by Barry Rubin
Here we go again with the quarterly (perhaps monthly) article about how
The article begins:
"Hamas and Hezbollah, groups that have long battled
But really this kind of thing has been talked about, but never long practiced, for decades. There were protest marches in the 1960s and the Arab boycott of
He writes: "But a small cadre of Palestinian activists has long argued that nonviolence, in the tradition of the American civil rights movement, would be far more effective." Yet there are cultural and political reasons why this approach never wins out, in the
Let's assume that when Israeli soldiers landed on the flagship of the
One Hamas parliamentarian is quoted as saying, "When we use violence, we help
Yet this analysis leaves out a huge elephant. The biggest international gains came about as a result of other examples of camouflaged terrorism: two wars set off by the terrorists--2006 in
That is exactly what also happened with the
To Levinson's credit, he includes the background so often left out of articles:
"Hamas and Hezbollah, the Islamist movement in
Well, he did pull one punch. It isn't just rock-throwing but the murder of Israeli civilians whenever possible. The reason it isn't happening more has nothing to do with Palestinian tactics and everything to do with generally effective Israeli security measures. Otherwise, there would be as many terror attacks on Israeli cities as there are in
What has changed, of course, is not Hamas or Hizballah policies but Western reactions. A sharp leftward and anti-Israeli turn in some places, coupled with radicalism in academia and part of the media, has meant an avid audience for supporting terrorist groups, first and foremost by not classifying them as such and keeping secret what they are saying in Arabic. Indeed, striking against
The influence isn't running from West to
And now theres a new feature. Even when Western supporters of Middle Eastern terrorists become violent, they can expect at times--as seen in one recent British case--to get off scot-free, thus subverting the Western legal system as well. Or what can one say about the German parliament's passing an anti-Israel resolution which is basically a vote of support for Hamas? Those who have spent decades voicing their regret for the Nazi past help the closest variation of Nazism at present, which intends to commit genocide on Jews in the future. Irony, anyone?
"Non-violence" is not being carried out by either Hamas or Hizballah, which haven't changed one bit, but by their Western supporters. During the 1930s, some in the West practiced appeasement toward the fascism of that day; a few became supporters. But the development of an active, enthusiastic mass base for a violent, genocidal foreign movement is a unique attribute of our era. To justify
revolutionary terrorists who are open antisemites on humanitarian grounds is another twenty-first century innovation.
One might suggest that the present line-up is that Western governments support the Palestinian Authority (PA) while the Western left supports Hamas. The attempt is now to turn the governments in that direction as well. Once the anti-Israel forces in the West backed the PLO and, during the 1990s, the PA. Now, however, the domination by Arab nationalist activists have given way to the Islamists, something very evident from the campus debates and demonstrations.
But precisely because the Middle Eastern groups are so extreme, so anti-Western, so repressive, and so viciously violent, they have and will continue to force Western governments to recognize reality.
That's why there is a real gap between policies and propaganda.
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