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Why Israel Isn't Like Ireland
People keep telling Zion Evrony, the Israeli ambassador to Ireland, that the Israelis and Hamas should simply sit down like the factions in Ireland did and talk to each other. He politely explains in the IHT how ridiculous a suggestion this is, vis a vis the parties involved:

One of the main differences between Hamas and the IRA is the role played by religion in their ideologies. While most IRA members were Catholic and religion was a factor, its political platform and vision was the unification of the island of Ireland, not defined in religious terms. The religious beliefs of its members did not block the way to a political compromise.

By contrast, the ideology of Hamas is defined in absolutist religious terms, that of a radical version of Islam, which is not open to influence or change. The political vision and religious belief of Hamas are one and the same; therefore, change is unlikely.

At the core of this belief is the desire to create an Islamist state based on Islamic law over all the land, not just the West Bank and Gaza, but Israel as well. There is no acceptance of the notion of coexistence, no support for the idea of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace, but an exclusive demand, based on fundamentalist interpretations of religious texts, for control of the entire territory.

The Hamas Charter, adopted in 1988 and still very much in effect, defines the land of Palestine as "an Islamic Waqf" (trust territory) consecrated for future Muslim generations. It adds: "Until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it" (Article 11).

The Charter's preface states "Israel will arise and will remain existent only until Islam eliminates it as it has eliminated its predecessors." Furthermore, it defines the enemy explicitly as an ethnic-religious group - the Jewish people. Hamas officials continue in their refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist. In contrast, the IRA never questioned Britain's right to exist.

The difference also applies to the practical level. After the IRA ceasefire of 1994, U.S. Senator George Mitchell, called in as a mediator, laid down ground rules for participation in the Northern Ireland talks. All the parties to the conflict then agreed to a code of conduct. The first principle was a commitment by all sides to "democratic and exclusively peaceful means" of resolving political issues. The second was a commitment to "the total disarmament" of all paramilitary groups. Sadly such principles cannot be reconciled with the Hamas Charter, its religious ideology and the concept of the duty to wage holy war (jihad), which will inherently always take precedence.

In fact, the whole idea of a peace process and the use of mediators are ruled out by the Charter. Mediators would not be welcome, since "those conferences are no more than a means to appoint the unbelievers as arbitrators in the lands of Islam" (Article 13).

...Instead, Middle East peace would better be served by supporting the moderate Palestinian leadership in their effort to lead their people to a reasonable compromise - a path which Israel as well is willing to take.

Which sounds good, but I suspect, would play out like a restraining order against a psychopath with a lot of guns. Is there anybody who believes there's any possibility for peace in this area?

Posted by aalkon at September 1, 2007 7:39 AM

Comments

No one has answered this? I dont log in for a day and everyone loses there spines?

NO there will never be peace until muslims become as passionate about there faith as the majority of americans are, cause lets face it no matter what they say in surveys most americans are closet atheists and just dont want to admit it

Quite frankly moralistic religious fuckwads are the most blood thirtsy detrucive beings in all of creation, they are the reason I look forward to melting ice caps and bird flu pandemics. Had the plauge not decimated europe we'd probably still be living in a fudalisic society.

Maybe a plauge running thru an area of the world so set against science and reason is just what the world needs in orer to move into a better phase of societys

Posted by: lujlp at September 2, 2007 12:53 PM

Dennett said many people don't believe in god so much as they believe in the belief in god. I tend to believe him.

I can't see how, as long as there's a sizeable population of Muslims there, that there can be any hope of peace.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 2, 2007 2:46 PM

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