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Thursday, March 27, 2008


The Obama-Hamas kerfuffle

Well, poor Barack Obama appears to be guilty once again - guilty of association with someone who thinks that members of Hamas actually have a right to speak for themselves, and to (imagine this!) be heard by the American public:
Obama is reacting to a WND report of the church's decision to reprint a manifesto by a Hamas spokesman that defended terrorism as legitimate resistance, refused to recognize the right of Israel to exist and compared the terror group's official charter – which calls for the murder of Jews – to America's Declaration of Independence.

The Hamas piece was published on the "Pastor's Page" of the Trinity United Church of Christ newsletter reserved for Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.
Lucky thing for Obama he doesn't subscribe to the Los Angeles Times, where the article was originally published. If he did, he'd no doubt also now be denouncing the editors of that paper for daring to publish the article in the first place.

Take a look at the article yourself, so you'll see the offending language for yourself. Shocking stuff like this:

Our struggle has always been focused on the occupier and our legal resistance to it — a right of occupied people that is explicitly supported by the Fourth Geneva Convention.
And that bit about comparing the Hamas charter to the Declaration of Independence? Here's what the comparison is:
As for the 1988 charter, if every state or movement were to be judged solely by its foundational, revolutionary documents or the ideas of its progenitors, there would be a good deal to answer for on all sides. The American Declaration of Independence, with its self-evident truth of equality, simply did not countenance (at least, not in the minds of most of its illustrious signatories) any such status for the 700,000 African slaves at that time; nor did the Constitution avoid codifying slavery as an institution, counting "other persons" as three-fifths of a man.
Of course, the discussion of "founding statements" in the article also encompasses Israel:
The writings of Israel's "founders" — from Herzl to Jabotinsky to Ben Gurion — make repeated calls for the destruction of Palestine's non-Jewish inhabitants: "We must expel the Arabs and take their places." A number of political parties today control blocs in the Israeli Knesset, while advocating for the expulsion of Arab citizens from Israel and the rest of Palestine, envisioning a single Jewish state from the Jordan to the sea. Yet I hear no clamor in the international community for Israel to repudiate these words as a necessary precondition for any discourse whatsoever.
Here was Obama's reaction to the "offending" article:
Late Thursday, following WND's story, Obama e-mailed a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency criticizing Hamas and noting that he was not in church the day the bulletin was distributed.

"I have already condemned my former pastor's views on Israel in the strongest possible terms, and I certainly wasn't in church when that outrageously wrong Los Angeles Times piece was re-printed in the bulletin," Obama said.

"Hamas is a terrorist organization, responsible for the deaths of many innocents, and dedicated to Israel's destruction, as evidenced by their bombarding of Sderot in recent months. I support requiring Hamas to meet the international community's conditions of recognizing Israel, renouncing violence, and abiding by past agreements before they are treated as a legitimate actor," he said.
I've said most of what I want to say, but just one small note on Obama's reaction: "Hamas is...dedicated to Israel's destruction, as evidenced by their bombarding of Sderot in recent months." Wow. That's some threat - shooting small rockets at a city which has 0.3% of the population of Israel, with 13 Israelis killed since 2000. I don't want to make light of the lives of those 13 people, but at that rate, Israel's destruction is far more likely to occur from rising sea levels caused by global warming than it is by Hamas, which, at the current rate, will succeed in destroying Israel in about 5 million years. Palestine's destruction, on the other hand, is a lot more imminent, if Israel and American politicians like Obama have anything to say in the matter (and, unfortunately, they do).

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