(BCN editor’s note: This is the first of two Ken Blackwell columns for Thursday.)
Editor’s Note: This column was coauthored by Bob Morrison.
Eliezer Stein, a writer for a Jewish online publication, Hamodia.com, was struck by the same graphic photograph that we were. It was published on the front page of The New York Times August 23rd edition. The photo shows three armed Hamas killers, wearing black tee shirts and black hoods, roughing up three hooded, kneeling men with their hands tied behind them. The Times’ captioned the photograph: “Gazans Suspected of Collaborating Are Executed.” The killers are described in the caption as “militants.” They are said to be “preparing to execute.”
There’s a lot wrong with this picture. First, what constitutes a militant in Gaza City?
We have a lot of experience with militants in America. Malcolm X was often described as a militant during the struggles for Civil Rights in the U.S. But, there is no record of his having murdered anyone. Or even advocating murder. His impatient demand for equal justice under law and his evocation of a natural right to rise up against “a long train of abuses” was no more than that asserted by our own Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence.
So, those Hamas black tee shirt killers are something far more than militants. Into the story, we read that these Hamas homicides were conducted immediately following a success claimed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) against three top Hamas leaders.
Reading between the lines, we can surely doubt that any careful investigation was carried out by Hamas to make sure that those “suspected of spying for Israel” were actually involved in the targeting of the top terror chiefs. If these “suspected collaborators” could have been rounded up within hours of the IDF strike, surely their activities must have been known before. Surely, Hamas would have wanted to protect its top brass.
What are we actually seeing in this photograph? It is overwhelmingly likely that “up to 18” who were shot down in the street were grabbed by Hamas killers and dispatched simply as a warning to other Gaza residents not to mess with Hamas.
Hamas, you see, equals Homicide. When Western leaders like Jimmy Carter urge us to sit down with Hamas, to legitimize them, to make nice, they are really asking us to admit the acceptability of murder as a method of statecraft.
If the U.S. State Department does not yet sit down with Hamas, the Palestinian Authority (PA) does. The PA is comprised of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) the supposedly transformed terrorist gang that invented airline hijacking to achieve its goals. Mahmoud Abbas is the boss of the PLO. The PLO Charter continues to call for the destruction of Israel.
Since 1989, the U.S. has been giving billions in foreign aid to the PA/PLO. What have we got to show for it? On 9/11, the people in Gaza and on the West Bank, in the Arab Street, danced and cheered as the flaming Twin Towers collapsed. They gave candy to their children—and dressed them in suicide belts. Back-to-school night—in schools we pay for, feature moppets reenacting “martyr operations” i.e. suicide missions. In the PA-ruled areas, PTA actually stands for Palestinian Terrorist Association.
Now, the PA/ PLO’s Fatah faction is formally in league with Hamas. They supply Hamas in Gaza with monthly stipends. This may well be because the PLO fears Hamas. That’s because if they actually held an election, they know Hamas would win. The last election in the PA-administered territories on the West Bank of the Jordan Rivers was scheduled for 2009, but the PLO canceled it. Since then, Mahmoud Abbas has ruled by decree—with billions in aid from the U.S. and the European Union.
We must see that our money is going to back Abbas who is trying to buy off Hamas. In effect, then, we are subsidizing Hamas homicides.
President Obama stunned the world this week by admitting what was obvious: “We have no strategy yet for dealing with ISIS.” Well, the strategy we do have in place, for dealing with Fatah and Hamas is clearly not working.
Let’s reassess our approach in the Mideast. We cannot achieve peace anywhere by paying Hamas killers. Cut off the PLO. Cut off the street killers of Hamas.
Ken Blackwell is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union, and on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.