Abbas hearts Hamas (ISRAEL HAYOM OP-ED) David Keyes 03/23/12)
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Western policy toward the Palestinians for the past two and a half
decades can be summed up as follows: Hamas = bad, Fatah = good. Fatah
was never perfect, no, but it certainly is better than Hamas. In the
name of this simplistic formula, the Palestinian Authority has gotten
billions of dollars in aid -- money that was supposed to empower
moderates at the expense of radicals like Hamas.
But the joke was always on us. Days ago, Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas admitted “[I]n all honesty, there are no
disagreements between us” referring to Hamas and Fatah. He emphasized
a second time, “[I] don’t think there are any political disagreements
What was the global reaction to Abbas’ stunning remark? Eh. It is
what it is. Defining deviancy down doesn’t do this moment justice.
The soft bigotry of low expectations doesn’t even begin to cover the
Apparently there is nothing crazy or radical enough that can be said
by a Palestinian leader that will not be cast aside with a casual
shrug and total lack of media attention.
To reiterate, the “moderate” leader of the Palestinians (un-elected
for years now) just declared that there are no -- none, zip, efes,
nada -- differences between his party, Fatah, and the Islamist
supremacist terrorist group Hamas whose charter calls for genocide.
The word moderate has been so corrupted and become so relative so as
to lose all meaning. We now speak of moderate Taliban -- those who do
not throw acid in the face of women trying to study but merely ban
them from leaving the house. We talk of moderate elements of Hamas --
those willing to declare a decade long cease-fire before restarting
their quest to destroy a member state of the United Nations. Three
cheers for moderation!
Language matters. When a “moderate” declares he is a political and
ideological copy of a group that shoots rockets from schools and
targets dozens of cafes and buses with suicide-bombs, he should never
be called a moderate again.
If Abbas is having trouble thinking of political differences between
Hamas and Fatah, the West should have trouble thinking of different
policies for them too.
Moderates shouldn’t have difficulty differentiating themselves from a
group that calls for genocide, uses child-soldiers, imposes tyranny,
lauds suicide-terror, advocates destroying a nation-state and laments
the death of Osama bin Laden.
Or is that putting the bar too high?
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