SNAPSHOTS-TOP.jpg

« Hamas, Holy Land and the Flotilla | Main | ISM (and Mondoweiss) Demonstrate How to Propagandize with YouTube »

July 05, 2011

Hitchens' Questions for the Flotillists

Christopher Hitchens poses a series of questions to the flotilla folks, starting with the following:

It seems safe and fair to say that the flotilla and its leadership work in reasonably close harmony with Hamas, which constitutes the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. The political leadership of this organization is headquartered mainly in Gaza itself. But its military coordination is run out of Damascus, where the regime of Bashar Assad is currently at war with increasingly large sections of the long-oppressed Syrian population. Refugee camps, some with urgent humanitarian requirements, are making their appearance on the border between Syria and Turkey (the government of the latter being somewhat sympathetic to the purposes of the flotilla). In these circumstances, isn't it legitimate to strike up a conversation with the "activists" and ask them where they come out on the uprising against hereditary Baathism in Syria?

Posted by TS at July 5, 2011 06:19 AM

Comments

Yes, Hamas has been sheltered by the odious Assad of Syria, and it's legitimate to ask Hamas how they feel about him.

But the central fact about Hamas is that it's the freely elected government of Gaza and supports Gazans in their struggle to breathe freely.

Israel is presently punishing 1.5 million residents of Gaza for electing a Hamas government. It's not right, it's not democratic, it's not legal. The flotillas are being launched in sympathy with them.

Greece seeks to prevent this non-violent action. It will not succeed. There are many responses open to those in sympathy with Gazans. I'll suggest only one.

The government of any country sympathetic to Gazans may interdict Greek ships in that country's ports just as the Greeks have interdicted the flotilla ships.

That would put the scurrilous Greeks in their place. Still, I mention this strategem only to spur those sympathetic to the Gazans to do better.

Time, humanity, justice, and intelligence are on the side of the mistreated Palestinian people.

Posted by: Stephen Voss at July 5, 2011 07:36 PM

Per Steven Voss Israel is,".. punishing 1.5 million Gazans for electing a Hamas government."
This is a childish misstatement of fact. If Hamas chose to make peace with Israel the Israelis would be delighted. Hamas said from its inception that the destruction of Israel was its prime goal an d it has acted as though any day without rocket firing on Israel is a wasted day.
If Hamas was your neighbor on the same terms how happy would you be to see boats seeking to land armaments and rockets for them?
One other small, overlooked fact that Mr Voss should take into account. For the first twenty years following Israels 'War of Independence' Gaza was administered by Egypt. The Gazans had no freedom then as they were under the thumb of the Egyptian Military commanders.

Posted by: Anonymous at July 7, 2011 01:25 PM

. . the central fact about Hamas is that it's the freely elected government of Gaza and supports Gazans in their struggle to breathe freely.

Hamas' reason for existence - spelled out in their charter is the destruction of Israel. They are using Gaza as a convenient base for their goal because Israel (naively) withdrew from there - and it's within easy rocket and mortar range of several Israeli towns and communities. Hamas often confiscates aid meant for Gazan civilians and distributes it to its cadres and/or sells it to the Gazans. Hamas locates bunkers and weapons caches in civilian neighborhoods and fires rockets into Israel from those neighborhoods. It places its military command headquarters beneath Gaza's primary civilian hospital. Hamas acknowledges this and brags of it. It would be more accurate to say that Hamas uses Gazans for their deadly purposes more than that it supports them.

Israel is presently punishing 1.5 million residents of Gaza for electing a Hamas government. It's not right, it's not democratic, it's not legal. The flotillas are being launched in sympathy with them.

Israel is preventing the shipment of weapons to an entity that is at war with Israel and has located its base in Gaza. The "punishment" of Gazans - such as it is - is a side effect of this completely volitional state of war by Hamas (that is largely supported by Gaza's civilians). Virtually all independent observers including the Red Cross have agreed that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

I don't expect this discussion to change anyone's mind who has already taken an anti-Israel stance. But it really would be good to hear some comments from that side that come even close to acknowledging the reality of the situation. That is, Israel is defending its citizens from attack and is doing much less damage to Gazans than international conventions would allow. Israelis don't have to lay down and open themselves to even deadlier attacks just because some would prefer they didn't live where they do.

Israel's actions are right and honorable, they are democratic because they are the result of a real democratically elected government and they are legal - by all international standards.

Posted by: pelican's-point [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 7, 2011 02:09 PM

It is neither safe nor fair to suggest the activists with the aid flotilla are working with Hamas no more than it is safe or fair to suggest the Israeli govermmust have close connections with Hamas as they funded Hamas in the past.

Posted by: gavan duffy at July 7, 2011 03:57 PM

Guidelines for posting

This is a moderated blog. We will not post comments that include racism, bigotry, threats, or factually inaccurate material.

Post a comment




Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)