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Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Israel's Hamas prisoners

The other day, in comments, I mentioned why it might be difficult for Palestinians to "recognize" Israel when Israel is a country without defined borders. And, for several months, Israel has been holding several dozen members and alleged members of Hamas whom they abducted from the West Bank and Gaza. Today these stories come together, as one court in Israel has ordered some of the abductees released (that doesn't mean it will happen, by the way). And this sentence in the New York Times article, which isn't a new piece of information, still struck me:
Israel classifies Hamas as a terrorist organization, and membership in the group is illegal under Israeli law.
But the West Bank and Gaza are not Israel, and Israeli law shouldn't apply in Palestine any more than American law applies in Iraq or Afghanistan. And yet, as far as I know, not a single significant international voice has been raised against the outrage of Israel seizing those ministers, and to demand that they be set free. Certainly it wasn't a "demand" made by Tony Blair as a condition which must precede Israel talking with the Palestinians, even though it's a heck of lot more defined (and verifiably met) demand than "renouncing violence" which was a demand he made on Hamas.

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