July 10, 2007

Hamastan's Isolation Appears Complete

After its coup in Gaza, Hamas had hoped to use its position there as leverage to win concessions with both Fatah and the West. In effect, they hoped to use the 1.5 million residents there as hostages for aid and recognition. Instead, their plans have backfired and the new Hamastan may find itself permanently isolated as a terrorist state:

In the month since Hamas took over Gaza, the 1.5 million Palestinians there have become more cut off than ever, supplies and jobs slipping away as its rival, Fatah, backed by Israel and the West, presses Hamas.

The situation from the continued closure of the main commercial crossing in and out at Karni has gotten so bad that on Monday, the United Nations agency that cares for the majority of Gazans — refugees and their descendants — announced a halt to all its building projects there because it has run out of construction supplies, like cement.

The halt will affect about $93 million of projects employing 121,000 people, including schools, water works, health centers and sewage-treatment plants, said the agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA. ...

As for the mood of the United States Congress, which had been asked to provide millions to help Mr. Abbas’s elite Presidential Guard with training and to rebuild the Palestinian side of Karni, Representative Steven Israel, Democrat of New York, said on a visit here, “There is no appetite to fund Karni, no interest there.”

Congressman Israel has this exactly correct. If Hamas wants to be taken seriously, it has to renounce terrorism, recognize Israel, and give up what it took by force. They have had abundant opportunities to do exactly that before they conducted their successful rebellion in Gaza and refused to do so. It's not as though they couldn't have predicted their isolation -- the West had already refused to engage with them because of their status as a terrorist organization, which caused the economic pressure that they supposedly wanted to end.

They'd rather be terrorists. That's their choice. They'd rather conduct rebellions and impose radical Islamist rule. That's their choice as well. We don't have any obligation to endorse it or to provide for the people under their thumb -- who overwhelmingly voted for Hamas in a relatively free election eighteen months ago.

The situation grows more bleak every day, though. Israel will send water and electricity into Gaza, but everything else will remain closed. Egypt will have to keep Rafah closed to protect itself from a flood of refugees into the Sinai, and Mubarak isn't likely to bolster a group with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, his enemy in Egypt. Supplies have rapidly dwindled, and the major crossing -- Karni -- remains closed.

Expect pressure on Israel to reopen Karni, and expect the Israelis to refuse. Karni is the only crossing that can handle large container shipments, but that only worked when Israel partnered with Fatah on security. The more pragmatic faction understood that Israel would not allow transactions that created security issues, and had worked out procedures that minimized Israel's risk. When Hamas gunment in masks took over the Fatah positions at Karni, that ended Israel's willingness to continue its efforts at Karni, and for good reason.

What if the Fatah security people returned to Karni? Israel might rethink its position. After what happened to Fatah's personnel in Gaza last month, though, their return is as unlikely as it would be suicidal. Even if they did, they would still be under Hamas control, and Israel couldn't trust them to keep to security protocols as they did in the past.

These are the issues that arise with terrorist states. Hamastan is a pariah, an uncontrolled risk, a danger to civilized nations. Isolation is a completely rational choice in dealing with irrational terrorists. Gazans who want to change that equation had better figure out how to do that for themselves.


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Comments (18)

Posted by mistercalm | July 10, 2007 5:57 AM

YES! Hey, I think the Gazans gave a "mandate" (to use the Democrat parlance) to Hamas: now reap what you have sown.

Posted by Carl in Jerusalem | July 10, 2007 6:20 AM

Hamas has a new solution to the problem: Let them eat cake!

Posted by Lightwave | July 10, 2007 6:50 AM

Isolation of Hamastan may be convenient for the US, but for Israel it's a massive problem waiting to quite literally explode in their faces.

A cornered, increasingly desperate terrorist state on Israel's border? Not a recipe for fun times.

Eventually Israel will have to deal with Hamastan militarily. If Israel doesn't move to clean out Gaza, then Hamas will move to attack Israel, forcing Tel Aviv's hand. Either way, tanks will roll through Gaza City, it's all a matter of timing and tactics.

Israel should therefore choose to engage Hamastan on Israel's terms.

Posted by Ifonlymccainhadwon | July 10, 2007 6:51 AM

While I personally harbor great contempt for Hamas and the rest of the Palestinians (I've been railing against them for 30 years, not just since 9-11) let us not forget that they were a democratically elected government denied their power by Fatah. Democracy in the Middle East? Careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

Posted by Oyster | July 10, 2007 7:05 AM

Ifonlymccainhadwon: By all accounts the election of Hamas was a legitimate democratic election. But that does not by any stretch make any country a democracy. If that were the case, then the democratic election in Venezuela of Chavez would make Venezuela a democracy. While we don't expect a democracy in another country to look exactly like ours, there is a lot more criteria that needs to be met than just an election.

Posted by TomB | July 10, 2007 7:21 AM

It is amazing that Gaza is off from MSM pages almost completely (except for the greatly overexposed release of the lefty BBC journalist). Nobody is crying on the evening news about the faith of the Palestinian women and children - in the name of "cultural sensitivity" I suppose.
But the time bomb is ticking and available options are not pretty...

Posted by braindead | July 10, 2007 7:36 AM

Does this mean that Jimmy Carter has to give back his Nobel Peace Prize?

Posted by TomB | July 10, 2007 7:52 AM

I'd give Jimmy Carter an option: Give back the Nobel Peace Prize, or shut up.

Posted by rbj | July 10, 2007 8:17 AM

The Nobel Peace Prize is a joke now, doesn't matter if Carter keeps it or not; it is the igNobel Peace Prize.

Hamas, like many college students, is finding out that it's easier to sit around and complain than it is to actually govern.

Posted by Bennett | July 10, 2007 8:20 AM

What is the true human cost here? Because what is happening in Gaza isn't just about politics. Surely not everyone who resides in Gaza is a terrorist.

If there is little food, no effective sanitation, no public services or medical care and no way for people to earn a living and take care of themselves and their families, many people --mostly the very young, the elderly, the infirm-- are going to die in Gaza. Because the tyrants and the bullies always find a way to survive.

I cannot in the end be pleased about that whatever larger political point is made as a result.

Posted by Clyde | July 10, 2007 8:27 AM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Gaza have a coastline on the Mediterranean Sea? Why can't they just have stuff brought in by ship? Why is it the problem of the Israelis or the Egyptians?

Posted by TomB | July 10, 2007 8:36 AM

You can accept a few infirm Palestinians at your house, if you really feel so sorry for them.
My take on this is, that actions, including stupid voting, have consequences, and these can be deadly, also for women, children and inferior. But Hamas was a choice of majority of them, so now let these idiots starve in their own shit, I really don't care.

Posted by runawayyyy | July 10, 2007 9:16 AM

What we're seeing in Gaza is a microcosm of what we will see in Iraq if leftists succeed in making us surrender before the Iraqis are ready to take control.

You can cry for the women and children of Gaza all you want, but if you are, at the same time, ready to throw 17 TIMES MORE women and children to those very same wolves for purposes of political expediency, you are useless to the discussion and you just need to go back to watching american idol.

Seriously, is there anyone here who does not think what happened in Gaza (outright military victory by terrorists) won't also happen in Iraq? I mean, the terrorists in Iraq have stated, in no uncertain terms, that what happened in Gaza is exactly what they want to happen in Iraq.

Posted by Cynic | July 10, 2007 9:20 AM

Expect pressure on Israel to reopen Karni

Hamas Keeps Kerem Shalom Crossing Closed
Arab terrorists shelled the Kerem Shalom crossing last week, forcing its closure, and Hamas rejected Egyptian mediation to persuade the group to cease attacks

Posted by Cynic | July 10, 2007 9:28 AM

I forgot to include this link

UN: Hamas must secure crossings
Hamas's failure to secure the passages into the Gaza Strip drew criticism from an unlikely source on Thursday, John Ging, who heads the United Nation's Relief and Works Agency's operations in the Strip.
"It is very clear the responsibility lies with the Palestinians," Ging told The Jerusalem Post by telephone from Gaza, on a day when Palestinians fired mortar shells at two of the three open passages into Gaza.

Posted by Papa Ray | July 10, 2007 11:13 AM

"We don't have any obligation to endorse it or to provide for the people under their thumb -- "

Well, yea, we don't. But the UN and other bleeding liberals and softies will want to give them mony and relief food.

And they will find a way, even going over and around Hamas.

But that will only prolong the suffering. The average person in Gaza needs to get really desperate, willing to do anything to feed his family. Only then will we see Hamas renounced and defeated by those that are in Gaza.

As long as the world gives them enough to get by, they will do nothing.

Either they will stay and fight Hamas or escape over the borders or into boats to leave Gaza when they can't get another meal and have no electricity or clean water.

To repeat:

As long as the world sends relief and money, we are only helping Hamas continue their terrorism and hurting the people trapped in Gaza.

It's simple, it is true and we must stop the UN and others from sending any supplies, food or water and for sure ...

Papa Ray
West Texas

Posted by patrick neid | July 10, 2007 4:36 PM

"They'd rather be terrorists. That's their choice. They'd rather conduct rebellions and impose radical Islamist rule."

rather be terrorists? they have no choice. they are 7th century fanatics who have no clue how the 18, 19, 20 or 21st centuries operate. buried deep in the "traditions" connected to the koran is a faith based societal belief system. in simple terms--force sharia law on everyone and everything else will take of itself. according to these traditions everything worth knowing was known by 1000ad. since then it has been all useless infidel crap.

hamas means to force sharia on everyone in their neck of the woods. the current government infrastructure is simply a convenience to be cast aside at the right moment. yes they were democratically elected to the parliament and the democratic citizens around the world have chosen to shun then for their evil ways.

despite the naysayers, the news in the middle east is actually much better than it has been for a long time. there is no hiding in the shadows. all the lines are finally very clear. that is a huge improvement.

Posted by braindead | July 11, 2007 12:19 PM

It very nice of the UN to spend my tax money, but does anyone remember what happened to the aid under Saddam? Oil-for-Food? How about Somalia?

Giving aid to the Gaza Strip will really be like giving a blank check to Hamas. As well meaning as people are, giving aid will only serve to line the pockets of these criminals.

Maybe Hugo Chavez can help them?