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Is appeasement the only way out?

Reader comment on item: Hamas vs. America

Submitted by Michael Weiss, M.D. (United States), May 3, 2005 at 21:15

How ought one view the pending reclassification of Hamas as a legitimate political partner in a newly democratic Middle East?

On the one hand, the likely support for Hamas in upcoming Palestinean elections will make it difficult for the Bush Administration not to extend recognition. After all, we cannot be in favor of only those election outcomes that comform to American policy goals. On the other hand, there has been no fundamental change in the goals of Hamas and its participation in the radical Islamic movement. The cover of elections cannot disguise the violent, anti-democratic, anti-Western, and rapidly anti-Jewish/anti-Christian core of the Hamas movement. Ditto for Hezbollah in Lebanon.

I predict that this seeming dilemma will be circumvented by an appeal to a redefinition of what are America's "true" national interests. If only we change our policies, it will be argued, perhaps we can avoid the threat of Hamas-affiliated sleeper cells already in this country. A more "realistic" and "balanced" American foreign policy toward Israel and Palestine, it will be argued, will enable America to deflect the global scope of Hamas' terrorist ambitions. More appropriate priorities, it wil be argued, should reflect an accounting of costs and benefits. In this reckoning the cost of supporting Israel will be too high.

We may achieve peace in our time, it will be argued: surely a small and stubborn people in a far away land will understand. The goal is to extend democracy; after all, we will have no choice.

Do I hear an echo of Munich?

Submitting....

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