When it became clear that Hamas had won the recent Palestinian elections, a lot of apologists said that it would have a moderating influence on the terrorist organization. That once they found themselves holding the reins of power, and responsible for all aspects of governing, they would step up to their responsibilities and somehow become reasonable and suitable partners for peace.
Others of us sadly shook our heads and waited for the inevitable. Flush with victory, we fully expected Hamas to at least continue their over-the-top behavior, if not to ratchet it up even more.
And we didn’t have long to wait.
Will Hamas continue its terrorist war against Israel? Yes.
Will they escalate their demands even further? Hell, yes!
First, they are demanding that Israel change its flag. They say that the blue stripes — intended to visually echo a Jewish prayer shawl — symbolize the Euphrates and Nile Rivers, and represent a Jewish desire for a land stretching between the two. Never mind that Israel once held the west bank of the Nile, and gave it back at Camp David. And never mind that Hamas doesn’t recognize the Israeli government, so they are making demands of a body they say doesn’t legitimately exist. Hamas says it means what they say it means, and those pesky Jews better do what they say, or else.
Next, in an attempt to out-extreme Hamas, Fatah is now demanding that their land stretch from the Jordan to the sea — a poetic way of saying that they intend to destroy the state of Israel. (What IS it about these people and their water-to-water imagery? Are they trying to play off the “from sea to shining sea” theme from the US?) At the end of the article, a Fatah spokeman says this goal is shared with Hamas, and I don’t foresee Hamas issuing a statement saying that Fatah’s incorrect.
Finally, one of the recurring themes of those of us who oppose the Islamists (I find “Islamofascists” a bit too cumbersome and clumsy a term) is that the Islamists believe that any land that was once held by Muslims is forever Muslim. Territory taken in conquest by Islam can never be made free again; no matter how forcefully the Islamic rule is overthrown, it is always and forever Islamic land.
This is usually pooh-poohed as neocon hysteria. But Hamas is publicly announcing this belief, and they’re starting with Seville, Spain. Never mind that the city was Spanish up until 711, and has been Spanish since 1492. It was Muslim for almost 800 years, so it’s Muslim forever.
Tie this precedent in with a history of lands once conquered by Muslims (all of the Middle East and large chunks of Europe), as well as all those utterly-unfounded claims of great Muslim explorers “discovering” the Americas, and you have a rationale for Islamic conquest of the world.
But I’m sure I’m just being a hysterical Neocon. After all, how could I disagree with such worthies as President Carter?