June 16, 2003
The Hate That Hate Made
Hamas is a terrorist organization.
And, regardless of what you may think of the policies of the Israeli government, it doesn't change the fact that Hamas is directly responsible for the murder of hundreds if innocent Israeli civilians and has done more than their share to propagate a culture of death in the Middle East by recruiting, arming, supporting, and celebrating suicide bombers.
However, comparisons between Hamas and Al Qaeda are extremely limited. for one thing, Al Qaeda doesn't run any schools. They don't feed the hungry or give shelter to the homeless. In many ways, Hamas is a twisted, nightmare version of what the Black Panther Party could have become if things had gone down only slightly differently here in the United States. Which makes them a particularly nasty obstacle to peace in the region. After all they've done for the people, they probably have more legitimacy than Abbas and the Palestinian Authority in many circles. And Hamas has stated repeatedly that their mission isn't complete until they've pushed the Israelis completely off their land and into the Mediterranean, if necessary.
Originally, I was for the idea of sending in US troops or UN peacekeepers or somebody with a little more muscle than the Palestinian Authority to deal with Hamas, but, in retrospect, that could turn into the Tet Offensive overnight. Now, I'm not sure. Which, I suppose, puts me in good company.
Here's something from the International Herald Tribune that expounds upon the schizoid history of Hamas.