15 April, 2006

We Democrats Asked for This?

Democrats Unite! I know it is tre cheesy, but if we believe in this fundament of for the people, by the people, and of the people, then, why not? Democracy is supposed to be the magic bullet that destroys all evil, the answer to the $64,000 question, and the cure all for incurable diseases. And whither democracy?
If you didn’t read today’s Khaleej Times, you should. There is a very good essay by Ramzy Baroud that calls for an end to the boycott and sanction of the democratically elected Hamas government. A few pages before that in the Middle East section there is a description of what the suspension of aid is doing to an already impoverished, crippled, and almost hopeless people of Palestine. Now you could sit there and argue that there is this kind of violence committed by the Palestinians and that Hamas should recognize Israel, etc., well, I can guarantee you that if they did, it wouldn’t do much good. Look at Qatar, they were the first ones to extend a hand to the Israelis and it’s probably what got them a seat on the UN Security Council, but when the wrote a draft condemning the strangulation of the Hamas government, and the starvation of the Palestinian people, their resolution was veto, and probably crumbled up and thrown in the trash.
So my expats, who live in this Middle Eastern Paradise, while you sit in the sun relaxing and enjoying the good life, just think of others who are less fortunate and write to your MP or Congressmen, to stop the nonsense.
The Hamas government is the result of what the United States demanded-a democratically elected government. To the EU, US, and Canada, et al the scaredy cats governments, following suit, I say, just give them the money and see what they will do. If you though that you vote counted write to you MP and I will write to mine and I guess we will see how democratic our governments are.


Tim Newman said...

The US and EU are right to deny aid to Hamas, and they have every right to. Contrary to the bleating of idiots like Patrick Seale in the Gulf News that not funding Hamas is equal to blackmail and dismissal of the democratic process, the US and EU have fully recognised that the Palestinians have elected their government of choice and have made no effort to interfere in that choice. However, electing the government of your choice does not come with a right to have that government’s policies accepted and funded wholesale by anybody outside of the electorate. If the Middle East is going to adopt democracy as a workable model of government, the people need to understand that democracy entitles you only to be governed by your party of choice for a limited period, and nothing more. It does not entitle you to foreign aid and endorsement of party politics. And until Hamas accepts the right of Israel to exist, enlightened liberal democracies should exercise their right to stop funding their activities.

azucenamaryam said...

Well, my oh my! Isn't it enough that you recognize those who occupy Palestinan lands?
I am sure that they thank you, but the true owners of the land don't. In the words of my mentor and beloved professor, the honorable Eric Hobsbawn, who said, "I am a Jew, but that doesn't mean that I have to recognize Israel."

Tim Newman said...

I am sure that they thank you, but the true owners of the land don't.

The true owners are Israelis, whether you like it or not.

Tim Newman said...

And by the way, I would have thought you would have been somewhat embarrassed to state that your beloved mentor is a chap who believes that 20 million deaths is justifiable to achieve an ideological goal. That you are not speaks volumes.

azucenamaryam said...

Hey why follow the crowd?

bandicoot said...

Tim, extremism is insidious and terrorism is repugnant, no matter where they come from. However you could've saved us your little lecture about democracy and gone straight to the point. This is not really about Hamas, is it? In your second posting you made that abundantly clear:

"The true owners [of the land of Palestine] are Israelis, whether you like it or not."

This is your bottom line, and it is quite a claim! My God, just like that!? Next thing you'll be saying that the Palestinians don't exist as a nation and that Palestine was an arid desert populated by barbaric nomad till Jewish immigrants and Zionist pioneers came and turned it into a glorious oasis! "The true owners are Israelis..." Now, have you thought if you can ever prove that? Where does this “ownership” come from? Are you saying for example that the three million Palestinians now living in the West Bank and Gaza are guests of the state of Israel? Or have they (and their ancestors) been just keeping the place till the return of the "true owners"? And what about those four million plus Palestinian refugees who were expelled from their homes fifty years ago and never allowed to return, their land and houses and properties simply taken over by the Jewish state? Were they fake owners of the land? Was their existence in their homeland simply a cruel joke, a vacation? Can you show us the property deeds of the "true owners" or the transfer of property contracts? Yes some property was owned by Jews and some sold by Palestinian and Arab land-owners, but that accounts for a small fraction of the total land area. What about the rest of it? Are you perhaps going to show us the contract supposedly given by God to the people of Israel? Well, I was hoping it will be something a bit more rational and legitimate than that? Or is it just the power, the might, the sheer ability to take things by force and then keep them. If this is what you have in mind, then there is a name for this, it’s called colonialism.
Tim, Whatever your meaning is, I certainly find your statements and logic as twisted and manipulative as those of Eric Hobsbawm; you’re just as guilty of denying some very obvious historical facts, and nothing justifies that; no amount of suffering gives you the right to negate the rights of other people. It’s this kind of denial that in the long chain of things feeds the death cult and terrorism of groups like Hamas.

Tim Newman said...


The true owners of Israel are Israeli, and the true owners of Palestine, i.e. West Bank and Gaza are Palestinian.

The Palestinians may have a claim to the state of Israel, but it is not rightfully theirs. It belongs to Israel, period. Israel is here to stay, no matter how you dress up your argument that it has no right to exist.

bandicoot said...

If by "true" you mean "de facto" and, by implication, the legitimacy of international acceptance, then yes you're right. I'm not sure though how you see my simple presentation of historical facts as a dressed-up argument against Israel's right to exist. It's just more informative to see this right in context (same thing applies to other countries right to exist). However, no right is absolute, especially when the state in question has been the military occupier of the West Bank and Gaza for 40 years and has made the two-state solution virtually impossible through policies of land grabbing, economic strangulation and Jewish settlements. Israel can't have it both ways. I'm also interested in knowing whether your call to enlightened liberal democrats to boycott the Hamas government can be extended to include a boycott of the government of Israel in response to its extreme policies, including an apartheid system in the occupied territories, unilateral actions to change the demographic and geographic facts on the ground, and horrendous human rights violations, much of which is financed by foreign (mainly American) aid. Or do you think that there is no hint of evil here to justify equally active criticism and aggressive sanctions for the sake of peace?

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