Monday, March 06, 2006

What to do with Hamas?

I'm very conflicted about the current situation with the Palestinian government. On one hand, Hamas is a terrorist group that has avowed the destruction of the State of Israel; therefore, no dealings whatsoever. On the other hand, elections were held and Hamas was elected by the populace, therefore as a democratic society Israel needs to respect it.

If Israel refuses out of hand to ignore the results what would it say to the whole democratic process? Elections are only as good as the people elected? No,
democracy is a process it does not guarantee results.

In 1977 the new Likud Party formed a coalition with DASH and allowed Menachem Begin to become the Prime Minister. Begin is still considered by many to be a terrorist (among those is David Ben-Gurion); what would the Israeli public say if Begin's government was not recognized on the basis that Likud won the majority of seats? This is exactly what we are telling Hamas. We won't deal with you because you're terrorists, but we want you to deal with our government even if you think we're terrorists.

Like I said, I'm very conflicted. But in the end, I think we are obligated to recognize the Hamas government.


ADDeRabbi said...

why can't we do both? recognize them as the Palestinian leadership, and then don't deal with them b/c they're terrorists

Natan said...

On a legal level, then the answer is no. Recognition of the elections is recognition of the elected.

As far as not dealing with them, I don't think that's feasible. Governments don't recognize each other and then not deal with them. The PA Government is too intertwined with the Israeli bureaucracy to not have dealings with them.

Clouds918 said...

In fact, the 'democratic process' by which they were elected was severely flawed. There are laws in dozens of enlightened Western countries (and no, the two are not mutually exclusive) barring terrorist groups from running for office. Case in point: Ka"Ch. There's absolutely no reason why Israel should consider itself bound by the outcome of such a cockamamy system.

Another perspective (a.k.a. the Krauthammer Doctrine): They're not children. They've made a decision. Let them learn that their decisions have consequences.

Natan said...

The Krauthammer Doctrine makes a lot of sense to me (at least how I understand it). They've decided to allow Hamas, we deal with them the same way we'd deal with anyone else. If they resort to their old ways then we'll resort to how we deal with terrorists.