Middle East Issues

Though I had resolved to not make this blog too political, there are some serious issues that need to be addressed (though I am not arrogant enough to believe this blog will make a difference). But here is a real problem - Hamas.

First of all, who is Hamas? Hamas is a terrorist organization (according to the European Union and the United States) bent on the destruction of Isreal, embracing the means of violence, not diplomacy, in accomplishing these ends. Specifically, Hamas is the organization responsible for all those terrorist bombings in the West Bank area, including the targeting of Jewish schools (innocent children) and shopping centers (unarmed civilians).

What many people don't know, however, is that Hamas has political support. Remember Yasser Arafat? He was the Palestinian president for years before he died, and, in spite of Hamas' violent methods, he never condemned or villianized their actions. In spite of so many good faith attempts by the Isrealis and the international community to develop a peace plan that would allow both nations (Isreal and Palestine) to coexist, Arafat created an environment tolerant of Hamas and their terror tactics. It wasn't until he died and President Mahmoud Abbas took the reigns that a peace plan began to evolve. Unfortunately, in the Palestinian parliamentary elections, the Hamas party won 76 of the 132 seats. So, now, we have an anti-Isreal, anti-peace party with majority power in the Palestinian parliament.

To make matters worse, however, is that Iran, another radical Islamic country who is on the brink of entering the nuclear community, has declared its support for the Hamas movement and party: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Isreal a "tumor ... [that should be] wiped off the map..." and has denied that the Holocaust ever occured, calling it a "myth." In December, Iran and Hamas declared that they are a "united front" against Isreal, and Hamas has agreed to step up attacks on Isreal should a conflict occur between Iran and Isreal. Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal said, "If Israel launches an attack against Iran, we will expand the battlefield in Palestine."

Negotiations with Hamas are futile; the only effective persuasion is violence. Of course, the United States has refused to recognize a Hamas-led government, and the EU has threatened to rescind aid to the Palestinian community as a result of these elections. But is war the only answer?