Hamas and Ourselves
by Mark Chmiel
U.S. critics refer to “Hamas’s genocidal charter” as odious. No doubt it is. Of course, the U.S. was a practitioner of genocide of the indigenous population across this land. Perhaps a few of those excoriating Hamas for its egregious words would support reparations for the native tribes because of incomparably more egregious U.S. actions.
The U.S. never grants that its enemies (whom we often attack) have a right of self-defense. It’s a feature of U.S. statecraft that loyal allies have rights similar to our own. So, by association, Israel’s enemies have no right of self-defense. The U.S. and Israel have long insisted that the PLO years ago and Hamas today renounce violence. Since we are uniquely virtuous, only others must be nonviolent–and acquiescent to what we want. The U.S. holds this position while it is the world’s biggest seller of armaments and has military bases all over the planet.
Hamas’s Islamist ideology is also repugnant to many Americans. But Islamist ideologies are not ipso facto repugnant to the U.S. government. For example, Saudi Arabia’s extreme ideology has not offended the sensibilities of U.S. leaders. The U.S. was not averse to helping organize the mujahadeen to resist the Soviet Union’s occupation of Afghanistan. Later on, as is well known, the mujahadeen parted ways with the U.S.
Elie Wiesel has been trying to circulate an ad calling on Hamas to cease “child sacrifice” and killing. The U.S. and its allies have shown no reluctance in killing children (Vietnam, El Salvador quickly come to mind). Israel has killed hundreds of Palestinian children in the past few weeks. There’s nothing in the historical record that states the U.S. warned Japan to evacuate babies and children from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The U.S. warplanes dropped atomic bombs on one and all, the infants and the aged.