“Only those can afford peace who can no longer afford war.”
~ Friedrich Duerenmatt
And so it continues. After a century marked by orgies of blood orchestrated by thugs and tyrants who were appeased and pandered to, the eve of the United Nations first Holocaust Commemoration Day saw the election of another gang of murderers. The irony could not be more striking. The heartache could not be more piercing.
Henry Kissinger once said that Arafat and the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Well, Arafat’s gone, but the Palestinian people missed another one. Months away from de jure statehood and Israeli withdrawal they elected a government sworn to the destruction of Israel and committed to homicidal terror.
Yes, yes, I know, the salon liberals will all say that the election of Hamas was not a validation of terror but merely a reaction against an ineffective and corrupt government. They will say that we must look at the “charitable” works of Hamas and continue to talk. They will say that this is how democracy works and Hamas can be brought to reason. They will be wrong. Chamberlain proved that sixty-seven years ago in Munich.
Prime Minister-designate Stephen Harper got it right. “For a nation to be truly democratic that nation must renounce any use of terrorism.”
For the Holocaust too began in the civility of democracy. Hitler’s ascent, before his complete seizure of power, came first through the ballot. Vox populi, vox dei. Everything done by the book. Corridors of power shielded by bodyguards of lies. The Final Solution to the Jewish question settled a few years later in the refined confines of a mansion in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee.
But all the refinement; all the civility; all the democracy could not hide the truth. Power acquired, manipulated and perverted to satisfy a lust for the blood of the Jews. No apologists for Hamas can hide the truth either.
For if Hamas’ policy of murder is in retaliation for the denial of Palestinian statehood, why are those policies not turned onto the Arab frontline states that refused recognition to Palestine in 1948 and invaded and occupied it, while Israel accepted it. If the policy of murder is an expression of revolt against the lack of Palestinian self-determination, why is it not turned against Jordan which threw out the PLO in 1970 or against Egypt which has imprisoned so many Palestinian leaders from the 1970’s to the present. And if this policy of murder is a manifestation of revenge for the lack of financial resources of the Palestinian people Hamas claims to care so much about, why not turn it against Saudi Arabia and the current Palestinian leadership who together manipulated the movement of some $50 billion dollars in aid into Swiss accounts?
The answer is simple. Just like the Germans of the 1930’s, Hamas cannot admit the failures and betrayals of the Arab world, and needs a scapegoat for their own inadequacies. To Hamas, the blood of Jews will wash away all sins. That’s why the Palestinians gave them such a massive victory. Hamas’ philosophy mirrors Palestinians own self-doubt driven by a jealousy of others self-belief. Well, it didn’t work for the Germans then; it’s not going to work for the Palestinians today.
A democratically elected government does not protect the people that elected it from reprisals if that government engages in violent aggression. The evil that Hamas has perpetrated was planned with precision and executed with penetrating premeditation. Besides rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza, Hamas has claimed credit for some sixty homicide bombers.
If this government pursues the politics of murder, it is now the responsibility of the international community to ostracize it, and the right of Israel to attack it. The Canadian sponsored International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty affirmed two years ago a new standard in the international legal order.
The report proclaimed that state sovereignty was not based merely on respect for physical borders or bloodlines of familial descent or even on democratic election. It must be judged on “…the primary responsibility of a state to protect its people and not cause harm to others…” and that where a population is suffering serious harm and the state in question is unwilling or unable to halt or avert that harm, or to arrest the harm it is doing to others, then sovereignty yields to the responsibility to protect…” In other words, if Hamas continues to murder Israelis, or sponsor homicide bombers in western countries, it cannot count on the cloak of state sanction to protect Palestine from attacks by Israel or any other nation whose citizens have been attacked.
The report’s conclusions mirrored what every authority on international law from Robert Falk to Julius Stone to Derek Bowett to Robert Tucker have written since the creation of the United Nations. That there is no need for “collective action” when the United Nations has proven itself impotent and that in any case the UN is not a replacement for individual state responsibility to prevent atrocities, relieve oppression and protect itself. That obligation in the international legal order was accepted by all civilized states in the Nuremberg Principles following World War Two.
For those innocents out there who doubt Hamas’ intentions they need look no further than some of the words of its 1988 founding covenant. “Hamas is characterized by its complete embrace of all Islamic concepts of life… Hamas strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine…The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews…Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations…Peaceful solutions are in contradiction to the principles of Hamas…There is no solution except through Jihad!”
Another chilling parallel on this Holocaust Commemoration Day. The myth of Aryan supremacy of the democratically elected Nazis echoing seventy-five years later in the statist faith of Islamist hegemony that is the foundational principle of purpose of democratically elected Hamas. And to underline its goals should anyone not yet”get it”, Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar said yesterday that, “There is nothing to talk about with Israel.”
Lest Canadians think this is a distant problem, or a “foreign” philosophy of fringe lunatics that could never poison our beloved multi-cultural patchwork, think again.
Just last year Mohammed Elmasry, National President of the Canadian Islamic Congress, stated unequivocally that all adults living in Israel are legitimate targets for bombers because since Israel has a draft it is hard to tell who is a soldier out of uniform and who is a civilian. This from the leader of the so-called “moderate” stream of the Canadian Muslim community. And this is only one of many such examples.
The election of Hamas has shown that for the broad mass of Palestinians the imposition of theocratic tyranny, opposition to western liberalism, and restoration of Islamic hegemony are not radical fringe doctrines but rather the central tenets of the message and metaphor of the “Arab street” as the media like to call it.
Hamas and their allies in the Middle Rim of this small planet, from the borders of Pakistan to the shores of the Atlantic, are all about psychological Hitlerism. Knights templar guarding vessels of hate filled with the bile of prejudice, paranoia and parochialism reflecting the futilities and frustrations of an outlaw culture seeking global hegemony. An illegitimate intellectual orthodoxy steeped in irrational doctrines of hate that justify nothing other than murder.
With an Iranian-backed Hamas government now in power so soon after Iran’s call for the destruction of Israel, it is instructive to look back on another page in history.
We should now comprehend that perhaps it was no coincidence that the wording of Security Council Resolution 242 that brought the Six-Day War to an end, and upon which all peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians have been based, recognized the need to provide Israel with “…secure and recognized borders…” Implicit in those words was the recognition that the pre-1967 borders failed in this respect. It may also be no coincidence that the resolution does not speak about Israel’s withdrawal from all the territories it captured nor even from the territories. It speaks only of withdrawal from territories. As then American U.N. Ambassador Arthur Goldberg, a former Supreme Court Justice, put it “There have never been secure or recognized boundaries in the area. Neither the Armistice Lines of 1949, nor the Cease-Fire Lines of 1967, have answered that description.”
Not since the 1973 Yom Kippur War has Israel been more in need of secure borders. Hamas’ election has changed not only the political equation in the Mid-East, but also the security assumptions upon which the Sharon peace initiatives were based.
On this day of Holocaust Remembrance; on this anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz; on this election of Hamas; on this 27th of January just twelve days after we commemorated what would have been the 77th birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; it is instructive to read his words for all those who would marginalize the Islamist threat to the world in general, and Hamas’ threat to Israel in particular, as nothing more than political anti-Zionism rather than genocidal anti-Semitism.
At a speech at Harvard in 1968 King declared, “We must never forget that the Jewish people are still traumatized. The sources of that trauma - massacres, expulsions, abuse by Church and Mosque who encouraged anti-Semitism to satisfy their own insecurities and political desires are still alive today.
We cannot expect anti-Semitism to disappear - Jewish existence and Jewish philosophy will always be threatening to its children: Christianity, and Islam. The trauma and insecurity, on the other hand, is within our power to diminish - should we decide to do so.
And it begins with the rejection of anti-Zionism. For anti-Zionism is the denial to the Jewish people of a fundamental right that we justly claim for the people of Africa and freely accord all other nations of the Globe. It is discrimination against Jews simply because they are Jews. In short, it is anti-Semitism. The anti-Semite rejoices at any opportunity to vent his malice. The times have made it unpopular, in the West, to proclaim openly a hatred of the Jews. This being the case, the anti-Semite must constantly seek new forms and forums for his poison. How he must revel in the new masquerade! He does not hate the Jews; he is just 'anti-Zionist’!"