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The Thugocracy of Hamas in Gaza

Jeffrey Goldberg has written a sobering op-ed today. Out of the latest war begun by Israel on the alter of stopping the rockets from Hamas thugs in Gaza, a righteous goal founded on an impossible premise that it can be done via military aims alone, we are getting more writing outlining how hopeless it all is until Arab moderates lead and we all help Fatah in the West Bank.

In the Palestinian civil war, Fatah, which today controls much of the West Bank and is engaged in intermittent negotiations with Israel, had become Mr. Rayyan’s direst enemy, a party of apostates and quislings. “First we must deal with the Muslims who speak of a peace process and then we will deal with you,” he declared.

…“Hezbollah is doing very well against Israel, don’t you think?” I asked. His face darkened, suggesting that he understood the implication of my question. At the time, Hamas, too, was firing rockets into Israel, though irregularly and without much effect.

“We support our brothers in the resistance,” he said. But then he added, “I think each situation is different.”

How so?

“They have advantages that we in Gaza don’t have,” he said. “They have excellent weapons. Hezbollah moves freely in Lebanon. We are trapped in the Israeli cage. So I don’t like to hear the sentence, ‘Hezbollah is the leader of the resistance.’ It’s a very annoying sentence. They are heroes to us. But we are the ones fighting in Palestine.” [...]

Glenn Greenwald is having none of it.

I’m finding myself on the other side of many progressives these days, whether it’s my neutrality in finding both Israel and the Hamas militants in Gaza equally guilty, or on Afghanistan, where I’m one of the only ones supporting Obama’s strategy for adding limited forces into Afghanistan. I’m comfortable as progressive contrarian, which solidified when I backed Hillary for president.

How anyone can tout Friedman or his definition of terrorism after he made the case Israel won over Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006 is beyond me, but Glenn makes the case. You can be the judge. Friedman is still defensively arguing it today, with this beaut causing me to do a double take and a double read:

Has Israel seen its last conflict with Hezbollah? I doubt it. But Hezbollah, which has done nothing for Hamas, will think three times next time. That is probably all Israel can achieve with a nonstate actor.

The irony is that Hezbollah likely isn’t worried right now about next time, because what they achieved last time elevated them in Lebanon, and with their Iranian benefactors, sufficiently.

The last pargraph of Goldberg is hard to argue, so read the last paragraph. It won’t move the newly metastasized blame Israel contingent, especially those making good points, but it is the beginning of the walk away, no matter where you stand on the issue.

Common ground, anyone?

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