Thursday, July 12

BBC: "Now that Hamas Controls the Gaza Strip" "There is now a much more Secure Environment there"

So there I was listening to the BBC's Newshour program on the way home Tuesday and a BBC reporter nearly berating US Assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East, David Welch about the US's policy of not dealing with HAMAS, even though they currently control the Gaza Strip.

Progess 'possible': US envoy (Audio) - The split between Hamas and Fatah in the Palestinian territories has galvanised Israel, which refuses to deal with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas. The United States has made it clear it wants to relaunch talks on a future Palestinian state. Hear our interview with the US Assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East, David Welch. - BBC Newshour

The BBC reporter use the following reasoning why the US should deal with HAMAS: "Now that Hamas Controls the Gaza Strip" "There is now a much more Secure Environment there".

There is just one flaw in this whole line of thought in that BBC gave no consideration to the simple fact that it was HAMAS making Gaza less secure prior to their taking control. Now that they have control, they don't need to fight any more. Funny how that happens.

Of course a secure environment is hardly an indicator of an improvement in the governing of an area. The last time I checked Syria was a pretty 'secure' country. Of course they are very active in destabilizing all the countries around them. Then you have Hezbollah, which has kept southern Lebanon very secure, in order to better use the area for attacking Israel. Really, if HAMAS is so great in making the area so secure, when why not give them the whole Middle East including Iraq? Hey, maybe they can fix Africa as well.

The interviewer was also pushing the popular with the media myth that the US should deal with HAMAS because they were elected by the Palestinian People. (Forget that they were elected as only part of a Government and then went about violently overthrowing it in Gaza.) HAMAS's status was well known prior to the election that they are designated as a terrorist group by the US. They were elected anyway which in itself is fine. It was their election and they chose for themselves. However, it was then up to the elected HAMAS Government to solve the problems created by their party being designated as a terrorist organization.

Just because the US would not deal with them does not mean that they were isolated. They had the whole Middle East to go and collect aid from. They did try this, however, that aid has fell short. Plently of money is available to further their terror operations, but their other 'partners' are not very interested in paying for things the people need like food and salaries. After all, it is better not to give money. Giving money relieves the suffering Palestinian people. Not suffering does not further the anti-Israel agenda. Whatever the reason, this lack of aid donors is HAMAS's problem. Not ours.

Venezuela has an elected dictator and Iran has an elected president but that does not mean that the US has to deal with them. In fact, the US has no official relations with Iran. There is nothing saying that the US has to do anything to help Hamas. Again, this is their problem. Not ours.

Here is the relevant except from the interview:

(55 Seconds into the interview)
BBC: Are there any circumstances in under which you would reconsider your approach to Hamas. Many observers are now pointing out that now that Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, although you did describe them as ‘gangsters’ there is now a much more secure environment there.

David Welch: Well, that’s because I am not sure who controls the Gaza Strip.

BBC: But Hamas leadership does control it and there is a greater, a better security environment than when Fatah was there. This is the observation of people who live in Gaza. Would there be any conditions under which you would say, well actually, perhaps Hamas is an organization that we can deal with?

David Welch: Yes, if they were to accept the Quartet principles. Let me say though that Gaza is part of the Palestinian Territories. It is Palestinians who live there and they deserve better and they need attention and support themselves. We would hope to provide that.

BBC: Do you forsee that it’s possible to make any progress on Israeli-Palestinian talks, movement towards a two-state solution without Hamas which just a year ago had been elected by the Palestinian people?

David Welch: Yes. It is possible to do so and it should be possible now with this new (Abbas Emergency) Government as well. We would hope that Hamas would eventually do what everybody else has seen fit to do which is understand that there is an Israel, it isn’t going to go away and this is not rocket science. If your going to have a two-state solution, the other state is going to be Israel. Second. We would hope that they see fit to agree that negotiations should be pursued in an atmosphere free of violence and terror. And finally, you know there is a body of work that comprises the peace process. Previous agreements, resolutions, decisions and we would hope that the Hamas political party could subscribe to those agreements. But I don’t see them doing it. - BBC direct link to audio interview*

Of course HAMAS is the same group that currently holds an Israeli soldier hostage and has attempted to kill and kidnap others. Just one of many HAMAS issues which make them unsuitable in their current form for any sort of solution to the Israel-Palestine problem. If anything, their being in control makes their situation worse. After all, if they are not interested in dealing with Israel other than seeing their defeat, Israel can take the same extreme position and push them all into the sea. These tactics work both ways.

Lets not forget either that HAMS has recently called for attacks on the US:
"America is offering political, financial and logistic cover for the Zionist occupation crimes, and it is responsible for the Beit Hanoun massacre. Therefore, the people (Note: Muslims) and the nation all over the globe are required to teach the American enemy tough lessons," Hamas' military wing said in a statement sent to The Associated Press. - Hamas Declares War on US
Don't take this post as any indication that I have no problems with Israel. Both sides are at fault. My issue here is with the BBC for it's biased reporting.

Other posts on HAMAS:
Be Careful What You Ask For: HAMAS - 28 Jan 2006
Be Careful What You Ask For: HAMAS UPDATE - 11 July 2006
Hamas Declares War on US - 9 Nov 2006

* Transcribed by me. Any errors are unintentional.


notaries said...

True, the news media are biased toward conflicts. That would be unnecessary because they act as a news medium to the world and the conflicting parties. I guess they would be better off if they would be neutral especially when it comes to conflicts. Just sharing my ideas on this. Keep em coming! :)

Fred Fry said...

One issue that I did not point out in the post was that it was the BBC who had a reported kidnapped and held for months in Gaza. Sure it is HAMAS that claims to have secured his release, but you can bet that that type of 'assistance' is surely conditional. Maybe this kind of reporting is a sort of payback for their assistance in helping one of their own. Some real reporting would highlight the causes of instability in Gaza that permit that type of activity.