Why shouldn't the Palestinians be punished for their democratic choice?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by dogbone, May 21, 2006.

  1. dogbone macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #1
    I am puzzled by the constant complaints from various Palestinian government members, ordinary Palestinians and Palestinian and other Arab commenatators that it is somehow wrong to punish the Palestinians for their "democratic choices". Or complaints that the West does not respect their "democratically elected government".

    Surely it is obvious that Palestinians can only be punished *because* the government they chose was fairly and democratically elected.

    For example if Hamas got to be in government by terrorising the opposition and vote rigging against the will of the people then it would of course be wrong to punish the Palestinians for this. But if the Palestinians have overwhelmingly chosen to elect a government whose policy is unambiguous in it's desire to eradicate the neighboring state that it really should be attempting to make peace with then it seems obvious that it is the Palestinian people who must be held accountable for the choice that they have made.

    Further, the current Palestinian hardships could be ended in a moment by Hamas renouncing terrorism as a means to their end and also to recognise the state of Israel. It was clear that Hamas were not going to do this when the were elected but they could still go down this path at any time. They may of course be thrown out of government next elections if they renounce terror and also their desire to eradicate Israel. But a strong government must sometimes make tough decisions for the good of it's people.

    Or am I missing something here?
     
  2. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #2
    In a word, yes. Why should the Palestinians recognise the occupiers of their ancestral lands? Why should they renounce resistance by any means available? Would you?
     
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #3
    what you're missing is that al queda feels perfectly justified in killing US civilians for the same reason.
     
  4. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #4
    You have entirely missed the thread topic, (and instead chosen to argue a furphy) which was why shouldn't the Palestinians be punished for a democratic choice if the consequences of that choice were clear from the outset?
     
  5. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #5
    Do you have any interest whatsoever in why they elected who they elected?
     
  6. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #6
    The Palestinians should be listened to, and the suffering and desperation which has led them to choose to stand with Hamas rather than kneel with Fatah should indicate that the world has let them down, and needs to redress the injustice.
     
  7. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #7
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas
     
  8. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #8
    Am I to understand from the responses so far that it was indeed correct for the Palestinians to reject Abbas' party that was making real progress and instead elect an internationally recognised terrorist organisation to represent their aspirations to self determination?

    Do you also think that Hamas' policy of the total eradication of Israel (which they still refuse to relinquish) is a policy that will help the plight of the Palestinians?
     
  9. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #9
    Abbas' party is corrupt as hell and making no progress at all.

    Do you think that the Palestinian people's acceptance of the military occupation of their lands and the appalling conditions under which they live will help them?
     
  10. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #10
    I think that the Palestinian people have a better idea of what they want than you or I do.

    And just for fun, what "international" organizations recognize Hamas as a terrorist organization?
     
  11. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #11
    I've no doubt that they do. I'm not suggesting for a moment that they didn't wilfully and knowingly elect a terrorist organisation to lead them. The consequences of their actions were clear before the election. What I'm saying is why are they complaining about the responses to their decision to elect Hamas when they knew what they were getting.
     
  12. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #12
    Wasn't it more about what they knew they weren't getting with Fatah?

    I'd like to know where you get the perspective that the average Palestinian Hamas voter views Hamas as a terrorist organisation.
     
  13. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #13
    Our countries connive in the definition of Hamas as a terrorist organisation just as they connive in asserting the legitimacy of Israeli occupation. Your electorate - and ours - knowingly chose warmongering, lying and corrupt administrations to continue to lead us: should we be punished?
     
  14. XNine macrumors 68040

    XNine

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    #14
    Why shouldn't the United States be punished for electing who we (kinda-sorta, not really) elected?

    Oh, wait... we are.
     
  15. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #15
    well ok

    the EU and US both rate the Hamas as a terroristic organisation

    so wouldn't it be hypocritical to fund such organizations with western taxpayer money

    i mean just around the comic incident they were shooting in the air with the AKs and cryed "those pesky western" and then they turn around and hold up the hand for money from the US and EU ? ... it doesn't work that way

    sure it's a pity that a lot of innocent are getting problems but i think cutting the money was not only justified by hamas actions/attitude but also a way to get more movement into peace process ... palestinians and isrialians need to get their stuff together .. paying both sides money is hardly leading anywhere (that's why i'm the first to demand cutting of any money support for isreal as well ... yes US ... i'm looking at you)
     
  16. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #16
    What's hypocritical is branding Hamas as a terrorist organization when they have been created in response to Israel's state-sponsored terrorism in Palestine.
     
  17. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #17
    There are many things that don't help the Palestinians. One of which is voting in a government who has vowed to destroy the people they need to make peace with. It's not rocket science. Apparently the first concrete thing their government did was to set up yet another 'security force' headed by one of their top terrorists. How will that improve the lot of the Palestinians?

    Sure Fatah weren't the best but they were better for the long term plight of the Palestinians than the current government. Regarding your second point you will find that 60-72% of Palestinians support suicide bombing of Israeli civillians. You can probably find these results on the web if you are interested enough. It's not secret information. But again we are drifting from the thread topic. Which is that the Palestinians are whinging about the hardships that are now being caused by the intransigent and belligerently uncompromising hostility of their elected government. It was obvious that once elected Hamas would have to make some modifications to their terrorist stance if they wanted to deal with the International community who are trying to help the Palestinians. Instead they have hardened their policies (if that's at all possible). They are being true to form. In other words the Palestinians knew what they were voting for. So my point is why whinge about the consequences of their actions.

    There's no 'conniving' or semantics involved here. Hamas have been responsible for blowing up more civillians than any other Palestinian group. Let's be clear that the women and children that they have blown up an maimed are not bystanders, they are the intended targets. The result is not to eliminate Palestinian suffering or hardship. It is not to fight the occupiers, it's sole purpose is to terrorise. Nothing more. Unless you agree with Hamas that blowing up a bunch of children outside a disco is some form of heroic martydom.

    You misunderstand the thread topic. I'm not saying that the Palestinians should be punished for electing Hamas. I'm saying that the electing of Hamas will inevitably have the consequences that it is now having. The European Union are simply not allowed to fund what is by their own definition a terrrorist organisation. They weren't able to fund Hamas before they were elected and nothing has changed after they were elected. The consequences of electing Hamas were plain before the election. So how can the Palestinians legitimately complain about their choice. They were free to choose Hamas. They should be adults about accepting the consequences of their actions.
     
  18. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #18
    so ? 2 evil don't make it good .. it's not math after all ;)

    i'm not a fan of the israeli politics either ... personally i'm for "no money for both untill they solv their issues ... sadly the US (who is the biggest sponsor on the israel side by far ... afaik it's around 3 billions per year ...) wont stop that money flow anytime soon

    edit: i as a european am much more content with the 350 millions flowing to Romania or Bulgaria in 2007 and beyond ... i guess they will be much more thankful for the money ... compared to the middle east conflict stale money sink the money will be actually bringing in results
     
  19. Queso macrumors G4

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    #19
    Imposing logical arguments on the Middle-East never works. Not only is there so much bigotry on all sides, but everybody who reports on it is tainted by the propaganda of one side or the other, so you never get the full truth on the situation.

    Not saying you shouldn't try and make sense, more that you'll drive yourself mad attempting it.
     
  20. Qoxiivi macrumors regular

    Qoxiivi

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    #20
    Ideally, and in a very general and simplistic sense, citizens of a democracy should, in principle, bear some responsibility (although I do not believe this includes suffering punishment) for the actions of their elected leaders. However, and this is especially true in the case of the Palestinians, one thing they are not responsible for is the historical context and prevailing circumstances around which their decision is framed. Regardless of how ‘unwise’ they may seem in the cold, objective light day, there are always reasons for people’s decisions (especially collective ones) and it is these that should be very seriously looked at and taken into consideration before ‘blame’ is, if at all, to be apportioned.

    The thing is, humans are essentially emotional creatures, and after decades of brutal, murderous and humiliating oppression, are likely to react in increasingly desperate and irrational ways. If anyone is to ‘blame’ for the election of Hamas it’s those responsible for the continued repression of the Palestinian people that’s led them to feel that, given the events thus far, there is no interest in a fair diplomatic solution. Treat enough people like **** for a long enough period of time and there will be consequences which, no matter how unjustifiable, can certainly not be described as unpredictable or inexplicable. Suicide bombers and the election of Hamas are a good example of such consequences – as are the atrocities of 9/11. And with regards to Russia’s policy in Chechnya, the Beslan school massacre is another. Examples are not hard to find.

    Make no mistake about this, both the Palestinian people and the Israeli suicide bomber targets are victims here. However, if either party want someone more useful than each other to blame for their plight (and I imagine your average Palestinian realises this more than your average Israeli) they needn’t look much further than current and previous American administrations and their respective interests.

    So yes, in a sense, the Palestinian people are to blame for the election of Hamas – just as much as Americans are for their administrations which have murdered far far more innocent people than Hamas ever has. But they’re not to blame for the fact that Hamas exist in the first place. No matter how horrible they are, Hamas (just like the IRA were in Ireland) are there for a reason. A reason based in legitimate grievances that, unless addressed, will lead further self-perpetuation of this sick cycle.

    I was going to reply to your post in ‘quote’ form but that would take far too much of my time. In basic terms though, yes, you are missing something. A lot of things in fact. It’s good that you’re interested in the topic though. For more information, try reading the following – you’ll find more veracity and insight in them than in the ‘liberal’ media.

    The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East by Robert Fisk
    The Fateful Triangle: United States, Israel and the Palestinians by Noam Chomsky

    Right, my lunch hour is now over but I may post some more later as and if required.
     
  21. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #21
    You might be mising the basic logical fallacy in your argument
    "Should we punish the Palestinians in their quest for self determination because they didn't do what we tell them?"

    Basis of democracy - accept others choices, don't undermine it by threatening them. Democracy and self-determination mean the ability to make your own choice, not just the ability to make choices that the West wants.
     
  22. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #22
    well then the Palestinians have to accept the EU choice not to support them anymore ;)
    after all democracy brings responsibility as well...
     
  23. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #23
    And so begins the neverending logical circle ;):D
     
  24. nbs2 macrumors 68030

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    #24
    The problem is that Hamas has provided basic social services that Fatah failed to deliver. How many Americans (or others) vote based on foreign policy. I am hard-pressed to procide sources, but, I think it would be a fair assumption to say that H.W. Bush performed admirably in foriegn policy matters, but let the domestic situation slide - which killed him in '92. Voters vote based on what affects them. Do you punish the Palestinians for only wanting potable water?

    There are three very effective ways to change a society - terrorism (ask the Spanish socialists), occupation (ask the former Iron curtain), and economic manipulation (ask Gorbie). Since the west is going to try the third, might it be more effective to still fund NGOs and other organizations that are trying to build the infrastructure (along with the government that should be caring for its citizens)? Perhaps cutting off aid will look different in hindsight as poverty increases and the dominoes fall as they will. Would it hurt the West to gain the leverage that "we continued to support the PA under Hamas and they continued to harm civilians, we will now withdraw aid" would give them, compared to "Palestinians elected the wrong government, no aid for you. come back one year"? I say that the leverage would be beneficial in the longer term, but I'm not omnicient. Just practical.

    I agree that the citizens are responsible for their democratic decisions - which is why I can understand the the OBL/AQ party line on Western civilians. But, I also think that it is essential to remember that the voters look inward, not outward.
     
  25. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #25
    Not true. Hamas has built up enormous good will among the Palestinians with it's charity work. The military wing of Hamas is only one part of the organization.
     

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