Hamas takes over op-ed pages of major U.S. newspapers

How strange it is that Hamas spokesman Ahmed Youssef is in both the Times and the Post today with similar, albeit completely separate op-ed pieces. It’s a lesson for aspiring opinion columnists: Just take over a small, impoverished territory of strategic importance, and you’ll turn those frowns from discerning editors upside-down! In all seriousness, Youssef ...

601057_070620_busholmert_05.jpg
601057_070620_busholmert_05.jpg

How strange it is that Hamas spokesman Ahmed Youssef is in both the Times and the Post today with similar, albeit completely separate op-ed pieces. It's a lesson for aspiring opinion columnists: Just take over a small, impoverished territory of strategic importance, and you'll turn those frowns from discerning editors upside-down!

In all seriousness, Youssef has a point: What essentially happened in Gaza is that Fatah, led by security chief Mohammed Dahlan, refused to turn over the organs of the state after it lost the Palestinian elections fair and square. Palestinian law on this question is ... inchoate at best, so Fatah may have a case as well. What's so astonishing, however, is that Hamas ultimately chose to resolve this problem with violence rather than through negotiation and a media campaign highlighting Fatah's behavior. I guess it goes to show that when you blow up buses of schoolchildren and refuse to disavow your actions, people don't tend to give you the benefit of the doubt.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

How strange it is that Hamas spokesman Ahmed Youssef is in both the Times and the Post today with similar, albeit completely separate op-ed pieces. It’s a lesson for aspiring opinion columnists: Just take over a small, impoverished territory of strategic importance, and you’ll turn those frowns from discerning editors upside-down!

In all seriousness, Youssef has a point: What essentially happened in Gaza is that Fatah, led by security chief Mohammed Dahlan, refused to turn over the organs of the state after it lost the Palestinian elections fair and square. Palestinian law on this question is … inchoate at best, so Fatah may have a case as well. What’s so astonishing, however, is that Hamas ultimately chose to resolve this problem with violence rather than through negotiation and a media campaign highlighting Fatah’s behavior. I guess it goes to show that when you blow up buses of schoolchildren and refuse to disavow your actions, people don’t tend to give you the benefit of the doubt.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Two other items of note: Youssef repeats a common charge about Fatah, that it “collaborate[s] with the occupiers.” Does it help when U.S. President George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert publicly embrace Abbas as the true representative of the Palestinian people? Probably not. Picture how Fred Thompson would feel after getting an endorsement from Michael Moore.

But Hamas shouldn’t claim to be acting on behalf of Palestinians, either. A new poll by pan-Arab daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi found, according to MidEastWire.com, that 75 percent of Palestinians “opposed the hegemony of Hamas over the Gaza strip.” 

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