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Virtual Talmud

I can’t stand people who invoke moral obligations regarding providing humanitarian aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.

I am sorry, but a group that demands my destruction has no right to make moral and ethical claims on me or anybody else.

Suicide bombers and ethics are incompatible languages. That said, there is still good reason to support humanitarian aid to Palestinians, while at the same time punishing Hamas.

My favorite Middle East analyst, David Makovsky, along with Elizabeth Young and Michael Herzog, do a fine job at laying out the complexities of the issue and explaining the political and economic reasons for why Israel and America aught to provide humanitarian aid to Palestinians but remain firm on Hamas. The bottom line is that:

“Even with Hamas in power, the international community does have in interest in retaining some level of funding for Palestinians. The first of these is humanitarian assistance—food, water, and basic services—to protect against a crisis. The second category includes funds targeted to reinforce non-Hamas reformers and others who are committed to a more humane and liberal Palestinian society, to nonviolence, and to a two-state solution. Just as outsiders support democrats and liberals in authoritarian regimes, so too does the international community retain an interest in investing in those Palestinians who, despite their government, share the fundamental objective of peace and reconciliation. Similarly, the international community has an interest in ensuring that Hamas not vitiate the very political institutions that are enabling it to assume power, lest it preserve its hold on power in the future. Supporting democratic mechanisms in the PA, so that there is a system for rotation of power in the future, without supporting the Hamas-led PA itself is no easy task and deserved strict scrutiny and oversight.”

Most important, Makovsky & co. don’t go soft on Hamas like Robert Mally, who in the New York Review of Books foolishly suggests that Israel and America should engage Hamas, bring them into the political process, and attempt to moderate their views….Keep dreaming, Robert.

By the way recently I have started reading a new blog, http://www.kishkushim.blogspot.com/ that offers a very balanced and sane analysis of Middle Eastern politics.

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