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Which people elected Hitler to their legislature?

Hint: A few years before the election, the same people turned Mein Kampf into a national best-seller.

Additional hint: After the election of Hitler, many people in the West hoped that Hitler's party, faced with the responsibility of governing, would moderate itself, and turn away from its promise to make everyone, particularly Jews, submit to its totalitarian ideology. These same people hope that although Hitler's party is explicitly founded on the promise of total war until total victory, the party in power will recognize the rights of its enemies to peaceful co-existence and to control of areas which Hitler's party claims as its national birthright.

Extra hint: many of the apologists for Hitler's party blame the rise of the party on the provocations of Jews.

Answer: Greg Myre's International Herald Tribune article on Hitler is here.



UPDATE: Some people were having trouble opening the link. The person in question is Jamal Abu Roub, who goes by the nickname "Hitler." He was recently elected to the Palestinian parliament on the Fatah slate. He is part of the explicitly terrorist Al Aksa Martyrs brigade, which, unlike some other Fatah components, does not attempt to disguise its terrorist nature. Fatah (a renamed version of the terrorist Palestine Liberation Organization) has been governing, more or less, the so-called Palestinian territories as a result of the failed Oslo peace agreement, and has proven that being given the authority to govern does not necessarily reduce an organization's terrorist inclinations. I had mistakenly thought that Hitler was part of Hamas. In any case, Fatah's record provides one more reason to be skeptical that terrorist Palestinians will stop being terrorists once they achieve political power.

Paul McKaskle (mail):
The answer may be in the Intl. Herald Trib. but the link doesn't open.
1.29.2006 1:43pm
guest:
Link good for me.

Gee, like Deja Vu all over again.
1.29.2006 1:51pm
lee (mail):
Put me in the "doesn't open" column
1.29.2006 1:53pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Kopel's point is perfectly valid, as long as he also admits the opposite possibility. I remember the right wing screaming about what would happen if Nelson Mandela-- with his background as a violent revolutionary-- ascended to the presidency of South Africa.

Maybe Hamas will moderate, maybe it won't. Only time will tell.
1.29.2006 1:57pm
arthur (mail):
Couldn't open the link, but since the answer really can't be Sunnis, my money's on "gun control advocates."
1.29.2006 1:58pm
Ted Frank (www):
DK appears to be trying to make a point about Hamas, but the candidate nicknamed "Hitler" is a member of Fatah.
1.29.2006 2:19pm
SteveMG (mail):
The answer is the Palestinians who, as they say, never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Proven once more in this election.

SMG
1.29.2006 2:25pm
Chris of MM (mail) (www):
And I don't recall anyone in the press or elsewhere stating that they thought Hamas would make a concerted effort to be more moderate once it was elected. I know some have hoped that it might, possibly, including our President in his speech after hearing of the election, but no one expects them to.

And I guarantee you that most of the people who elected Hamas (was the percentage around the 33% that the Nazis got?) don't expect them to become more moderate.

For the most part, though, the Palestinian Authority (and the Fatah party) did become more moderate when it came into power.
1.29.2006 2:25pm
The NJ Annuitant (mail):
I think this will help Bebe return to power in Israel.
1.29.2006 2:40pm
CaDan (mail):
Wow.

Godwin right out of the box.
1.29.2006 3:06pm
Beerslurpy (mail) (www):
Dont the palestinians realize that continuing to pursue the complete annihilation of Israel is turning world opinion against them? Don't they realize how important world opinion is to their continued survival?

Do the Palestinians imagine that israel is restrained by fear of the mighty Palestinian army? What will happen with the US finally gives up and says to the israelis, "fuck it, you guys deal with them?" What do they imagine the outcome will be? The israeli jets and tanks will be driven off by brave suicide bombers?

Forcing a war of annihilation onto an opponent that is thousands of times more powerful than you is supremely foolish. Then again, maybe the only way to properly educate the phillistines is through painful defeat.
1.29.2006 3:12pm
maurile (mail) (www):
Which people elected Hitler to their legislature?

Is that a trick question? Hitler lost the election.
1.29.2006 3:22pm
Beerslurpy (mail) (www):
Well in germany, things are not so black-and-white as winning and losing. The nazis were a big enough minority party that anyone who wished to form a majority needed them. After several failed attempts to form a government, Hitler was made chancellor as a compromise.

Kind of like how Angela Merkel "won" the german election this past year but by such a small margin that they ended up having to form a coalition with the party they "defeated" by a small margin.
1.29.2006 3:33pm
J..:
What CaDan said.

"Extra hint: many of the apologists for Hitler's party blame the rise of the party on the provocations of Jews." What an intellectually dishonest and bankrupt sentence. Man, as a Jew who thinks that Israeli policy towards Palestinians has been a little less than stellar, I'm offended; I suppose I'm a Hitler apologist, too? Or, if not, what exactly is the point here?

Discuss in an honest and intellectually forthright way in which Hamas has a disgusting (and conspiratorial, and rambling, and nonsensical [the Masons?!]) platform. This post did not do that.

Posts like this make me take a week vacation from this blog at times. Pointless.
1.29.2006 3:47pm
steve k:
Actually, J.. (and CaDan), the beliefs (not to mention actions) of Hamas, which go back to their founding, are outrageous. Any decent person would condemn them. To claim Israeli policy (consistently through the years, mind you) in any way excuses them does make one an apologist of sorts, and whether or not some compare these genocidal Jew-haters (and Jew-blamers) to Nazis is irrelevant.
1.29.2006 4:22pm
JohnAnnArbor:
Dont the palestinians realize that continuing to pursue the complete annihilation of Israel is turning world opinion against them?

No way. They expect their European paymasters to keep sending them cash and keep excusing anything they do, no matter how depraved. Norway has already started down this road in the last few days.
1.29.2006 4:23pm
Ross Levatter (mail):
I've always been a little confused about this dire concern Americans seem to have about Hamas refusing to recognize Israel and claiming they will "destroy Israel". If a 4 year old with a peashooter comes up to you and announces his goal is to destroy you, does the law recognize that as a credible threat? Granted, if you are unlucky, a peashooter might hurt you, but it is still not a credible threat.

The relative military power of Hamas and Israel are such that I don't understand why so many seem so concerned about a threat of annihilation. More reasonable would be a threat of a continued war of attrition. But if THAT is what one is worried about, it seems silly of Israel to refuse to begin negotiating until Hamas renounces a threat it cannot ever make good.
1.29.2006 4:50pm
otto (mail):
"Extra hint: many of the apologists for Hitler's party blame the rise of the party on the provocations of Jews."
This sentence is indeed bankrupt. The Palestinian arabs have been repeatedly ethnically cleansed and colonised by Jews acting in the name of an explicitly Jewish political project. As for what Jews had done in the way of harm to Germans, 'nothing' would be the best answer. Of course, Palestinians still have a choice as to how they react to those circumstances, and that choice can be criticised. But the implication that Palestinians are fantasising Jewish hostility towards them like the Germans did does not reflect well on the author of this post.
1.29.2006 5:09pm
Mobius (mail):
I would like to interject a different line of thought to this conversation.

Issue: Does democratic power lead to moderation?

Views: The Hitler/Nazi analogy vs. The IRA/Sinn Fein analogy.

Some would take the IRA/Sinn Fein analogy and say that democratic power does lead to moderation. Gerry Adams has successfully moved the IRA to the peace table and gained political legitimacy to an organzation that is considered a terrorist organization. Granted, the IRA did fracture into two groups (the REAL IRA is still advocating violence).

Does Hamas and it's leadership more closely resemble the Nazis or the IRA?
1.29.2006 5:09pm
JohnAnnArbor:
Otto:

Little clue. Below are comprehensive lists of the religious sites destroyed or damaged since 1947.

Islamic/Christian sites under Israeli control:
none

Jewish sites in Palestinian areas:
All of them.
1.29.2006 5:25pm
Seamus (mail):
Uh, Hitler was never elected to the Reichstag. (His *party*, on the other hand, held the largest bloc in that body during 1932 and 1933. It should be remembered, though, that the Nazis had lost seats in the last Reichstag election before President Hindenberg appointed Hitler as Reichskanzler, at the head of a government that was made up almost entirely on non-Nazis. (Unfortunately, the Minister of the Interior (i.e., the police) was a Nazi, which enabled the Nazis to establish a reign of state-sponsored terror that enabled them to suppress the opposition and turn their Reichstag minority into a majority in the 1933 elections.)
1.29.2006 5:50pm
minnie:
A few years before the election, the same people turned Mein Kampf into a national best-seller.

And the people who buy Yoo's book?

My own opinion is that once you decide it's proper to treat other human beings in an inhumane fashion (I am not talking about dropping bombs, or standard warfare; I am talking about the sadistic, purposeless torture and degradation of other human beings), then it's just a question of which group you decide to treat in that fashion.
1.29.2006 5:59pm
nk (mail) (www):
You know ... . It's a little more complicated than that. We are talking about a world conqueror ostensibly interested in a) lebensraum and b) subhuman slaves who turned out to be the head of a death cult intent on exterminating everything in sight. (I believe that if Hitler had won he would have killed every living thing in the world and then committed suicide, just so you know my bias.) Hitler's first mass murder, remember, was the Night of the Long Knives, the extermination of the Brown Shirts who had protected him and risen him to power. It was at the behest of the Army. Who he later made pay for their temerity. Enough. Many, many books have been written on the subject and I cannot summarize them for you here. Allow me to say that comparisons of Hitler with the little monsters who have always been among us are less than sophomoric.
1.29.2006 6:07pm
Beerslurpy (mail) (www):
Democracy lets the people have the government they deserve with the least amount of bloodshed.

If the people dont want something, they wont get it. The sad truth is that none of the current arab governments except maybe jordan really offer much to their people, so almost anything that can meet the minimum requirements is going to be wildly popular. Unfortunately, this appears to be the role filled by the islamo-facists at the moment. Unlike in Iran, the people havent had the benefit of living under it for a few decades to see how badly it sucks.

You can't impose lessons upon people. They have to learn them, sometimes through suffering and bloodshed.
1.29.2006 6:27pm
WB:
Perhaps I'm dense, but I don't understand from the article why the guy is called "Hitler." The closest to an explanation that the article comes is the following quote:

Roub contends that the election offers him a better way to continue his struggle with Israel, which has consumed his whole life.

Roub said he has always been adamant about his beliefs, so much so that when he was 16 a high school friend began calling him Hitler, and it stuck. Roub said Hitler's slaughter of the Jews was wrong, yet he seems quite willing to keep the nickname.

So... why's he called Hitler? The first part of the quote indicates that it's his "struggle against Israel," but then he says that the slaughter was wrong. So is it his anti-Israel sentiments or something else?

Clearly it's his being adamant about his "beliefs," and not, for example, his diminuative statute or unfashionable moustache, but the article doesn't say much about what his actual beliefs are, except for the above passage and the fact that he's a member of the "Al Aksa Martyr Brigades."

I suppose it's clear enough that he doesn't like Israel and wants to mess it up through suicide bombings, but to me the article seems to make a big deal about "Hitler" without providing much detail on the meaning of the nickname.
1.29.2006 6:29pm
o' connuh j.:
Drivel...

"If a 4 year old with a peashooter comes up to you and announces his goal is to destroy you, does the law recognize that as a credible threat? Granted, if you are unlucky, a peashooter might hurt you, but it is still not a credible threat."

"The relative military power of Hamas and Israel are such that I don't understand why so many seem so concerned about a threat of annihilation. More reasonable would be a threat of a continued war of attrition. But if THAT is what one is worried about, it seems silly of Israel to refuse to begin negotiating until Hamas renounces a threat it cannot ever make good."

Would the United States "negotiate" with a militant separatist white supremacist movement?

Are they a credible threat? "Relatively" speaking?

So silly not to negotiate then.
1.29.2006 6:38pm
jvarisco:
There is a difference in that Hamas does not have the power to conquer Israel, let alone half the world. It's also not based on a cult of personality to a psychotic leader.
1.29.2006 6:39pm
o' connuh j.:
More specious idiocy, this time from 'otto':

"The Palestinian arabs have been repeatedly ethnically cleansed and colonised by Jews acting in the name of an explicitly Jewish political project."

!!! Jesus wept..

Is that why some Palestinian Arabs are today Israeli Arabs?

Or do you think they been "ethnically cleansed" as well? Do you fark...
1.29.2006 6:44pm
Seamus (mail):

I remember the right wing screaming about what would happen if Nelson Mandela-- with his background as a violent revolutionary-- ascended to the presidency of South Africa.



If we're listing terrorists who evolved into semi-responsible rulers, we might mention the original Sinn Fein, whose members took control of the Irish Free State in 1922, the Algerian NLF (which helped the U.S. during the Iranian hostage crisis in 1980-81), and Jomo Kenyatta in Kenya.
1.29.2006 6:54pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
Fatah (a renamed version of the terrorist Palestine Liberation Organization)

Uh, no. Fatah was/is one group within the PLO's umbrella. It used to be a rival to the PLO until it took over its leadership in the late '60s under one Yasir Arafat. It is not "renamed version" of the PLO.


[DK; You're right regarding the olden days, since Fatah was founded by Arafat and the PLO was not. But since Arafat took over the PLO, Fatah has been the largest group within the PLO, and Arafat was in charge of both. When the Israelis made their disastrous mistake to give Arafat and the PLO governmental power, they took that power under the name of Fatah, although the Fatah government continued the PLO's function as a terrorist organization.]

1.29.2006 7:05pm
Dodd (mail) (www):
Had CaDan and J, et al, actually read the linked article, they'd have seen that this is not a case of Godwin's Law applying.
1.29.2006 7:12pm
Seamus (mail):

Little clue. Below are comprehensive lists of the religious sites destroyed or damaged since 1947.

Islamic/Christian sites under Israeli control:
none


This may be true, but before affirming it categorically, I'd like to check out whether there's any truth behind these allegations:


The Jews have defiled and destroyed the following Church buildings: the Church of Saint John the Baptist at Am Karim, the Church of the Beatitudes at Capharnaum, the Church of Mensa Christi on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, the Church of Saint Peter at Tiberias, the Cenacle (the place of the Last Supper) at Jerusalem, the Convent of Mary Reparatrix at Jerusalem, the Convent and Hospice of Notre Dame at Jerusalem, the Convent of the Sisters of Saint Ann at Haifa, the Franciscan Convent at Tiberias, the Patriarchal Seminary at Beit-Jala, the Salesian houses at Cremisan, the Sisters’ Convent at Am Karim, the School of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Sion at Katamon, the Sisters’ residence at Capharnaum, the church and rectory at Ikret. Catholic authorities have estimated that the Jews have destroyed Church property in the Holy Land at the rate of more than two million dollars’ worth a year. To enumerate only French Catholic institutions, they have demolished four hospitals, sixteen dispensaries, two hospices, four seminaries, thirty-two schools and orphanages, and seven retreat houses.


(See also http://www.fatherfeeney.org/point/55-apr.html, for claims about the Church of the Dormition and Convent and Hospice of Notre Dame.)

The tone employed by these guys is so grossly offensive that I'd want to check out everything they say before giving it any credence, but on the other hand, I would withhold final judgment until I had checked it out. It isn't always the case that where there's smoke there's fire, but it sometimes is the case, even when the smoke is being blown around by anti-Semites.
1.29.2006 7:41pm
SteveMG (mail):
I had mistakenly thought that Hitler was part of Hamas.

You mean you actually libeled Hitler?

Congratulations (I think).

Hmm, Ramsey Clark is busy but I'm sure he can find the time for another client.

SMG
1.29.2006 8:18pm
Steve Donohue (mail) (www):
It goes without saying, and so I'll say it anyway. The worst part is that "Hitler" is this guy's nickname/term of endearment. If the answer was just "John Hitler, who overcame his last name to win a Yukon Teritory riding in the Canadian Parliament", that'd be different. But, at some point, someone out there in the Palestinian community decided- "man, this guy reminds me of Hitler! Yo Hitler!" and the nickname just sort-of stuck. And he didn't mind at all.
1.29.2006 9:39pm
SANE (mail):
The following essay suggests more on the comparisons with the IRA, Germany, Italy, Japan etc. re democracy as a nation builder:

http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=9337

Hamas, the Islamic paramilitary organization operating terror networks and religious and social programs in the territories putatively controlled by the Palestinian Authority, is now poised to establish a new governing administration for the PA after a sweeping victory in the first contested Palestinian parliamentary elections since the establishment of the PA. Yassir Arafat’s Fatah party looks to be sidelined to opposition for the first time in the short history of this neo-state regime of terrorists and thieves.

Hamas came to power, we are told, because the Palestinians had had enough of the gross corruption and ineptitude of Fatah. The rationale proffered is that Hamas has won the hearts of the people for having spilt more blood than anyone else, notably Israeli civilian blood, for its “faith-based” social welfare network, and for its appearance of fiscal rectitude. While the first rational is certainly true, the latter two have never been tested. Hamas has never operated a government budget and has never operated with transparency. Providing Islamic-based social welfare programs on a charitable basis without any external audit controls or accountability is not the same thing as governing. Everyone agrees Hamas must prove itself now that it has achieved its first major political goal.

The real question at issue in all of the speculation surrounding the Hamas victory -- will democracy succeed in transforming the tyranny and terror of the Palestinians? -- also underlies the Bush doctrine at work in Afghanistan and Iraq. That doctrine theorizes that democracy and freedom beat in the hearts and souls of all peoples, including those of the Islamic persuasion. Thus, once given the opportunity to articulate their political representation within democratic institutions, the virulently anti-American, Western Civilization-hating Moslems will be tamed and their murderous designs for toppling the decadent nations of the Christian world and destroying Israel and the Jews will fade into the background of a noisy, peaceful democracy. The thesis articulated by neo-conservatives and liberals alike goes something like this: Governance within the constraints of a democratic regime, which allows the people to hold their governments accountable through the ballot box, necessarily pacifies the violent and hegemonic tendencies of ideologies such as Islam. Thus, the now famous retort: democracies don’t start wars.

The Hamas victory highlights for us in stark terms the fallacy of the democracy thesis. Democracy itself is a form of government to give expression to a People’s national existence. But one mustn’t confuse the expression with the actual content of that national existence. Democratic institutions can give articulation to the freedom and peace loving aspirations of a People; they cannot create them. The US is what it is not because of democracy but because the Christians who came to this land and funded its national existence with blood, sweat and tears, wished to give everyone an opportunity to prosper and to live with dignity. Democracy allows that national character and will to articulate itself and to develop. But had the early Americans not yearned for life and liberty, all of the democracy in the world would not have established it.

Majoritarian rule by a nation of Islamic fascists will give voice to democratically elected fascists, not peace loving Arabic speaking American look alikes. When 70% of the Palestinian population consistently approves of murderous suicide bombings against innocent men, women and children, when they dance in the streets after 9/11, there is arguably something so fundamentally evil about their society that no democratic institution or combination of institutions is capable of repairing it. Indeed, democracy promotes these expressions because that is what modern democracy has become. National malevolence will not be curbed by democratic politics; it will be assisted and encouraged.

The proponents of democratic nation building respond that there is some moral or historical imperative at work such that democracy and freedom will win out, and, a peaceful People will arise. For them, violence, tyranny, and terror can all be explained away with some sociological or psychological explanation. The proponents of this view hold fast to the idea that voters in democracies, even ones with violent natures, care more about their pocket books than their prayer books. The masses, who now have political franchise, will come to learn that peaceful nations are more prosperous nations. Democracy and economics are united in this way to deny that there are evil nations or peoples; only evil regimes.

If we just apply the proper incentives, the argument continues, all nations can rise above their peculiar national character or culture no matter how violent or evil, and be rehabilitated. Democracy and free markets accomplish this. These ruminations of course are little more than the Leftist incantation that “there are no criminals, only criminal circumstances” raised to the level of nations rather than individuals.

The simple response to this claim is that there is no evidence it is true. There is no historical example of this, but rather its opposite: when confronting an implacable enemy bent on your destruction, a strategy of conquer and control is the only effective response. Thus, Germany, Italy, and Japan were conquered and ruled by the Allies militarily and economically and even then democracy only took hold because there was no national anti-democratic ideology at work. Nothing in the long histories of these nations suggested that the early 20th century regimes bent on world-wide aggression were part of the national fabric of the people. What then can we expect in an Islamic democracy?

The Democracy advocates must confront the fact that Islamic regimes that come to power by election, by revolution or by coup, such as in Iran or Afghanistan, and which initially have much popular support, soon eliminate any real democratic limits on tyranny by simply eliminating or reducing to a caricature the democratic institutions. What survives is what we see in Iran or what we saw in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan or what was left of Fatah in the PA: tyranny, corruption, terror, and regimes bent on external aggression. The fact that Fatah passed the baton of power democratically to Hamas is hardly consoling to Israel or the West, unless sustaining democracy, even one bent on terror, is the goal.

Islam rejects democracy as we know it because it rejects liberalism and multiculturalism. No true Moslem will grant a Christian or Jew the right to practice his or her religion freely in a Moslem-dominated country. Even in the secular regime created in Turkey by Ataturk in the first half of the last century, a regime that resisted Islamic inroads by virtue of the constant threat of military rule, public expressions of religious fervor other than Islamic are carefully curtailed. While Islamic regimes might allow certain churches to exist and to pray privately, Islam will never permit religious or political freedom for competing truth systems, be those religious or secular.

Given this reality, what does President Bush have in mind in Afghanistan or Iraq? In both cases, regime change was needed and was a credible foreign policy. Now, the question is, why are we pinning such hopes on democracy? Even in the PA, where religious fervor has always taken a back seat to political and geostrategic goals, Hamas has arrived as a full-fledged political power. What serious hope is there that Hamas will now govern by the rules of democratic transparency and give up its hold on power once it fully matriculates its militants into the official role of police, border guards, secret service and army? What evidence is there that Hamas will disavow its religious hatred of Jews and Israel as infidel occupiers on holy Moslem land?

Other than a naïve and dangerous dream that all will turn out democratic and peaceful, there is scant evidence that Moslems and Islam are prepared to see the world along the same lines as the West. Given that fact, regime change must also mean that if the democracy experiment fails, the U.S. must be prepared to install a regime faithful to the West even if it is not democratic. Thus, while Washington can say that it will not have dealings with a Hamas-led PA that preaches the destruction of Israel, Jerusalem does not have the luxury to sit back and allow a Hamas-led PA to build an army, acquire an arsenal beyond what already exists, and send death squads across the border into Israeli cities.

Policy makers in Washington, Jerusalem and in Europe (although Europe is all but lost), must recognize that one billion Moslems around the world with a dream of a One World Islamic state will not simply melt peacefully into the West. A strategy of conquer and control must be contemplated, devised and made ready for implementation.
1.30.2006 12:36am
CaDan (mail):
A link rather than a massive copy 'n' paste job would have been sufficient.
1.30.2006 1:39am
Ross Levatter (mail):
o'connuh responds to my question about Israel refusing to negotiate with Hamas until Hamas renounces claims it has absolutely no power to bring about as follows:

<
Are they a credible threat? "Relatively" speaking?

So silly not to negotiate then.>>

It's nice to see the kind of argumentation o'connuh doesn't think is "drivel".

I'm sorry, are you referring to "militant separatist white supremacist movements" that call for the destruction of the United States? If so, is your point that once a "militant separatist white supremacist movement" stops claiming it will destroy the United States that THEN it's OK to negotiate with them, the US no longer fearing for the very life of the republic?

But perhaps I miss the point of o'connuh's incisive analogy. From Ruby Ridge to Waco, we actually know how the US government deals with "militant separatist white supremacist movements". It tries to kill them. Every last one of them. Especially, it seems, the children. I take it this is O'Connuh's final solution to Israel's Palestinian problem. He'll be pleased to know they're making some progress...
1.30.2006 1:46am
o' connuh j.:
Infantilisms anew from Levatter.

If ex hypothesi, a militant separatist white supremacist movement gives up its militancy, it by definition negotiates from within the civil sphere of political agitation rather than the militant. This is obvious.

Yet according to Levatter, we're supposed to find it "silly" not to negotiate with an armed group dedicated to your utter and genocidal destruction. Really? In his world, it must be even more silly not to negotiate with al Qaeda then, who are committed to far less than the obliteration of the United States.

That is the upshot of his 'silliness'. If he is consistent. But is he? I doubt it.

And btw, since when were Branch Davidians white supremacists? "From Ruby Ridge to Waco"! Ha! Clearly Levatter has no idea what he is talking about.
1.30.2006 2:56am
jewfro:
I live in Israel and I am politically "center-right" and secular, but Hamas's election doesn't really bother me. The ruling party before them was a terrorist organization and one has simply been exchanged for another. Hamas is more honest about their opinions, is all. No amount of pressure from the US, EU, UN or anyone else will ever compell the Palestinians--no matter who is in charge--to make peace until there is a shift in their worldview and desires. Peace will break out "like wildflowers" when they actually want it. Until then, Israel will defend itself as it has done. End of story.
1.30.2006 3:35am
Cory H.:
When it comes to elections and Hitler, the research done on voting patterns during the Weimar Republic can make for some interesting reading. I'd recommend this website for those who are interested in exploring the subject:

Weimar Voting Project

It has some nifty graphical features that help explain some of the trends in voting during that era.

Also, one might want to peruse "The Nazi Voter: The Social Foundations of Fascism in Germany, 1919-1933" by Thomas Childers (1983). That book, however, is pretty dense into statistical analysis and may not be to everyone's tastes.
1.30.2006 3:54am
Barry P. (mail):
From "SANE"'s post:

Hamas has never operated a government budget.

False. Hamas has won sevral municpal elections, and provided municipal government services that were immediately and obviously better (less corrupt and more effective) that Fatah. Indeed, their record of (relative) governmental competency at the municipal level was something they campaigned on.

No true Moslem will grant a Christian or Jew the right to practice his or her religion freely in a Moslem-dominated country.

This statement implies that the people and governments of the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt, Syria, etc, are not "true Moslems", since all of those places all have plenty of churches and temples.

Is it no possibe to present a coherent anti-Arab diatribe without having to make this crap up? It's not like there isn't enough "real" material.
1.30.2006 5:42am
Frank Drackmann (mail):
Today is the 73rd aniversary of Hitlers assuming the Chancelorship..sort of spooky.
1.30.2006 6:37am
Public_Defender:
The real difference between Hamas and the Nazis is that Hamas can be confined to the walled-off West Bank and Gaza Strip if Hamas does not change.

Sharon's wall gives Israel a luxury Europe did not have in the 1930's. That's why it's worth giving Hamas the chance to pull a Sinn Fein. If Hamas changes, great. If Hamas stays the same, it's not as if Palestinian Panzer divisions will start rolling across the Polish border.

By switching from Fatah to Hamas, the Palestinians went out of the fire into the frying pan. Fatah was hopelessly corrupt and could never deliver a peace treaty its people would support. With Hamas, there's at least a chance. A slim chance, but a chance.

I am NOT saying that Israel should let its guard down. Just the opposite. Hamas needs to see the overwhelming might of the Israeli military if there's any hope it will change. But Israel also needs to be prepared to offer carrots if Hamas surprises people.
1.30.2006 7:41am
Bob Bobstein (mail):
I agree with Public_Defender. Israel, unlike Poland, is in a position of military superiority. Hopefully, as Palestinians work through their new democracy, they will demand results in the form of a better life, rather than prizing angry rhetoric.

Also, what is the alternative plan for moderating the Palestinians? Is it Dave Kopel's plan to bombard them with strident op-eds until they realize the error of their ways?
1.30.2006 8:31am
SANE (mail):
Re Barry P's response to SANE: Hamas only recently came to power in a few of the PA's municipalities so there isn't much evidence that they will handle the billions of dollars that will flow through their hands any better than FATAH. Even if they do, that is hardly the point of the essay posted.

As to religious freedom in the Arab countries you mentioned, you obviously haven't been to those countries and are grossly uninformed, or if you have, you are not being honest about what you observed, or you post in a comment anything that comes to mind, whether factual or not.

The essay itself points out that you can find Christians and even Jews in some Arab countries. But in all of the ones you mentioned, and those you did not mention, they are forbidden to pray publicly or wear any outward signs of their religiosity. Ask any of the Christians even now in Bethlehem or in any Arab country what they think about "religious tolerance" in an Arab country. The most "free" would be Jordan, but even there, they are subject to a whole host of restrictions that don't apply to Moslems.
1.30.2006 8:43am
SANE (mail):
To Cadan and others: sorry about the copy and paste. Just getting my proverbial feet wet in this blogging/threading environment. Point taken.
1.30.2006 8:46am
Ross Levatter (mail):
More strident rhetoric from o'connuh in the place of dispassionate analysis, I see. He has yet to even begin to grapple with the blunt fact that CALLING for the utter destruction of Israel is NOT a threat if done by an organization with NO POWER TO ACHIEVE the utter destruction of Israel. Israel's refusal to negotiate because of this (when they negotiated with Arafat) would be as silly as, say, starting a war over non-existent weapons of mass destruction, or losing sleep over the plots and rants of North Korea. Rational people might consider, then, the possibility that Israel has other reasons to refuse to negotiate. But the considerations of rational people mean little to O'Connuh. (But I should thank O'C for pointing out that Waco was not inhabited by white supremacists. My apologies for inadvertently restricting the scope of those the US government is willing to kill indiscriminately. Note that O'C never blanches from the substantive point.)
1.30.2006 9:23am
farmer56 (mail):
To all;

The world has killed more people in wars than need be.

There are two ways to win a fight(war) poke 'em in the nose so often, they realize the pain is too great ans cry uncle, or, pummel them so bad they are unable to stand.

Palistine is on the brink of ceasing to exist. Isreal will attack and not stop, until nothing exists. But that would be palistines choice
1.30.2006 9:25am
Ken Arromdee (mail):
CALLING for the utter destruction of Israel is NOT a threat if done by an organization with NO POWER TO ACHIEVE the utter destruction of Israel.

Calling for the destruction of Israel has implications for how sincere the organization is when they make proposals, how much they are willing to lie about Israel, and how much damage they are willing to do to Israel even when actual destruction is beyond their ability.
1.30.2006 9:31am
Barry P. (mail):
"SANE":

As to religious freedom in the Arab countries you mentioned, you obviously haven't been to those countries and are grossly uninformed, or if you have, you are not being honest about what you observed, or you post in a comment anything that comes to mind, whether factual or not.

Concerning this tripartite statement:

(1) I live and work in the UAE and have visited several other Arab countries.

(2) I have observed many of my Christian and Hindu friends and workmates openly practicing their religions, in churches and temples built on land donated by the president of the country.

(3) I refrained from posting many of the things about you that came to my mind, believe me.
1.30.2006 9:47am
Cheburashka (mail):
I don't think its accurate to describe Fatah as equivalent to the PLO. That leaves out the other terrorist organizations (like the Abu Nidal Organization) that were also part of the PLO.
1.30.2006 10:24am
SANE (mail):
While the UAE is today by far the most lenient of the Gulf states, the following link is to an article describing two Christian women, one of whom was 74 years old, being arrested in the UAE for the crime of distributing bibles. This took place march 2005.
If that is your idea of religious freedom, we at least understand what you mean by freedom. You mention Syria and Egypt. In Syria, ask the Jews and the Jehova's Witnesses who have been arrested and who worship in secret what kind of freedom's are available.

The point here is that many Arab countries allow churches and even synagogues with access to worship there. That point was made in the essay. But public worship and discourse on religion is severely restricted in practice.

If you want to know what life was like for the Jews in these countries up until the 1950s when most escaped with little but the shirts on their backs, much has been written.
1.30.2006 10:37am
SANE (mail):
to barry p:

the final point I would make to my new friend in the UAE is he certainly understands that the UAE does not embrace democracy. Given that fact, the tenor of the times, be it political speech or religious expression is wholly determined by what the ruling sheiks say it will be. If today, you have enlightenment, tomorrow may well bring its opposite.

Good luck.
1.30.2006 11:09am
djd (mail):
Levater

Hezbollah is sitting across the Lebanese border with 12,000 rockets and missiles, supplied by Iran through Syria and some of them quite advanced, threatening Israeli cities all the way down to Haifa. It is safe to assume that HAMAS - the name means "fanaticism" - would like to follow this model, thereby putting all Israeli population centers within reach of tons of high explosives. That means tens of thousands of casualities and monumental destruction if these people decide one day to operationalize their charter.

Peashooters?
1.30.2006 12:11pm
devil's advocate (mail):
Why would the Palestinian people elect terrorists, why are they so popular? is it because they are ignorant, or inherently genetically evil? why do palestinians celebrate suicide bombings in israel? Condoleza Rice says we are "surprised" by Hamas' strength, but as Prof. Koppel points out, there is not much difference. Are the leaders really just distracting their people with a conflict so that they can be corrupt, or are there any legitimate reasons for palestinians to be upset with the outcome of their post-colonial situation (or is it their 'fault'? How exactly was all this land divided in the first place?

The biggest thing missing in the israeli-palestinian debates are the questions behind the questions. OK, Hamas won't moderate and the PLO is a bunch of terrorists. But where did they come from? Or do we not care or not want to ask and we just watch the israelis and them kill each other for centuries like the serbs and croats in yugoslavia from circa 1500-2000 (while giving the israelis all the support etc they need).

VC posters have a lot of interest in this issue, clearly, and I am curious on their opinions on the ultimate source of this conflict. is it biblical, economic, geopolitical, psychological?
1.30.2006 4:24pm
Public_Defender:
Hezbollah is sitting across the Lebanese border with 12,000 rockets and missiles, supplied by Iran through Syria and some of them quite advanced, threatening Israeli cities all the way down to Haifa.
And who pays for the Iranian rockets? We do, every time we fill up the tank. If the US government stops funding the PA, US drivers will pick up the slack.
1.30.2006 6:44pm
minnie:
I always enjoy reading Ross Levatter's posts.

As to the question Devil's Advocate posts, I would like to ask, since I have never modern history, what was the situation before 1949? Were there Islamic Fundamentalists who hated the West and advocated violence against the United States and other western countries? Or was there mostly fighting between different factions within Islamic countries, wrestling for control?

In short, is this basically a world wide conflict which started with the creation of the Israel state, or was all this going on long before that?
1.31.2006 1:48am
djd (mail):
Minnie:

Read the Hamas charter. You can find it on Wikipedia. it answers all your questions about the origin of their ideology, at least as they see it.
1.31.2006 11:46am
dweeb:
"More strident rhetoric from o'connuh in the place of dispassionate analysis, I see. He has yet to even begin to grapple with the blunt fact that CALLING for the utter destruction of Israel is NOT a threat if done by an organization with NO POWER TO ACHIEVE the utter destruction of Israel."

The fact remains that the USA has refused to negotiate with groups who, while calling for our destruction, have even LESS power to achieve it.
If our government took its own advice to the Israelis and practiced what it preached, they'd have pulled out of Montana, then sat down with Nichols and McVeigh to negotiate them setting it up as a homeland for militant white separatists. A measured response always seems to be in order when it's another country's buildings being blown up.
1.31.2006 12:58pm
Dmitry (mail):
Seamus:

It is worth to check google before claiming the destruction of
the Church of Beautitudes by Jews: here


Church picture


it looks completely OK.

Be more sceptical to Palestinian sources, they are too similar to TASS
2.1.2006 10:04am
Seamus (mail):
Dmitry:

If your Google search had actually turned up details, one way or another, about the fate of the Church of Beatitudes during and after the 1948-49 War for Independence, that actually might have been useful. But I don't think a middle-distance photograph does much to establish that a building is "completely OK."

In any event, I don't read the Point to be claiming that every building they listed was both "defiled and destroyed." But even if they were, and you can disprove their assertion by pointing to a single listed building that wasn't actually destroyed, the fact remains that if a single listed building was only defiled, then JohnAnnArbor's original assertion will be disproved.
2.2.2006 11:28am