TCS Daily


Telling the Difference Between Hamas and Shinola

By Ralph Kinney Bennett - February 1, 2006 12:00 AM

"The evil best known is the most tolerable."
- Livy, in his History of Rome.

Here's a quick way to sort out all this Hamas-Fatah business.

First, remember the old wisdom regarding basic knowledge -- the importance of being able to tell the crucial difference between fecal matter and a certain brand of shoe polish.

Second, look at the facts, the abundant history, and the well documented reality of the Palestinian mess. It will lead you to one conclusion:

There is no crucial difference between Hamas and Fatah.

And shoe polish does not come into the picture.

So, hand wringing about Hamas' recent political victory over Fatah is a little like feeling bad about the way Hitler's S.S. sucker-punched all those nice S.A. Brownshirts back in Germany in 1934.

At least, Hamas is and always has been upfront about wanting to kill Jews and destroy Israel.

Fatah, on the other hand, has usually dissembled and lied and sucked up to various and sundry Western politicians -- while pretending that it does not to want to kill Jews and destroy Israel.

Fatah, to put it bluntly, has lied a lot. And why not? The United States has bought it. The European Union has bought it. The West has poured money on the liars.

Fatah's founder, Yasser Arafat, was a consummate liar, who enriched himself and his cronies on Western and Arab money while letting the Palestinian people wallow in a corrupt, inept, pathetic demi-culture that has bred poverty, disease, terror and hopelessness.

And now the consequences of permitting and promoting this "tolerable evil" are all too painful. Playing ball with Arafat accelerated during the Clinton Administration, which goaded Israel into dealing with him as the "legitimate" leader of Palestine.

While Arafat and his wife lived the high life and socked away hundreds of millions of dollars, the Palestinian people suffered under a "government" that could not even collect the garbage let alone govern.

But the average Palestinian's marked and evident disaffection from Fatah and its bureaucracy of thugs and grifters was never exploited by Israel or the West. Trying to identify and encourage a moderate democratic movement in Palestine would certainly have been difficult. But there is little evidence that either the United States, or Europe, or Israel ever tried very hard.

Hamas moved into the vacuum, moving from strength to strength, bringing a new fundamentalist Islamic dimension to the hatred already stirred up by Fatah, and meanwhile looking hungrily at the money pouring in, mostly from the stupid infidels, to keep the Palestinian enterprise afloat.

Sixty percent of the Palestinian "budget" -- more than a billion dollars a year -- comes from outside donors. The United States leads the way with $368 million. The European Union is second with $338 million. Third biggest giver is the Arab League, which ponies up $197 million. Great Britain gives $43 million, Italy $40, Sweden $32 (figures published recently in the Times of London).

The other 40 percent of the budget comes from taxes within the Palestinian territory, including a reported $55 million per month in customs taxes and business taxes collected by Israel and turned over to the Palestinian Authority.

Right now, the United Nations and the various Western nations are making a big show of threatening to withhold funds unless Hamas renounces its death threats against the state of Israel.

But don't hold your breath. Just hold your nose. The United States and the West have already established a precedent of paying premium prices for Palestinian Shinola, no matter how great the stench from the can.

Ralph Kinney Bennett is a TCS Contributing Editor.

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2 Comments

HAMAS -- FATAH
WHATS GOOD FOR THE GOOSE IS GOOD FOR THE GANDER.

THE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS THAT FATAH RECEIVED OVER THE PAST GREAT NUMBER OF YEARS WAS A GREAT GIFT FOR NOTHING. WHY SHOULD HAMAS NOT EXPECT THE SAME. ARE THEIR LEADERS NOT ALSO ENTITLED FOR THE FRUITS OF THEIR LABOUR. THEIR POCKETS NEED LINING.

WESTERN DEMOCRACIES KEEP POURING THE DOUGH --FATAH AND HAMAS KNOW SUCKER'S WHEN THEY SEE THEM.

A direct hit! this is one of the best articles I've read on the subject
I would take it further and say that this is a potential win-win. Fatah leadership, Hamas parliment with a little of several other factions. If the Pals keep their mulitiple parties and stay the course of democracy for at least 30 years, this will actually become a real American style political climate; then the fireworks can really begin!

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