The Corner

“Rank Opportunism”?

What a contrast between some in the West and the Arab papers in their respective reactions to Gaza and the Hamas violence. The former blame Bush, blame the US, or blame Israel for the civil war, the latter blame the extremists in Hamas and the Palestinians themselves.

From a paper in Lebanon:  “[The Palestinians] have nearly lost their homeland, and the only ones to blame are those who wielded weapons in order to wrench it from the enemy, but have lost their way. The fedayeen have become the murderers of their own comrades-in-arms…”

From Saudi Arabia, “By means of Hamas’s takeover in Gaza, the Iran-Syria axis has managed to destroy the Mecca agreement, to sabotage the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and to block the role of Saudi Arabia, which had become the regional authority [handling] the hotspots in the [Middle East], namely Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine.”

And from Egypt: “What is happening in Gaza, and the emergence of the Hamas’s Islamic emirate there, can only be described as an earthquake, and not only for the Palestinians… The impact of this Islamic emirate on our Arab world will not be like that [caused by] the emergence of the Taliban Emirate, [for] it is more dangerous, to the point where it will [threaten] Arab security.” (translations from

        Now contrast all that with Jimmy Carter’s blaming of George Bush for the upheaval in Gaza or, say, Robert Scheer’s paean to Hamas: “By contrast, the religious zealots who later formed the Hamas organization were more focused on spiritual probity and tended far more closely to the needs of their impoverished brethren in Gaza and the West Bank. As with Hezbollah in Lebanon – and that other Iranian-backed Islamist movement, the Shiites who now control Iraq – the religious movements, both Shiite- and Sunni-based, cornered the market on purity of purpose as opposed to rank opportunism. That is precisely why these fiercely anti-Western movements have been able to turn the favorite fig leaf of U.S. neo-colonialism, the slogans of democracy and elections, against the United States by winning popular elections.”


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