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August 28, 2006
Hamas, Getting A Clue

Golda Meir once said that Israel and the Palestinians would have peace when the latter learned to love their children more than they hate the Jews. So far we see little improvement on the latter, but the Jerusalem Post notes that Hamas may have started working on the former:

"When you walk in the streets of Gaza City, you cannot but close your eyes because of what you see there: unimaginable chaos, careless policemen, young men carrying guns and strutting with pride and families receiving condolences for their dead in the middle of the street."

This is how Ghazi Hamad, spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority government and a former newspaper editor, described the situation in the Gaza Strip in an article he published on Sunday on some Palestinian news Web sites.

The article, the first of its kind by a senior Hamas official, also questioned the effectiveness of the Kassam rocket attacks and noted that since Israel evacuated the Gaza Strip, the situation there has deteriorated on all levels. It holds the armed groups responsible for the crisis and calls on them to reconsider their tactics and to stop blaming Israel for their mistakes.

"Gaza is suffering under the yoke of anarchy and the swords of thugs," Hamad wrote.

Hamad does more than just complain about the dangers of life in Gaza since the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit. The Hamas spokesman puts the blame not on the Israelis but on the armed factions that have turned the former resort area into a bloody and chaotic abbatoir. Hamad explicitly rejects Israeli blame, stating that this mindset is one of the reasons Palestinians cannot create law and order on the streets of the territory.

Hamad also notes the failure of the Palestinian actions against Israel in achieving any sort of benefit to Gazans. Since the Kassams started flying out of Gaza following the Israeli withdrawal, Palestinian terrorists have killed less than a dozen Israelis. In the same period, over 500 Palestinians have died and most of the internal infrastructure of Gaza has been destroyed. If anyone in Gaza thinks that looks like victory or a long-term strategy to wear down the Israelis, it isn't Hamad.

Hamad isn't counseling any sort of rapprochement with Israel, at least not yet. His missive appears to be aimed at the terrorist groups that have turned Gaza into a Wild West of the Middle East. He wants an end to the anarchy in the streets and a return to civilization in Gaza. He doesn't exclude Hamas from the indictment he levels of all groups having been "infected with the bacteria of stupidity", although he does blame Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas for sitting on the sidelines and not joining with Hamas to put an end to the lawlessness.

This missive isn't a recognition of Israel. It's not even a call to abandon terrorism. It is, however, the first sign that Hamas is willing to blame Palestinians for Palestinian problems, and to recognize that they have blown the opportunity to rule themselves in a civilized manner in front of the whole world. This isn't a victory, but it's the first battle of getting the Palestinians to love life more than death and to take ownership of their own actions.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 28, 2006 6:04 AM

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Hamas, Getting A Clue - Ed Morrissey at Captain’s Quarters has a superb piece on how the Palestinians can start solving their problems - recognize the problem and address it. The problem is that Palestinian armed factions, Islamic Extremists I ... [Read More]

Tracked on August 28, 2006 1:34 PM


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