In Israel and the Palestinian territories, two new governments are taking shape. The Kadima Party, which will (just barely) head Israel's new coalition government, seeks simply to separate and insulate Israel from the homicidal intentions of its Palestinian neighbors.
On the other side of the fence, Hamas is settling into its duties as government of the Palestinian Authority. Let's consider what Israel is dealing with. The Hamas Charter (available in full at www.mideastweb.org/hamas.htm) reads like a combination of Mein Kampf and the Unabomber's manifesto. Here is Hamas on the importance of women:
Her role in guiding and educating the new generations is great. The enemies have realized the importance of her role. They consider that if they are able to direct and bring her up the way they wish, far from Islam, they would have won the battle. That is why you find them giving these attempts constant attention through information campaigns, films, and the school curriculum, using for that purpose their lackeys who are infiltrated through Zionist organizations under various names and shapes, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, espionage groups and others, which are all nothing more than cells of subversion and saboteurs. . . . The day Islam is in control of guiding the affairs of life, these organizations, hostile to humanity and Islam, will be obliterated.
Elsewhere in the document, Hamas explicates Israel's ambitions, as they understand them:
After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.
Vladimir Putin may think that Hamas should be regarded as merely controversial, but he might want to consult their charter on the issue of negotiations. "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors." As for the putative negotiating partner, "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." And finally, "The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf (inheritance) consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up."
The "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" is, of course, a Czarist forgery that has been used by Nazis, communists and now radical Muslims to inspire Jew hatred.
Israel is the only country in the world that faced trial in the International Court of Justice for attempting to defend itself from terrorists. The ICJ declared that Israel's security fence violated international law. Where, one wonders, does Hamas – which calls for Israel's "obliteration" -- fall within the confines of international law?
Israel's thriving democracy produces ironies. The Likud Party is now reduced to 11 seats in the Knesset. The combined Arab Israeli parties hold 10 seats. There is not a single Arab country in which Jews are permitted to serve in government. Israeli Arabs are not unhappy with their lives. Some Israelis have floated the idea of a sovereignty exchange; that Israeli Arab villages should be offered to the Palestinian Authority in exchange for Jewish communities in the West Bank coming under Israeli control. Israeli Arabs hate this idea. If Israel were truly the apartheid state of leftist propaganda, wouldn't the Arab population welcome an opportunity to escape?
Meanwhile, Israel's freewheeling parliamentary system tosses up peculiarities that resemble the California recall election of 2003. Among those contending for seats in the Knesset were the Green Leaf Party, which favors legalization of marijuana, and the Meretz Party, which favors Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders and dividing Jerusalem. The former won no seats, but even now, even in the face of the Hamas victory in the Palestinian areas, Meretz won four of the Knesset's 120 seats.
Liberty includes the right to be stupid.