Sunday, February 26, 2006


Former President Jimmy Carter, in a desperate attempt to prove that he is better at peanut farming than posing as a public figure, has penned an article in the Washington Post (dated 20 February 2006) in which he displays a childish idealism that makes believing in the tooth fairy look like scientific dogma.

"(...) Although Hamas won 74 of the 132 parliamentary seats, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas retains the right to propose and veto legislation, with 88 votes required to override his veto. With nine of its elected members remaining in prison, Hamas has only 65 votes, plus whatever third-party support it can attract. Abbas also has the power to select and remove the prime minister, to issue decrees with the force of law when parliament is not in session, and to declare a state of emergency. As commander in chief, he also retains ultimate influence over the National Security Force and Palestinian intelligence.(...)"

In other words, the leader of the corrupt, ideologically split government of a country that does not technically exist still has more power than a terrorist organization that has thrived on said leader's incapacity (or unwillingness) to eliminate the violently extremist fringe groups that threaten the Middle East process, to the point of becoming part of the very political structure it has so often jeopardized through its murderous actions. Sorry, I won't trust the worm inside the apple just because I'm told the apple isn't completely rotten yet.

"(...) The role of the prime minister was greatly strengthened while Abbas and Ahmed Qureia served in that position under Yasser Arafat, and Abbas has announced that he will not choose a prime minister who does not recognize Israel or adhere to the basic principles of the "road map." This could result in a stalemated process, but my conversations with representatives of both sides indicate that they wish to avoid such an imbroglio. The spokesman for Hamas claimed, "We want a peaceful unity government." If this is a truthful statement, it needs to be given a chance. (...)"

The role of the prime minister was only strengthened because of the fact that Yasser Arafat was sick and dying. Even so, it only has and still does exist in a very tribal, undemocratic manner (the need for a leader, any leader, to legitimize the cause instead of a people, and to run the government as did Arafat, doling out money from private bank accounts to buy allegiances instead of earning them). One could hardly think of Ahmed Qureia as a prime minister in a strengthened position. He ended his tenure miserably under the double cloud of Palestinian and Israeli scorn. Futhermore, if the role of the Palestinian prime minister was strengthened in such a positive way, what happened to the peace process, and its Palestinian negotiating figureheads such as Hanan Ashrawi or Saeb Erakat ? Until Arafat's death, you couldn't watch a TV report on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict without them being a part of it. Now, it's complete radio silence.

"(...) During this time of fluidity in the formation of the new government, it is important that Israel and the United States play positive roles. Any tacit or formal collusion between the two powers to disrupt the process by punishing the Palestinian people could be counterproductive and have devastating consequences.(...) Unfortunately, these steps are already underway and are well known throughout the Palestinian territories and the world. Israel moved yesterday to withhold funds (about $50 million per month) that the Palestinians earn from customs and tax revenue. Perhaps a greater aggravation by the Israelis is their decision to hinder movement of elected Hamas Palestinian Legislative Council members through any of more than a hundred Israeli checkpoints around and throughout the Palestinian territories.(...) This common commitment to eviscerate the government of elected Hamas officials by punishing private citizens may accomplish this narrow purpose, but the likely results will be to alienate the already oppressed and innocent Palestinians, to incite violence, and to increase the domestic influence and international esteem of Hamas. It will certainly not be an inducement to Hamas or other militants to moderate their policies.(...)"

Hamas has all the legitimity it needs. As President Carter himself wrote (see the second paragraph of his article) , it is so legitimized that 9 of its 74 elected candidates (12%) are guests of the Israeli prison system, a fact that does not seem to have bothered the . Legitimity and increase in domestic influence of a terrorist group are both issues that Carter should have worried about before said terrorists were elected to be part of a political structure bankrolled by the international community. Why should Israel financially support a "government" whose legislative branch comprises 56% of individuals who are members of an organization itself sponsored by states such as Iran and Syria? To appease a bunch of murdering thugs who have already proven that they are way beyond appeasement every time they send a brainwashed youth to detonate himself in a crowd of Israeli civilians? President Carter has obviously fallen victim to the myth of the nihilistically romantic resistance movement. It is not up to us to make Hamas feel welcome in an international community of civilized dialogue which is so foreign to them, but it is up to Hamas to prove that they deserve entrance in that arena. (This is a lesson he should have learned after his very own experience with Iran). Let us not forget that even after Abbas has proposed the post of prime minister to a Hamas member (as moderate as the media might describe him to be), his organization still has not renounced its well known intent to wipe Israel off the map. What does President Carter propose to do to achieve that goal? Facilitate their accession into Palestinian leadership until he experiences another Iranian fiasco ?

"(...) It would not violate any political principles to at least give the Palestinians their own money; let humanitarian assistance continue through U.N. and private agencies; encourage Russia, Egypt and other nations to exert maximum influence on Hamas to moderate its negative policies; and support President Abbas in his efforts to ease tension, avoid violence and explore steps toward a lasting peace.(...)".

Maybe not; but it does violate logic to refer to the Palestinian's own money in the midst of a debate on the suspension of international funding that is nothing less than vital to their survival; it boggles the mind to still advocate for the mediation and support of the UN despite their obvious bias towards the Palestinian terrorist elements (does anyone remember "Zionism is racism"?); it boggles the mind to even mention Russia and Egypt, countries both plagued by Islamic fundamentalism to a point where any mediation of theirs would just smack of a vain attempt to appease their own Islamofascist killers; finally, if past experience is a guide, believing that Abbas is either capable or willing to ease tension and avoid violence, since his own weakness has played a pivotal role in Hamas gaining so much, reeks of of ignorant idealism.

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The BBC has an article that proves that the fizzing sound that the Democratic Party is making as it dissolves is travelling around the world.

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