Friday, January 9, 2009

Pallin' around with terrorists?

The incoming Obama administration is prepared to abandon George Bush's ­doctrine of isolating Hamas by establishing a channel to the Islamist organisation, sources close to the transition team say.
The move to open contacts with Hamas, which could be initiated through the US intelligence services, would represent a definitive break with the Bush ­presidency's ostracising of the group. The state department has designated Hamas a terrorist organisation, and in 2006 ­Congress passed a law banning US financial aid to the group.
To begin with, it appears to me that the editors at the Guardian have pushed their lede beyond anything substantiated by the story below it. They're hyping it in classic Fleet Street fashion, in other words. Assuming that Obama denies it (and he will), then it would be wrong to excoriate Obama for a fundamentally bogus story by the Guardian. So let's give him the benefit of the doubt, and don't indict him for irrresponsible chatter by "sources close to the transition team."

On the other hand, Allahpundit notes that Obama denounced Hamas in April, but that such a denunciation may have been merely strategic:
[W]ith the election over, Obama no longer needs Hamas as a fig leaf for his policy of dialogue with Iran. , , , The three reasons he gave in April for not chatting with them -- terrorism, rejectionism, and dealbreaking -- apply equally well to Iran, but meeting with Iran is the cornerstone of the foreign policy Change he promised. How then to prove his Zionist credentials to pro-Israel voters? Simple -- draw a meaningless artificial distinction between Iran and Hamas based on the fact that one's a sovereign state and the other isn't. He’ll talk to terrorist states threatening Israel with nuclear weapons, but terrorist groups threatening them with Qassam rockets? Why, he's far too much of a Likudnik for that. Except of course he's not, which is why that meaningless artificial distinction is now reportedly -- and quietly -- being discarded.
This attributes to Obama a degree of cynical arrogance that, if true, could prove his undoing. In the famous words of Marty Peretz: "Don't fuck with the Jews." Obama was elected with 78% support among Jewish voters, and if they should ever come to believe that they've been bamboozled, and Israel betrayed, by Obama, there will be holy unshirted hell to pay.

(Now that I'm thinking about it, shouldn't Peretz's DFWTJ principle have an exemption for self-haters like Glenn Greenwald? Is it anti-Semitism to hate a self-hater?)

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers.

UPDATE II: Linked by Walter Alarkon at The Hill. Thanks.


  1. Is it anti-Semitism to hate a self-hater?

    I think it's
    enabling the hate
    at any rate...

    Meanwhile, Mr. Reynold's comment to his link here states, I’d wait for more than one iffy Guardian story as evidence that he’s “pallin’ around with terrorists.”

    Can we cite Bill Ayers as a second witness to the fact?

  2. Joan, you read my mind.

    Besides, didn't some guy at Hezbollah write some neat little human interest pieces in Obama's church bulletin?

  3. "... and if they should ever come to believe that they've been bamboozled, and Israel betrayed, by Obama..."

    But they won't.

    That 78% support, in the face of all Obama's dubious contacts and the big difference between McCain and Obama, shows that Jews are not open to any other offers or viewpoints. They have chosen their side, and that is that.

  4. Interesting post.

    Great blog! I'm looking to blog roll you if you're willing to in return.

    Christopher Hamilton
    The Right Opinion, for the Right Wing

  5. Given the Jekyll/Hyde aspect of most Palestinian political parties, maybe Obama thinks he can reason with the hospital-builders and isolate the Jew-killers.


  6. David is right. A survey before the election showed that US "Jews" were more closely aligned to liberalism than the interests of Isreal, so they won't turn on The One for pallin' around with Hamas.

  7. A captive constituency is a great thing to have. Even Hamas call centers for Obama can't change that. Any kind of mid east policy, up to and including abject appeasement will be legitimized by that 78% approval in the PR apparatus for at least the next four years.

  8. Marty Peretz? There's a he-man for you. A guy who's seen as much military action as fly-boy Bush, and drunk-twit Cheney. The cheering of mindless, mass-murder of innocent men, women, and children, supported by gutless wimps has certainly reached an apex over the last 8 years (not coincidentally, a period of massive decline in credibiity and strength for the United States thanks to those very same stay-at-home moms of the Repubican Party)

  9. The Israel apologists make false analogies. They like to say, what if Canada or Mexico shot rockets into the USA, we wouldn't just let it go on ... OK, we wouldn't, but the analogy is false for two BIG reasons:

    1. The USA is not goading Canada or Mexico by illegally settling on their land, or at least disputed land, as well as causing other trouble for them about access, water, etc.

    2. Canada and Mexico are literal national States, but Gaza is not! Israel claims some jurisdiction (well, they didn't just plumb give it back to Egypt, right?) so it is more like Guam. Imagine if we bombed Guam because of separatists there, even if they lobbed rockets at us.

    Finally, Israel was (essentially) created by UN mandate. As such, they are like a ward of the UN and should follow all it's dictates and resolutions, instead of being even more defiant than typical nation states.

    PS: Read Glenn Greenwald on this, he rocks (as as a Jew, has to put up with all that Likudnik neocon trash about being a self-hating Jew, same as US citizens opposing Bush Iraq or torture "hates America" etc. No, they just don't like policies they consider untenable, you should be able to believe that intent even if you don't agree with that opinion.