The hard truth is: yes. Just like the Assad regime in Syria, and Arab leaders in general, the calculus of Hamas leaders when it comes to the conduct of war and peace is rather different than what we are publicly told. Their ultimate mandate is not to protect their civilian population and build the state, but to protect their rule and increase their power, even at the cost of incurring heavy civilian casualties and destroying the state. If they can still retain control at the end, that’s victory enough for them.
Jon Stewart was quick to speak on the tragic developments in Gaza and to point out the asymmetric nature of the conflict. But on Syria, he remained silent until such time that Assad’s crackdown finally plunged the country into a civil war allowing for the emergence of Al-Nusra and ISIS. He, then, hosted guests like Fareed Zakaria whose main point was to insist on staying out of the fray, who spoke of all sides as being equally bad, and wondered where the good guys were, all while ignoring the asymmetric nature of the conflict. I long lost my respect for liberals like Jon. He could be brilliant at times, but his politics prevent him from being consistent, and that makes him a hypocrite. So, I don’t give a fuck anymore about how fair he chooses to treat certain issues. He’s just another ideologue.
If Netanyahu rejects a binational state and a fully sovereign Palestinian state, then, what does he endorse: apartheid “lite”? The expulsion of Palestinians into Egypt and Jordan? What other conclusions can one draw here? I mean a demilitarized entity encircled by walls and fences and crisscrossed by security checkpoints won’t even amount to a Lesotho-type state. Be that as it may, it’s clear that the Two-State Solution has by now taken its last breaths.
The condemnation of Saudi Arabia on account of her funding of extremist movements around the world is more than warranted. But the persistent failure to condemn Iran on account of her similar efforts since the Islamic Revolution, in support of certain Shia groups like Hezbollah, and the occasional extremist Sunni group as well, including some units currently affiliated with ISIS in Syria, and the extremist factions in Hamas, is really baffling. This phenomenon is as well documented as its Saudi equivalent, is fueled by similar mixture of cynical and strategic calculations, and it poses no less a danger to global security and regional stability than Saudi involvement. So, why do researchers keep neglecting to highlight Iran’s role, even as some pushes for the kind of an engagement with Iran that, in practical terms, amounts to an appeasement? Is there an agenda involved here? What is it? Or how else could we explain this phenomenon?