The Lesser of Two Evils
EclectEcon had some comment a few days ago about anti-semitism as the early warning system for evil, “the canary in the mine.” Based on that, the Palestinian people, whether antisemitic themselves or not, were stuck with a choice between two evils. Efraim Karsh at The New Republic thinks they chose the lesser of two…
In these circumstances, where the real choice is between a plain-speaking extremist organization advocating the destruction of a neighboring state and a corrupt and repressive regime couching its intentions in hollow peace rhetoric whenever addressing non-Arab audiences, Hamas may prove the lesser of two evils. By leaving no doubt about its true nature and raising no false expectations of imminent peace and democracy, it helps expose the deep malaise of the Palestinian political system and the attendant need for its fundamental overhaul.
The Hamas victory certainly makes it tougher to sweep terrorism under the rug, when Hamas refuses to play the two-faced game of the terrorist thugs like Fatah’s Abu Mazen, for whom politics is merely a continuation of war by other means. It will be much harder to insist that a group so devoted to “armed struggle” has renounced terrorism unless they put their money where their mouth is.
Certainly with Hamas in power, the “Road Map” and other naive plans to force Israel to trade an acre of land for a pound of illusory security, pretty soon having neither, ought to be scrapped. Instead, Israel should go ahead with unilateral disengagement, including the security fence’s completion and drawing the borders where they want. Drawing borders is what victors do and Israel won all the wars the Arabs started. Let Hamas run the territories as a de facto state. The irony for Hamas then is likely to be that since they seem to be less corrupt and more effective at laying the groundwork for prosperity, after a few years in power they may find it harder to find people willing to die for Jewish land.
(Side note: Doesn’t this make third party assertions that a choice between Republicans and Democrats is the choice of the “lesser of two evils” laughable? Try the “lesser of two not really that greats” next time.)