Monday, January 19, 2009

Is Hamas really a terrorist group?

From an article in The New York Times by Ethan Bronner entitled "Parsing Gains of Gaza War" :

Shlomo Brom, a researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University and a retired brigadier general, said it was wrong to consider Hamas a group of irrational fanatics.

"I have always said that Hamas is a very rational political movement," he said. "When they use suicide bombings, for example, it is done very consciously, based on calculations of the effectiveness of these means. You see, both sides understand the value of calculated madness. That is one reason I don't see an early end to this ongoing war."

Continuing to label ("designate") Hamas and Hezbollah (Hizballah) as "terrorist groups" or "terrorist organizations" will continue to be counterproductive. They are certainly paramilitary organizations, but are political organizations as well.

How to effectively deal with such "extremists" is an open question, but a policy of extermination has not been very effective to date, as the Israelis with all of their military might have proven.

-- Jack Krupansky


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