Defeating Hamas

(Washington Post) Ephraim Sneh - The possibility of a legislative election victory for the extremist militia Hamas - the Islamic Resistance Movement - or any significant success by Hamas candidates is a cause of worry. This is not a result yearned for by advocates of democracy and peace. It would be ironic, indeed, if the ideal of democracy were to empower the terrorists of Hamas, who murder innocent civilian to prevent the achievement of such a peace. The aim of Hamas is not the end of Israeli occupation, nor is it the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Hamas's aim is to take over Palestinian society and impose Islamist rule. For this reason, Hamas poses a greater threat to Palestinian secular parties than it does to Israel. Even if Hamas does win many seats in the Palestinian parliament, it will not cease to be a terrorist organization. We must not delude ourselves into thinking that government responsibility will lead to Hamas's self-moderation. With this type of radical Islamist movement, there is no distinction between armed and political actions, which serve the same goal. At the core of this movement is a terrorist ideology that denies the rights of another people and coerces an entire society into a fundamentalist Muslim lifestyle. Whenever it serves its cause, Hamas will use terrorism against Israel and the Palestinian government. Hamas must be defeated politically, militarily, economically, and culturally. The writer, a retired Israeli general who served as military governor of the West Bank, is chairman of the Labor faction in the Knesset.

2005-10-19 00:00:00

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