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A Few Words from the Covenant of the Party That the Palestinians Elected:

From the Hamas Covenant (dated 18 August 1988) (some paragraph breaks added):

The enemies have realised the importance of [the Moslem woman's] role. They consider that if they are able to direct and bring her up they 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. These organizations have ample resources that enable them to play their role in societies for the purpose of achieving the Zionist targets and to deepen the concepts that would serve the enemy. . . . .

For a long time, the enemies have been planning, skillfully and with precision, for the achievement of what they have attained. They took into consideration the causes affecting the current of events. They strived to amass great and substantive material wealth which they devoted to the realisation of their dream.

With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein.

They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there.

You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it. . . .

World Zionism, together with imperialistic powers, try through a studied plan and an intelligent strategy to remove one Arab state after another from the circle of struggle against Zionism, in order to have it finally face the Palestinian people only. Egypt was, to a great extent, removed from the circle of the struggle, through the treacherous Camp David Agreement. They are trying to draw other Arab countries into similar agreements and to bring them outside the circle of struggle.

The Islamic Resistance Movement calls on Arab and Islamic nations to take up the line of serious and persevering action to prevent the success of this horrendous plan, to warn the people of the danger eminating from leaving the circle of struggle against Zionism. Today it is Palestine, tomorrow it will be one country or another. The Zionist plan is limitless. 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.

Leaving the circle of struggle with Zionism is high treason, and cursed be he who does that. . . .

This is from the Covenant of the new governing party of the Palestinian Authority. "Why do they hate us?," at least where the "us" is Jews? Could one reason be the stuff they're taught by authoritative voices in their countries? And how does one negotiate with people who have such a tenuous grasp of reality?

UPDATE: Whoops, at first forgot to include the Protocols of the Elders of Zion section; just remedied that.

UPDATE: Roger Alford (Opinion Juris) has more on the Hamas Party Charter.

Allen Asch (mail) (www):
Looks like Larry Darby won the Palestinian elections....
2.16.2006 3:08pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
The obvious comparison, of course, is the Republican Party platform.
2.16.2006 3:10pm
otto (mail):
Hamas and other Palestinians hate 'us' because they have been colonised and ethnically cleansed for almost a hundred years in the name of another ethnic group's state building project, a project supported by significant interest group influence on foreign policy-making in the US and UK. That part is straightforward.

As for their conspiracist beliefs, that's more difficult to explain. Perhaps, in ignorance of the interest group basis of influence in pluralist democracies, they are particularly susceptible to listening to all sorts of drivel about secret power and influence by Freemasons, Jews and others throughout history.
2.16.2006 3:22pm
Supermike (mail) (www):
Anderson, comments like that are one reason that the Democrats can't get any traction with most people.
When you start saying that the party that's running the country is as deranged as Hamas, it makes it pretty obvious that you're full of it. (Because if one were to compare Hamas' platform with the Republicans, there would be some glaring differences to most sensible people) Google Godwin's law for a little clarification.
2.16.2006 3:24pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
Since when did this become the Daily-freakin-Kos? Did the Joos happen to piss of Hamas by making matzo-balls from Mohammed Al-Dura? Was the Republican comparison really necessary and obvious? (Hint: No).

How about you stop apologzing for these scumbags for a second, and just acknowledge what they are, and what they are, is a group of people who, among other things, want to kill you. I'm sorry though, it's the West's fault. You know, because policy carried out by my grandfathers morally entitles grown men to not be responsible for their actions and beliefs.

I wonder why this white/Western guilt thing never extends to, "We can't blame some white southerners for being racist, because the war of northern aggression undercut their economic capacity and rendered their society morally stagnant. It's really our fault."

Ugh.
2.16.2006 3:33pm
Abdul (mail):

And how does one negotiate with people who have such a tenuous grasp of reality?


I, for one, would start blaming someone else.
2.16.2006 3:33pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
My bad, Supermike; I was actually thinking of the notorious Texas GOP platform. Of course, since 1.5 of our current President &Vice-Pres. are Texan, that doesn't seem completely irrelevant to the national agenda.

Kevin Drum had some highlights a while back.

But, hey, the GOP isn't calling for the destruction of Israel, so they must not be deranged! Or, excuse me, *as* deranged as Hamas. Pretty low bar, that.

(Never understood, btw, the idea that the "Zionists" were behind WW2. Something evidently went awry there? Or is it that they ruthlessly sacrificed their fellow non-Zionist Jews in order to secure political support for the Israeli state? The stuff writes itself, alas.)
2.16.2006 3:36pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
Anderson,

Let's see, Hamas wants to ban women from getting an education, to push Jews into the sea, and subjugate the whole world under Shari'a.

The Republicans want (a) people to not fly planes into buildings; and (b) to save you some money on taxes.

okay.

yeah, okay.
2.16.2006 3:38pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
See the Drum link, Mike. There are a few other items on the agenda.
2.16.2006 3:40pm
Bob Bobstein (mail):
These kinds of things were common in Europe or the US not that long ago in the grand scheme of things. How do you negotiate with them? Really carefully. I don't think, though, that sneering condescension will get the ball rolling on an Islamic Reformation. (I don't think that Prof. Volokh is sneering.)


The obvious comparison, of course, is the Republican Party platform.


Except then, instead of "Freemasons and Jews," it'd be "the trial lawyers." For the Democratic platform, it'd be "the wealthiest 1%."
2.16.2006 3:41pm
perraa (mail):
The Rotary Club?

I mean, I get the fear of Freemasons.
2.16.2006 3:44pm
otto (mail):
They left out the Elks.
2.16.2006 3:46pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
These kinds of things were common in Europe or the US not that long ago in the grand scheme of things. How do you negotiate with them? Really carefully.

This was my point about the Muslim rioters' attitude about blasphemy. We shouldn't let our progress blind us to where we were not too long ago.

Then you get news items like the one this week about the U.S. and Israel trying to secretly sabotage Hamas, which is *not* the way to deal with conspiracy-obsessed radicals.

Muslims in the Middle East, like most people in the world, are shockingly ignorant. They have cynical leaders who profit from keeping them that way. Eliminating one such leader raises two in his place. It's not a readily soluble problem.

But at *least* we could try to set an example of good faith and fair dealing. When your enemies won't give you any credit for doing the right thing, do it anyway, because it's right.
2.16.2006 3:51pm
MikeWDC (mail):
The Hamas rhetoric and worldview is deeply disturbing for advocates of a negotiated peace. The corresponding question, however, would be how Palestinians can think of Americans as fair mediators with such profound ignorance of conditions in the occupied territories? Hamas did not garner its widespread popularity overnight. As conditions have deteriorated throughout the first and second intifatas, a consequence of Israel's increasingly repressive occupation -- which I (and most reasonable people) believe can be justified. Justified, however, does not mean right, either in the moral or strategic sense. Indeed, Hamas's strategy has been to use terrorist attacks to provoke Israeli reaction. Hamas is a radical organization that has thrived in the conditions of occupation that have increasingly defined life in the territories. They have been embraced by a people increasingly desperate, as individuals and a society.

I am not defending and will not defend Hamas. Their rhetoric and their terrorism deserves condemnation. I only suggest that the embrace of their rhetoric has following deplorable material conditions in the territories. As for what should be done now, I don't mean to suggest anything. Anyone who suggests there is a clear course of action ahead is simple-minded or deluded.

Incidentally, according to this article (http://www.aegis.com/news/lt/1988/LT880804.html) the 1988 Republican platform "flatly opposes 'the creation of an independent Palestinian state.'"
2.16.2006 3:52pm
Steve:
I assumed the mention of the Republican Party was not intended to claim the two groups are fungible, but rather to point out that many parties include extremist rhetoric in their party platforms that does not necessarily reflect the reality of how they govern when in power.
2.16.2006 3:57pm
chris (mail):
Ok Anderson, I followed the Drum link on the Texas Republican Party platform. I found a bunch of things I disagreed with. I didn't find anything to tell me that the people who wrote it had a fragile link to reality. You, on the other hand, can't seem to distinguish Texas Republicans (who basically want a bunch of laws to return to the way they were, say, fifty years ago) from freaking nutcases in the Middle East. If I have to vote on who has the more fragile grip on reality, the Texas Republicans or those who think those Texans and Hamas are cut from the same cloth, I'll go with the Texas Republicans.
2.16.2006 3:59pm
Gordo:

They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state.


At at a price of only six million dead. Oh, I forgot, that's a myth - assuming Iran's nutcase and Hamas are reading from the same page.

By the way, I took Anderson's first comment as a joke.
2.16.2006 3:59pm
chris (mail):
whoops. Sentence came out wrong. I meant to say that I would vote that the Texas Republicans had a stronger grip on reality.
2.16.2006 4:00pm
Anon1ms (mail):
And how does one negotiate with people who have such a tenuous grasp of reality?

And the alternative is . . . ?
2.16.2006 4:02pm
JohnAnnArbor:
And the alternative is . . . ?

The wall. After that, if they don't chill out, Israel can handle it.
2.16.2006 4:06pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
EV: Whoops, at first forgot to include the Protocols of the Elders of Zion section; just remedied that.

I had just assumed they incorporated it by reference.

The Tsars are gone, the work of their secret police persists.

Steve: ... rather to point out that many parties include extremist rhetoric in their party platforms that does not necessarily reflect the reality of how they govern when in power.

Right, tho in the case of both TX GOP and Hamas, I think the leaders include (1) those who actually believe that stuff &would govern that way if they could, as well as (2) those who are just cynically using it to gratify the base.

Chris: I didn't find anything to tell me that the people who wrote it had a fragile link to reality.

Perhaps you and I have different senses of "reality"? Drum's right-hand column summaries are pretty valid, I think. They are not the program of a party in touch with reality.
2.16.2006 4:06pm
Fishbane (mail):
REPUBLICAN CONTRACT WITH AMERICA
As Republican Members of the House of Representatives and as citizens seeking to join that body we propose not just to change its policies, but even more important, to restore the bonds of trust between the people and their elected representatives.

That is why, in this era of official evasion and posturing, we offer instead a detailed agenda for national renewal, a written commitment with no fine print.

This year's election offers the chance, after four decades of one-party control, to bring to the House a new majority that will transform the way Congress works. That historic change would be the end of government that is too big, too intrusive, and too easy with the public's money. It can be the beginning of a Congress that respects the values and shares the faith of the American family.

Like Lincoln, our first Republican president, we intend to act "with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right." To restore accountability to Congress. To end its cycle of scandal and disgrace. To make us all proud again of the way free people govern themselves.

On the first day of the 104th Congress, the new Republican majority will immediately pass the following major reforms, aimed at restoring the faith and trust of the American people in their government:

* FIRST, require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress;
* SECOND, select a major, independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of Congress for waste, fraud or abuse;
* THIRD, cut the number of House committees, and cut committee staff by one-third;
* FOURTH, limit the terms of all committee chairs;
* FIFTH, ban the casting of proxy votes in committee;
* SIXTH, require committee meetings to be open to the public;
* SEVENTH, require a three-fifths majority vote to pass a tax increase;
* EIGHTH, guarantee an honest accounting of our Federal Budget by implementing zero base-line budgeting.

[...]
2.16.2006 4:07pm
Bisch:
Yep, "Abolition Social Security." That's about the same as accusing Jews of orchestrating World War II. Six in one, half dozen the other.

I read the Drum highlights. And they didn't really phase me. Maybe I'm part of the conspiracy. Maybe it's part of the conspiracy for you to *think* that I'm part of the conspiracy. O what a tangled web we weave.
2.16.2006 4:08pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
Gordo: At at a price of only six million dead. Oh, I forgot, that's a myth

Oops, I forgot about the Holocaust being made up. THAT explains the Zionist WW2 conspiracy.

As for my Hamas/GOP platforms comparison, obviously the Hamas one goes into their version of history, which (alas) the Texas one does not.
2.16.2006 4:13pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
These comments are barely worth reading anymore... I think I'll be stopping soon.

They've pretty much been overrun by the trolls and the people dumb enough to respond to the trolls.
2.16.2006 4:15pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
OT, but come on--how often in a day do Hamas and Texas get related? John Cole relays:
Federal prosecutors and investigators in Dallas acknowledged in court documents that they mistakenly gave defense lawyers information about the inner-workings of secretive counterterrorism investigations.

It took federal officials four months to discover that in April they had turned over secret court applications for wiretaps, which often have sensitive information from U.S. and foreign intelligence agencies, according to court papers that were unsealed this week.

The materials were given to lawyers for the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development and seven of its senior officers, who have been indicted on charges they illegally funneled millions of dollars to support the Hamas militant group. The U.S. government designated Hamas as a terrorist organization in 1995.
So the best possible result for the gov't is that the charges turn out to be baseless, so all this sensitive material wasn't simply relayed to Hamas? Wowzer.

Now if only the feds would let Congress see what they've let Hamas see ....
2.16.2006 4:19pm
Fishbane (mail):
Lest anyone misapprehend me, I posted the Contract With America only because comparisons were flying around. This was for compare-and-contrast; please don't assume some by-the-way moral equivalence on my part. I should have added that to the initial post, I suppose.
2.16.2006 4:27pm
Duncan Frissell (mail):
I didn't realize the Texas Republicans had been taken over by the Libertarin Party. No income tax, Socialist Insecuritry, minimum wage, fiat money, UN, federal regulatory agencies.

Since I'm not a believer in Slave Schools the part about what Slave Schools teach is meaningless.

I'm ready to give up sodomy and abortion and join up!
2.16.2006 4:35pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
No confusion, Fishbane. Let's just hope Hamas cares as little about its "covenant" as the GOP did about its "contract."

Which reminds me of "Israelites Sue God for Breach of Covenant." Pertinent to our discussion:
"For 5,760 years, the plaintiff has honored their side of the contract, worshipping the Defendant with total devotion. But in return, they have gotten bupkes," Sachs said. "They trusted Him to protect them, and He threw them to everyone from the Egyptians to the Cossacks to the Nazis to the Palestinians. I'd have a hard time believing that anyone even remotely familiar with the plaintiff's history would argue that they're not victims of detrimental reliance."
2.16.2006 4:38pm
Taimyoboi:
"They've pretty much been overrun by the trolls and the people dumb enough to respond to the trolls."

Mr. Chapman,

Wouldn't you be including Mr. Volokh. I assume you don't agree with the trolls who drafted the Hamas Covenant, so would Mr. Volokh be someone dumb enough to respond to those trolls?

[Caution: Beware of sarcasm]
2.16.2006 4:41pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
Taimyobol, I'm pretty sure *I'm* the troll Mr. Chapman has in mind, not Prof. Volokh. Or am I missing something?

Sodomy and abortion, Mr. Frissell? Are you sure you're practicing the former correctly? ;)
2.16.2006 4:44pm
Hoosier:
What's the point of a demented conspiracy theory if it doesn't assert that the Queen of England is using the Beatles to sell drugs to American teens, in order to raise money for the sureptitious "Head Rabbi of the World," Benedict XVI?

And shouldn't space ships and numerology be involved? Let's see, the Zionists brought on WWII, and then invented the "Holocaust" in order to gain international support for the Zionist cause. They claim that SIX million Jews were killed. Note that 6 is a number that is unfolding, thus indicating that The Plot is still in the process of . . . Nah. Sorry. Can't figure out where the space ships fit in.
2.16.2006 4:56pm
Hoosier:
It just occurred to me: Farrakhan says that the space ships--or at least the "Mother Ship"--hides behind commets.

Did Jews invent the commets? If so--pardon me for sayin' so--but DAMN! are you guys powerful!
2.16.2006 5:03pm
Richard M:
A little OT, but the link to the Texas GOP Platform was irresistible. Check out this doozy from 2004. (Found on TexasGOP.org)

-PAGE 3, 1st Para-

"Elimination of Executive Orders -- The Party demands the elimination of presidential authority to issue executive orders, presidential decision directives, and other administrative mandates that do not have congressional approval. Further, we demand a repeal of all previous executive orders and administrative mandates."

I think my eyes did a cartoonish pop out of my skull upon reading that plank of the platform, in re the current surveillance debate.
2.16.2006 5:07pm
Hoosier:
That's funny. Not as funny as nominating Gov. Bush in '00. But still funny.

Having said that, Hamas and the GOP aren't all that similar. The GOP has more religious zealots than the Democrats. But the Dems have more guys with facial hair who wear sandals. So I thinks it's basically a wash.
2.16.2006 5:12pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
Great find, Richard M.!
2.16.2006 5:18pm
Bruce:
There's one lesson to be learned by all those who subscribe to the Hamas party platform: CONVERT! I mean, these people clearly have the upper hand.
2.16.2006 5:53pm
Fishbane (mail):
I think my eyes did a cartoonish pop out of my skull upon reading that plank of the platform, in re the current surveillance debate.

Don't worry, I heard the slidewhistles and springs going off, too.

--Fishbane, wishing for modern cartoons as good as old WB stuff. (There are a few... but those lack the visual richness and appeal to kids.)
2.16.2006 7:38pm
sam24 (mail):
I am old enough to have voted for Eisenhower while a junior officer in the US Navy. Beginning in the late 1960's I began to see a general coarsening of political discussion as I saw my friends dying in combat. Reading most of the above comments saddens me. If we think all dems or all repubs are fools or knaves, where will we go? There is a large number of people out there who want to kill us and replace these dems and repubs with Imams. What are we to do?

An old MD who lives south of flyover country
2.16.2006 9:18pm
Thomas Roland (mail):
I agree with Daniel Chapman. The VC is usually a very good blog. Seems to me that when the trolls take over the comments--especially when they do almost from the get-go--all further comments to the post should be shut down. If I want the kinds of comments I'm seeing here, I'll watch Jerry Springer--oh, no, I forgot, I can't stand loud, fat, women.
2.16.2006 11:15pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
Since when did this become the Daily-freakin-Kos?

It's all George Bush's fault. As is Hamas, the Freemasons, the Queen of England, and the Beatles.
2.16.2006 11:52pm
snark (mail):
Hoosier wrote


What's the point of a demented conspiracy theory if it doesn't assert that the Queen of England is using the Beatles to sell drugs to American teens . . .



Well, there was that Ringo/Arafat lookalike angle, as SNL's Weekend Update noted in the 70s . . .
2.17.2006 12:08am
Anderson (mail) (www):
Being considered a "troll" by someone who brags about his distaste for "loud, fat women" is not the worst thing ever said about me.

Anyway, considering the kookiness of the Hamas charter, I'm not sure what a serious discussion would've looked like. Note that the Opinio Juris link added by EV assumes that such a platform is a serious indication of the policies pursued by the organization. The counterexample of the TX GOP platform should be relevant in that context. Are we to assume that the GOP really seeks the abolition of the federal income tax?
2.17.2006 9:50am
Anderson (mail) (www):
And in opposition to the POV of that Opinio Juris post, see this from TAPPED:
If you read only one editorial today, read Brookings Institution scholar Shibley Telhami's op-ed in The Washington Post about why the American quest for a third way between corrupt secular autocracies and Islamic democracies in the Middle East is not a reality-based approach to foreign policy. American idealism about democracy must be tempered by a realistic understanding of the facts on the ground. Were free and fair elections held tomorrow, in virtually every Arab nation, the Islamist parties would win power. That means the U.S. must either learn to engage with such parties in an attempt to moderate them, or slow down its current democracy-promoting agenda. "[T]he United States remains the most powerful country, still powerful enough to reshuffle the deck in the Middle East," Telhami writes. "But it will never be powerful enough to determine where the cards fall."

Worth noting is that this was particularly the case recently in the Palestinian Authority elections, where strong and public U.S. support for Fatah, particularly in the week before the election, is believed to have strengthened the hand of Hamas.
Is it time for Bush to declare that promoting democracy (as opposed to human rights) in the Middle East is no longer U.S. policy?
2.17.2006 12:30pm
Luis (mail) (www):
I always crack up when I hear people are scared of Freemasons. Maybe things are different in other countries, but in the United States your average Lodge is a bunch of mostly older men who can barely put together a roast beef dinner for fifty couple without losing money on the deal.
2.17.2006 1:41pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
your average Lodge is a bunch of mostly older men who can barely put together a roast beef dinner for fifty couple without losing money on the deal

... and who are likely to josh about how the Middle East's problems could be solved by nuking the Arabs. I have heard this jovial policy proposed by a few otherwise respectable people, usually with ref. to turning the sands into glass. Presumably talk radio originated this meme?
2.17.2006 6:12pm