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May 7, 2006
Gaza Uprising Against Hamas

Hamas faces a dangerous situation in the Gaza Strip, once its base of power, as Palestinians went on strike and staged demonstrations over their overdue paychecks. The ruling party in the Palestinian Authority has rapidly dissipated its mandate as its support for terrorism has isolated it from the nations that had been paying civil servant salaries in the territories:

Hundreds of Palestinians staged strikes and demonstrations Saturday in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to demand payment of overdue salaries to government workers — the first public signs of discontent with the Hamas-led Cabinet's handling of a growing financial crisis.

The unrest occurred ahead of a meeting in Gaza late Saturday between Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas and moderate President Mahmoud Abbas. The two, involved in a power struggle since Hamas defeated Abbas' Fatah Party in January's legislative elections, failed to resolve their differences during four hours of talks but agreed to meet again Sunday. ...

Until now, the Palestinian public had heeded calls for patience, largely following the government in blaming the crisis on Western hostility to Hamas.

On Saturday, however, teachers at five schools in the West Bank city of Hebron cancelled classes Saturday — a strike that affected only a small number of the city's schools but marked a change in attitude.

"I haven't received a salary for 66 days. Of course I'm not happy with the government," said one teacher. "I need to live and I need to feed my children." The teacher, a father of six, asked not to be identified, fearing he could lose his job.

This actually represents progress. The Palestinians have ceased to enjoy protection from the folly of their own choices and have to deal honestly with the consequences of electing terrorists to represent them. At first they blamed Israel, and then the West, for two reasons: habit and pride. None of them want to acknowledge that they made the mistake of pushing an Islamist terror organization into government at the same time that other such organizations had declared war on the people sending them money.

The West needs to continue its policy of isolation. The only way to convince the Palestinians that war will bring either their starvation or destruction is to allow them to experience it. If we pay them to make war, why would they bother with peace? For the first time we see a glimmer of hope that the Palestinians may actually grasp why their government has forced them into abject poverty and turned the world against them. If we do not continue this path, we will do nothing but reinforce that the Palestinians will never have to face any consequences for their actions, allowing them to do whatever they please against the Israelis.

Of course, not everyone thinks killing Jews is a bad thing to do, and a collection of them will meet in Doha to urge Muslims to support Palestinians by sending them money to defy the West:

Islamic scholars are to meet in Doha next week to draw up a fatwa, or religious edict, obliging the Muslim faithful to help the internationally isolated Palestinian government headed by Hamas. ...

Ulemas (scholars) as well as other Muslim and Palestinian leaders will "draw up a fatwa on the duty of the ummah (Muslims) and of governments" toward the Palestinians and the Hamas cabinet, Qardawi told a press conference Saturday.

The fatwa will refer to financial aid to the Palestinians as well as offering them moral support, Qardawi said.

He slammed what he called "the duality of the West, which rejects Palestinian democracy after encouraging such a democracy just because it doesn't suit them."

"This is political hypocrisy and we reject it," he said.

Once again, Muslim scholars prove they know nothing about democracy and less about responsible government. Apparently they believe that all democracies agree with each other and that anything produced by a democratically-elected government gets a pass from any criticism. Before the death of Yasser Arafat and the holding of elections in the Palestinian Authority, the West could dupe itself into believing that the terrorist policies of the PA represented only a small fraction of the peace-loving Palestinian people, and that groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade amounted to nothing more than small groups of agitators. However, after the Palestinians voted in free elections to have terrorists run their protostate and to continue supporting attacks on civilians in Israel, that illusion got stripped from the last of the rose-colored-glasses crowd.

Other nations have no obligation to support terrorism simply because a twisted populace votes for it, and the Palestinians have no right to our money under any circumstances. Nor should they receive a red cent while they actively support the same brand of lunacy that has launched terrorist attacks in the US and Europe. Democracy is about choices, and in the end we show respect to the Palestinians by taking them at their word. They want war, and we're not going to pay for it.

The ulemas should focus their wrath at the Islamic world. For sixty years, the various Islamic nations in the area have used the Palestinians to excuse their own internal and external policies while relegating the Palestinians to camps and degradation. They used the Palestinians' territory to launch two wars against Israel, which forced Israel to grab the West Bank and Gaza Strip so that it could hold the Jordan River as a much smaller frontier against attack in the future. If any nations are the cause of the Palestinian misery, it isn't Israel and the US but Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt. None of them have ever accepted responsibility or told the Palestinians to make peace withe Israel and return to normalcy.

Let the imams issue their fatwas. The Islamic world will respond as it always has -- with lots of talk and little else. They need the Palestinians poor and degraded in order to prop up their own regimes. The Palestinians may start to recognize this as well, and rethink who exactly their friends really are.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 7, 2006 7:59 AM

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Tracked on May 8, 2006 4:59 AM


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