Wednesday, January 23, 2008


"Noteworthy is the fact that while the Gaza population remains in the dark, the fuel generating power to the Hamas rocket manufacturing industry continues to flow unabated." - Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Jerusalem Post editorial - HAMAS' DUPES says it all.

Yesterday, External Relations European Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said: "I condemn the rocket fire into Israel and we fully understand Israel's need to defend its citizens." But she also accused Israel of causing "blackouts in parts of Gaza, affecting both homes and hospitals. Closing the crossings will also result in shortages of food, medical and relief items ... I am against this collective punishment of the people of Gaza."

It would be nice if the international press and the governments that blindly took their cues from it would take a moment to consider that their Pavlovian embrace of the manufactured "humanitarian crisis" in Gaza could lead, at best, to prolonging the suffering of Gazans and Israelis and, at worst, to full blown war. The reason for this is that anything that reduces the pressure on Hamas to end its unprovoked aggression against Israel will encourage that aggression, with all its associated results.


It is one thing for Hamas to have decided to attack Israel without any justification, to the detriment of the people it claims to represent. But why would nations that claim to be concerned for Palestinians, Israelis and for peace chime in to reinforce the transparent ploy by Hamas to blame Israel for having been attacked?

Perhaps more European officials should visit Sderot before opening their mouths. Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen did just that, and had this to say: "Hamas is deliberately intensifying the crisis in the Gaza Strip in order to create pressure from the international community on Israel." The international community need not play Hamas's game. If Western officials uniformly blamed Hamas instead of amplifying its propaganda, it might be forced to stop its aggression, ending the "humanitarian crisis." As necessary as Israeli military and non-military measures are, the greatest pressure of all would be if the international community let it be clearly known that it was fed up acting as Hamas's dupes.

This sums up clearly how Hamas and its dupes are damaging the cause of a just peace settlement. We know that Palestinians must be given less cause to see Israelis as the enemy and more reason to hope - that is what the meeting at Annapolis in Maryland was all about. However, as we have seen time and time again Hamas is committed to armed struggle against Israel and the more free rein its dupes are given to enable it to push its deadly cause, the more delayed is the day when Palestinians and Israelis can live side by side in peace.

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