THE SPINE SEPTEMBER 29, 2006
According to a Reuters dispatch in Haaretz online today, Hamas massed a huge rally in Gaza earlier today to "denounce the state of Israel and declare that they would never recognise its right to exist." So what else is new? "We ask God to punish the so-called Israel and the allies of Israel ... We vow to God that we will never recognize Israel even if we would be all killed." In the case of the last contingency, of course, no one would care. This is the rhetoric of nutcases, although I know that since their passions emerge from Muslim religious belief I should treat them with respect. I can't. OK, why don't you try?
I noticed that the last name of this Gaza speaker is al-Masri and the last name of the wanted ad spokesman calling for nuclear scientists to hitch up with Al Qaeda, in the posting immediately below, is also al-Masri. What does that tell you? Well, probably nothing.
In any event, this demonstration was not really against Israel. What does Israel care if thousands of Gazans scream themselves hoarse? So long as they're not firing Qassam rockets into Israel! Actually, the Friday mobilization was mounted against Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas's party, which has been holding protests against the Hamas government. And why against the Hamas government? Because it is has not been acting like a government at all. Actually, there has been no functioning government in Gaza (or, for that matter, in the West Bank either) for eons.
At any rate, who is recognizing whom? Israel doesn't need Hamas' recognition. It--thank God, or whatever power you thank for these sorts of things--is a real nation, unlike most Arab peoples, whether they have a state or not. It has its army, and its liberties and its social services, and its independent courts, and its intellectually open universities, and its dazzling sciences, and a truly functioning advanced economy. ...
But I do know that many Israelis and Jews, generally, fixate on the Palestinians not recognizing the Jewish state. In fact, it drives them meshugah. Well, Arafat sort of recognized Israel ... and his recognition came to nothing. I don't care a fig whether Hamas "recognizes" Israel. In fact, I'd prefer that it be forever truthful. For, if ever it utters a word suggesting recognition, the European Union would get on Israel's back about making all kinds of unreasonable concessions to Hamas. I prefer that the truth be clear.