The Blog

Defying Hamas

Arab commentators refuse to toe the terrorists' line.

6:15 PM, Jan 5, 2009 • By HASSAN MNEIMNEH
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To their credit, a number of Arab leaders, including the Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas, have stated that Hamas bears the responsibility for the conflict. These statements are however invariably buffered with a denunciation of the Israeli "aggression". While showing compassion for all the victims of the conflict is expected, it is important for Arab leaders, as well as for official and independent media in the Arab world, not to fall into the trap of the rejectionists: the on-going responsibility of Hamas for the carnage should be continuously underlined. More significantly, with adventurism discredited, now is the time to highlight a reality that "resistance" culture strives to obfuscate: that the conflict with Israel is one of borders, not of existence. Israel, like any and all other states in the region--including Palestine--has the right to exist in peace, and to defend itself against blatant aggression. By committing excesses that even the rejectionist media is at a loss of defending, Hamas might have given Arab political culture a way out the vicious circle of rejectionism.

Hassan Mneimneh is a Visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.