February 14, 2006
Working Diligently on Own Goals: Bringing Down Hamas
A report from The New York Times on supposed Israeli-US scheming to bring down the Hamas government and force new elections to allow a new Fatah/PLO government in is superbly disheartening if true. I certainly would suspect the Israelis of plotting the same as a certain percentage of Israeli officials have never quite gotten it into their heads that Palestinian society isn't completely manipulable quasi-tribal society Israel conquered in the 1960s, I would hope that the Bush Administration has a trifle more sense.
The United States and Israel are discussing ways to destabilize the Palestinian government so that newly elected Hamas officials will fail and elections will be called again, according to Israeli officials and Western diplomats.
The intention is to starve the Palestinian Authority of money and international connections to the point where, some months from now, its president, Mahmoud Abbas, is compelled to call a new election. The hope is that Palestinians will be so unhappy with life under Hamas that they will return to office a reformed and chastened Fatah movement.
The officials also argue that a close look at the election results shows that Hamas won a smaller mandate than previously understood.
The officials and diplomats, who said this approach was being discussed at the highest levels of the State Department and the Israeli government, spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the issue.
First, of course, the open and outright hostility to Hamas show to date, while completely understandable, in many ways plays into Hamas' hands or rhetoric.
Second, working more or less clearly to bring down the government right from the get-go would rather confirm anti-Western agitprop on the part of Islamists that the West and in particular the US support for democracy is limited only to the folks we like. Further to that, this spin or facile insistence on 'secular' governments can only in reality discredit the same choice by making them appear nothing more than the stalking horses of foreign interests. I am unaware of any people in the world that particularly enjoy having their governments appear to be in the hands of foriegn interests (above all hated ones).
Posted by The Lounsbury at February 14, 2006 04:11 PM
Filed Under: US Foreign Policy
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let's just hope it's some sabre rattling on the part of the israel/usa cabal.
Posted by: drdougfir at February 14, 2006 06:28 PM
The scheming seems to have been leaked in a coordinated fashion by the schemers. Looks like a blackmailing strategy to me.
Posted by: Michael at February 14, 2006 08:53 PM
Yea, saw this yesterday, too.
I was thinking it would take two weeks before something like this came out, but it looks like they managed to hold out for three.
Posted by: mrblue92 at February 15, 2006 12:41 PM