice offered to restore trade relations with Israel and allow the reinstatement of the Israeli mission in Doha, on condition that Israel allow Qatar to send building materials and money to Gaza to help rehabilitate infrastructure, and that Israel make a public statement expressing appreciation for Qatar's role and acknowledging its standing in the Middle East. Israel refused, on the grounds that Qatari supplies could be used by Hamas to build bunkers and reinforced positions from which to fire rockets at Israeli cities and towns, and that Israel did not want to get involved in the competition between Qatar and Egypt over Middle East mediation."
So Qatar has had good relations with Israel, would like to reestablish them if only Israel (from their perspective) would stop their criminal blockade.  Israel, backed by the US, thumbs their nose.  So where's the evil Islamic conspiracy?  I just don't get it.

Lawrence comments on Timmerman's whatever:
"Fenton Communications and Hamas.  He thinks it more than a coincidence that Fenton also had a hand in shaping 

Oh really?  You know, God might not exact day labor, light denied, but surely He expects some modicum of effort -- become a piano turner, for instance.  I see no effort from Timmerman to justify anything, and unfortunately he appears to be logically tone deaf.  I believe that J. Edgar Hoover had Kennedy killed.  Can I prove that?  Don't need to, I believe it.  I am Timmerman, watch me grow!

"David Horowitz wrote a book entitled Unholy Alliance, Radical Islam and the American Left."

David Horowitz?!   Does this allow me to quote Marx???  David Horowitz, Christ in heaven!  Why not Glen Beck? or Limbaugh?  David Horowitz, please.

And while it may not be of interest to those on the Left, some of the rest of us might ask "what practical difference is there" between the "notions" of the Left and those of Radical Islam in regard to Israel, Hamas, Hezbollah, Turkey, and the events surrounding the Gaza Flotilla."

Is this a serious question or just a rhetorical flourish -- the kind I like to pull off?  To begin: I don't know what "Radical Islam" means to you.  I have my suspicions though.  I suspect it's a replacement of "Communism",  it's the specter of a cunning, implacable enemy against whom we must all be on guard 24 hours a day.  No surprise that I would think that, nor that you would disagree.  But let us ask another question: what  the practical difference is there between the far right's agenda and fascism -- andd in more extreme cases, of Nazism?
     Likud is the democratically elected government of Israel,  Hamas is the democratically elected government of Gaza.  The blockade is about Israel's attempt to bring down a democratically elected government.  Apparently the far right doesn't really believe in democracy.  But as I argued just the other day, this isn't even about politics, it's all about Lebensraum (thanks for the spelling correction, Palma), ya gotta have room for the tribe.  Lawrence will probably not believe me, but I'm a very strong supporter of Israel -- but only because  Western Christian Civilization, of which I am (blessedly and disgustedly) a member, has murdered, raped, pillaged and otherwise pogromized Jews over the last 2000 years.  Through all that,  Jews have remained a remarkably coherent (but not cohesive) culture.  Their contributions as an ethnic group  to Western Civilization can reasonably be argued to be greater than any other ethnic group.  I do take exception to their bread -- that sucks.  And no pork?  Get real.  Nevertheless, following the Holocaust, us good Christians felt some guilt for being Hitler's willing executioners -- as well as that of all the Pope's and the King's and (lacking leadership) of our own dark hearts over the past 2000 years.  What to do then?  I've got it!  Give them back the Holy Land -- well, part of it anyway.  They should be grateful for anything, after all, they're just Jews. OK, then, that's decided.  But what about all those Palestinians living there now, who've been living there for quite some time now?  Like, uh, a couple of millenniums.  What about them?   Tough shit. We need to put this business behind us. Sacrifices have to be made, better they make them than we.  The Jews will be happy in their new home, albeit smaller than what they wanted.  All is right with the world, we thought.  A little paint, a little yard work, and all the guilt will be expunged.  Just when we had thought we'd made recompense for the past 2000 years, and had begun to feel good about ourselves, the shit hits the fan.    There was trouble, right there in the Holy Land.  Trouble with a capital T which rhymes with P which stands for Palestinians.  The selfish bastards didn't want to give up their  homes and land  -- not even in recompense for 2000 years of European butchery. -- you can't make this stuff up, folks, this is a true human interest story. 

            LAWRENCE RESPONDS:  Blogblather thinks that because Israel has a relationship with Qatar that this undermines the idea that Radical Islam seeks to destroy Israel.  Qatar has its Islamists but they do not predominate as they do elsewhere in the Middle East.  The tiny Emirates of Qatar, like Bahrain has better relations with the West than most of the rest of the Middle East.  As to Israel having a relationship with Qatar, it has always been Israel's policy to have a relationship with any nation that will recognize its right to exist.  Jordan and Egypt have been on again off again in that regard.
            As to Hamas being duly elected to rule Palestine, yes this is true, but I don't take the same comfort in that that Blogblather does.  I recall a debate several years ago with Omar K. who maintained that Islamism, or Radical Islam, was a minority view.  He argued that "Traditional Islam" was the predominate view.  Yes, he knew that Algeria elected an Islamist government, but that was, he said, an anomaly caused by unrepeatable circumstances.  I on the other hand argued that Islamism was much more widespread than he thought.  Yes, it has been and is being opposed in such nations as Egypt, but in other places it is much stronger -- Pakistan, for example.  Were it not for a series of military coups, the first Islamist nation to have nuclear weapons would not be Iran but Pakistan.  In an open vote in Pakistan, the Islamists would undoubtedly win. Seeing Hamas elected to power in Palestine tells me that Islamism is much more popular in the Middle East than Omar K. believed. 
            Now why Blogblather takes comfort in the fact that an Islamist organization was duly to lead Palestine, is interesting -- even significant.  For it is further evidence that Blogblather, as a representative of the Left, does agree, to all practical purposes with the Islamists in regard to the issues we have been discussing.   We can apply William James dictum to good effect here.  Blogblather "says" he loves Israel, but what he argues in a "practical sense" agrees with the arguments of the Islamists. 
            Blogblather, as the Islamists have done, slurs the difference between a "free election" and "Liberal Democracy.  They are not the same.  Hitler was came to power as the result of a "free election" but that wasn't treated as sanguinely in France as Blogblather treats the election of Hamas in Palestine.  France was alarmed that the Germans could elect the Fascist Hitler to power.  We of the West who understand and oppose Islamism are equally alarmed that Arabs in various Muslim nations could elect an Islamist government.  This tells me that Omar was wrong and that Islamism has more widespread support in Islamic nations than he believed.
            Blogblather couches his words much as the Islamists do, e.g., "Hamas is the democratically elected government of Gaza.  The blockade is about Israel's attempt to bring down a democratically elected government.  Apparently the far right doesn't really believe in democracy."   One needn't go all the way to the "far right" to find opposition to Islamism.  In the West, it is largely the "Far Left" that supports Islamism.  Most of the rest of us understand that they who adhere to the doctrines of Islamism are committed to the goal of destroying the West.  Blogblather uses ad hominem slurs to demean Timmerman and Horowitz.  I have read both of these men and they have more substantial arguments than Blogblather is using (if an "ad hominem" attack can even be called an "argument")  They have both, as I have, read the doctrines of Islamism and believe that the adherents of that doctrine are what the term implies: they adhere to the doctrine that Mohammad's Jihad should be continued, by any means possible, until the entire world bows its knee to Allah.  An election bring an Islamic group to power is very much an acceptable "means" furthering this end. 
            What is Gaza?  It is a strip of land that was conceded to Egypt after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.  The Gaza strip was occupied by Egypt up until 1967 when Egypt use it to build up an army there prior to the Six-Day War.  Israel is doing everything possible to prevent another such buildup.  Since Islamists now control the Gaza Strip, Israel is acting in its best interest to establish a blockade to prevent a military buildup there.  Those who oppose the blockade clearly do not have Israel's best interest at heart.  The Islamists and Leftists want Hamas and Hezbollah to be able to do anything they like in Gaza, but those of us who oppose Islamism and support the Western nation Israel in a "practical" sense and not just in a "notional" one, believe Israel is acting prudently.  The Islamist and Leftists do not wish Israel well.  They are using "every means possible" to oppose them.

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