Using Bees To Effect Vengeance

I get to be as self-indulgent as I want without wasting anyone's time. Guilt-free solipsism -- excellent!

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Friday, January 04, 2002
I found David Remnick's profile of Shimon Peres very interesting, particularly as I just finished reading Peres's insightful (if slightly self-aggrandizing) autobiography.

I must say, the Hamas leader quoted in the article does little to allay the fears of wobbly doves like myself with exchanges like the following:

"Look," he said. "We will be happy to take any square metre of land from the Israelis—the West Bank, Gaza—that they are prepared to give us, but that doesn't mean we'll renounce our rights to all of Palestine."

Then what are your real goals? I asked him.

"What is the final goal of Islamic peoples everywhere?" he said. "It is to establish an Islamic state in Palestine, in Egypt, in Lebanon, in Saudi Arabia—everywhere under a single caliphate. There is no role for a Jewish state in this. I would ask you: What role is there for a Jewish state in the United States? In California? Well, in Los Angeles you may have one. In Brooklyn, yes." A knowing laugh. "But what happens in your country if they are asked to establish a Jewish state?" He made the point plainer still: "We will not tolerate a non-Islamic state on Islamic lands. We cannot allow that. Anwar Sadat was assassinated because he refused to implement Islamic law—Sharia—as Egypt's constitution."

Statements like these indicate that compromise with Hamas is impossible unless one is prepared to deny Israel's right to exist. But the Palestinian Authority is an unreliable alternative whose incompetence is undermining its base of support among Palestinians, never mind Israel. Ach....


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