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April 20, 2006

Comments

The Informer

Well, what is really quite interesting is the strong desire for so many to believe what Hamas has to say on the issue but not to believe the Jordanian government. Hamas has a history of dirty deeds on Jordanian soil, which everyone knows. They also have connections with the MB/IAF, which everyone knows. Those two facts are not in dispute. So why do many/most of those here and elsewhere choose to support the statements of another government? Why is Hamas given the benefit of the doubt on this, while Jordan is not given the time of day to slowly produce links and connections that more clearly show what went on.

Admittedly, Jordan has a PR issue when it comes to things threatening the kingdom. The television parades of conspirators always beggars belief. But this show is more a symptom of the distrust that seems rife within the Jordanian public, a public that seems to trust Hamas over their own government. That seems very problematic. And it seems not too far a stretch to say others might see such a reality as "opportunity."

So many are still smarting over "normalization." Get over it. It's done and it's the only way forward at this point. Egypt and Jordan knew it and yes, they were pressured. And yes, it sucks. But it was the most pragmatic thing to do. Just because so many don't like that agreement and how it came about, it should not taint Jordan's claims, and at the very least it shouldn't make Hamas more trustworthy. Hamas and Jordan have a troubling history; think Ibrahim Ghosheh stuck at Queen Alia in 2001. That scene provides a great deal of subtext to this situation.

It seems pretty clear that Hamas was moving weapons through Jordan from Syria. It may not have come from on high but then again it may have. Whether there any intent to strike targets inside the kingdom is a more difficult question. Many are saying "no way" simply because it's not been done before; it'd be stupid, they opine. But is that really enough evidence, especially given the unique position Hamas is now in? Isn't it conceivable they might try a different route? Of course it is, just as conceivable as any other conspiracy theory about Jordan.

Lastly, some point to the bankrupt Palestinian treasury as evidence that Hamas simply couldn't afford such an action. First, take a look at these weapons. We're not talking MIG fighters or a Stinger. This stuff looks at Qassem III or below level. Second, remember the financial difficulties the territories faced while Arafat and his cronies sat fat and happy. Don't give Hamas the benefit of the doubt -– again. They likely do have money that is going towards other things than municipal salaries and the like.

Hamas has done well for people in Palestine. That is not in doubt. But King Abdullah has also done well for Jordan. Regardless, Hamas actions shouldn't provide them carte blanche on an issue like this. There is evidence to support this was a dirty deed and their fingerprints are all over it. Why aren't people in Jordan providing their government, the one they pay taxes to, the one that provides them the lifestyle they enjoy, with a moment or two for clarity as they seem so quick to do for Hamas.

Finally, Hamas rise to power has revealed their political naïveté, pushing forward the point still further that their actions now may not mirror what's come before. It certainly should suggest that they do not deserve MORE consideration than Jordan on this issue. Hamas is finding that it was one thing to stand on the sidelines and point, to live day-to-day as an ideologue.

Reality requires compromise. Daoud Kuttab notes that in a discussion with West Bank Hamas leader Hassan Yousef, the group is now in an unenviable position that "will result either in the fall of its short-lived government or in the collapse of its political principles."

He goes on to make some very salient points:

"Various friends have tried to advise Hamas leaders, providing them with ideas on how to get out of the mess they found themselves in. Left-wing groups have suggested that Hamas use the umbrella of the PLO, which signed various peace agreements. Fateh leaders suggested that Hamas recognise the Palestinian Basic Law (constitution) and do what any new ruler does, accept existing agreements and treaties. Arab leaders have suggested the adoption of the Beirut summit's peace plan as a way to get around the condition of recognising Israel.

Israel also appeared willing to deal with Hamas if it reined in the radical groups who launch rockets in Gaza or send suicide bombers from the West Bank. In every political test that it faced, Hamas failed to understand what was happening and the consequence of its decisions." That's found in full here: http://www.daoudkuttab.com/?item=hamas-predicament-partly-political-naivete>

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