There is, however, a difference between the two organizations: Hizbullah is only one of several armed organizations inside Lebanon, and the country has a government and an army, which do not dare to dismantle them. In Gaza, Hamas continues to hold on to weapons and manpower to take control of the nascent Palestinian state.
Some politicians and naive experts in Jerusalem and Washington are consoling themselves with the thought that by participating in elections, Hamas will turn into a political body, just as Hizbullah is also a political party in Lebanon.
But such things do not exist in a democratic regime. Do political parties in Israel, the United States, or France possess private armies? Of course not! Hizbullah and Hamas have tremendous arsenals of weapons with which they can enforce a reign of terror. President George W. Bush obviously knows this while waging his historic campaign to democratize corrupt Arab regimes, including those in Lebanon, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s (Abu Mazen’s) 20,000 armed policemen are not even trying to oppose Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Did Bush’s special envoy Lieutenant-General William Ward demand that Abu Mazen give him a map of the tunnels used to smuggle arms from the Sinai Desert to the Gaza Strip?
No. So everyone is participating in the big game of make-believe. Bush talks about peace, because he wants to give the Road Map a real chance in a final attempt to stop Hamas.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak talks about peace but makes no efforts to halt arms smuggling because he is the patron of Hamas, just as Iran is the boss of Hizbullah. Using Hamas, Mubarak wishes to exploit Israel’s distress and pressure it into modifying the Egyptian-Israeli peace agreement, canceling the demilitarization of the Sinai Desert and thus permitting the deployment of thousands of Egyptian soldiers along the border with Israel.
What about Abu Mazen? “The difference between him and Yasser Arafat,” Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, is that “Arafat supported terrorism with both hands, and Abu Mazen doesn’t lift a finger to prevent it.”
Source: Excerpted from an article by Uri Dan, Jerusalem Post
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