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We Aren’t All Hamas Now, Either

What explains the counter-intuitive phenomenon of Arabs nominally on the left coming to the defense of the Muslim far-right? This question will not get old or tired until the phenomenon itself ceases to exist.  It gets some rigorous treatment in … Read More

By / September 11, 2007

What explains the counter-intuitive phenomenon of Arabs nominally on the left coming to the defense of the Muslim far-right?

This question will not get old or tired until the phenomenon itself ceases to exist.  It gets some rigorous treatment in an excellent issue paper by Hussein Ibish for the American Task Force On Palestine.  The above question as well as three further points–

What exactly have these left-wing sympathizers with the far-right been saying in recent months? What actually happened in Gaza and the West Bank? And, most importantly, what should friends of Palestine in the United States do now?

–are explored in this eminently quoteworthy and nicely argued piece.

Friends of Palestine in the United States must be clear about the principles that inform their activism. If people are genuinely in sympathy with the aims and methods of Hamas, then that is one thing. But these of us who seek first to end the occupation and then support the development of a democratic and pluralistic Palestinian state have to hold firm to those commitments. This means at the very least not defending those whose stated policies and concrete actions run strictly counter to those aims…Dismissing those who hold firm to these important values and goals as "diplomatic fronts" or "Washington lobbies" for narrow Palestinian political factions, or, most preposterously, as "neoconservatives," is beneath contempt. To be principled to is be honorable and sincere, even if possibly mistaken.

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