The Corner


Hamas always believed there should be no monopoly of violence until the gains of Zionism had been reversed and the Jews thrown back across the sea. That is why many of us thought that a taste of governance (which requires a monopoly of legitimate violence) might teach them a few lessons and gentle their condition in the process.

On his way back from a regional tour to raise money for the Palestinian Authority (including a cameo at the Holocaust? What Holocaust? conference in Tehran) the Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, of the terrorist Hamas, was stopped at the Rafah border crossing by the Israelis, who would not let him pass with the $35 million he had collected. The party was held up for several hours while the Hamas delegation figured out how to leave its cash in escrow in a Cairo bank. In the interim, some unrest between the Hamas terror-holigans and Fatah border guards sent the European monitors into flight.

At some point, after finally crossing the border and entering the free-for-all of the “liberated” Gaza Strip, the prime minister’s entourage was suddenly attacked. His bodyguard was killed, and several others (including the prime minister’s son) were shot. His convoy sped away.

I am glad to see Hamas get a taste of its just deserts, but elementary humanism makes me sad to see how inevitable every page in this story seems.

According to Al Jazeera, Hamas immediately accused Fatah of an assassination attempt. But does anybody really control Fatah? When every pet excuse for revenge trumps the rule of law, nobody controls anything. In Iraq, Palestine, and Lebanon, Arabs are struggling to create post-Enlightenment states. The trouble is that too many of them don’t understand the Enlightenment.

Mario Loyola — Mr. Loyola is a research associate professor and the director of the Environmental Finance and Risk Management Program at Florida International University and a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. From 2017 to 2019 he was the associate director for regulatory reform at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.


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