Fatah Vs Hamas

From PragerRadio.com: "Dennis talks to Jonathan Schanzer, director of policy at the Jewish Policy Center. He has also served as counterterrorism analyst for the Office of Intelligence and Analysis at the U.S. Department of Treasury and as a research fellow at Washington Institute for Near East Policy. His new book is Hamas versus Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine."

From Prager’s show Jan. 12:

Dennis: "People wonder what Hamas stands for. Are the differences between Hamas and Fatah deep philosophical values differences or largely more policy or political power orientation?"

Jonathan: "It’s largely about political power. If you look at their charters (you can find them in English online), you will find that both Fatah and Hamas call for the destruction of the state of Israel. They were both founded as terrorist organizations. Fatah is no longer seen as one by the U.S. government but it was only a decade ago that it was. Hamas has been labeled for good reason as one."

"Hamas would like to rule the Palestinian state through Islamism. Fatah would like to use a more secular communist approach."

Dennis: "We’ve almost come to the point where Fatah are the good guys. Why the self-delusion?"

Jonathan: "They are the lesser of two evils but they are not much better. Fatah has a longer term view of the destruction of the state of Israel. Hamas wants to engage in hostilities immediately."

Dennis: "In Mahmoud Abbas’s office, the picture of Palestine incorporates all of Israel."

Jonathan: "Fatah has preached that for many years. We’ve been deluding ourselves in the United States that there is one moderate Islamic faction and one radical one. Here in the United States we are sensitive to Islamism and Hamas embodies that but Fatah is not much better. Fatah gained power through terorrism. They had about a ten year break where they were engaged in the peace process… I’d say the reason they are not engaged in terrorism today is that they are too weak and need the United States and Israel to stay alive."

Dennis: "Why did the U.S. remove Fatah from the terrorism list?"

Jonathan: "Yassir Arafat in 1988 elected to recognize the state of Israel in exchange for the United States and Israel recognize him as the leader of the Palestinian state that accepts Israel. This was a strategy that backfired horribly on the United States when Arafat chose war over peace in 2000, putting the United States back in the middle of the conflict."

Dennis: "Let us say Fatah took over Gaza, what would change?"

Jonathan: "You might see fewer rockets fired into Israel in the short-term…"

"If Israel put Fatah in power in Gaza they would be seen as illegitimate."

Dennis: "NYT columnists argue about the boomerang. They argue that because of Israel’s invasion of Gaza, more Gazans are siding with Hamas and hating Israel."

Jonathan: "Absolutely false. A number of Hamas fighters are laying down their weapons now on the battlefield because they know they can not win. That’s what many people in the Middle East respect — power. When Israel failed in 2006 to conquer Hezbollah, this is what emboldened people and brought people back to the terrorist fold. If Israel is able to send the message that anyone who joins Hamas will not have a long life, this will resonate on the Arab street."

Dennis: "Why wasn’t Fatah put back on the terrorism list in 2000 when it started terror?"

Jonathan: "The Taliban is not on the State Department’s terrorism list. Why? Because many people at Foggy Bottom think they can work with the Taliban. There’s an opportunity for diplomacy. This is why Fatah is not on the terrorism list. The United States pumps tens of millions of dollars into the West Bank economy despite the fact that the organization wants to destroy the state of Israel and has an armed wing, the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, which has been involved in the hostilities in Gaza."

Dennis: "How come the U.S. and Britain didn’t think, ‘The Germans will hate us more if we bomb them?’ Instead the Germans turned against Hitler."

Jonathan says neither organization is fit to govern. Hamas is not fit to govern as it is primarily a way of organizing suicide bombers to go into Israel. Fatah was deeply corrupt.

Dennis: "The Middle East conflict is complex to solve but it is not complex to understand. The enemies of Israel want it dead and Israel does not want to die."

Jonathan: "Why don’t the Palestinians have a state? The Palestinians are so interested in destroying Israel, their goals are so focused on destroying Israel, that they have spent no time thinking about what their state will look like."

"Israel will need to break its back… The leaders of Hamas need to be assassinated or they need to be ousted from the Gaza Strip. If they live to fight another day, if they remain in control of Gaza, people will say that Israel could not oust Hamas, therefore Hamas has my respect."

Dennis: "Why President Bush didn’t defend himself earlier [with passion] is a mystery?"

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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