Before I begin, I must confess: I was really riled up when I first read about this, particularly at the New York Times; but reading it over again, the Times' article really isn't all that bad. It presents the story without any discernible bias - it's just a despicable story to begin with.
What really bothered me was Great Brendino's surprising comment over at the IGJ, which I originally thought was a quote (they don't really use blockquotes at IGJ, and the lower case 'O' threw me off). A little background first: The United States and Israel are accused of plotting to undermine Hamas' ability to govern by cutting off aid and keeping the borders between Israel and the Palestinian territories closed - unless Hamas does carries out three demands, according to the Times:
But the officials and diplomats say Hamas will be given a choice: recognize Israel's right to exist, forswear violence and accept previous Palestinian-Israeli agreements — as called for by the United Nations and the West — or face isolation and collapse.Pretty reasonable requests, if you ask me. But this is what the Grand Brendino had to say:
our trumping of democracy as a solution to the problems in the Middle East will never be legitimate in the eyes of the world if we openly undermine democratically-elected governments less than a month after they're elected. This sends one message: we support democracy so long as it works in our favor. It doesn't take a giant leap in reasoning to decide that we support ANY form of government, so long as it works in our favor.This is absolutely wrong. Democracy is the best approach, because it gives the voice to the people to show who and what they desire to lead them. In this case, the Palestinians made their choice: They chose terror. In free and fair elections, they stated their desires - and Israel and the United States have no obligation whatsoever to deal with them. This is not "undermining democracy"; this is simply telling the Palestinians, "You made your choice, these are the consequences. Next time, think about that as you are making your choice."
Telling Hamas that they must stop terror, denounce terror, and recognize Israel's right to exist are good requests. They're not at all unreasonable, and it's extremely difficult to imagine living near an elected government that does not agree to those simple demands. There is no requirement of any government to supply any another government with aid, with supplies, or with open borders. This is especially true when the latter will not even acknowledge the right of the former to exist and is sworn to its destruction. Isn't this obvious?!
We crave democracy because it gives power to the people, rather than the whims of a despotic ruler, dictator, or selfish ruling class. Therefore, we encourage and support democracies in every part of the world. By the same token, the people in a democracy should be acting to further that which is right and humanitarian, not that which is misguided and murderous. We are not only not obligated to support governments of terror, we are obligated to do anything which is in our power to properly teach those who have voted for terror to rethink their decision. They must recognize that it is not in the best interests of anyone to do so: Not the world's; not their neighbors'; not their allies'; and certainly not their own.
The Palestinians finally had the opportunity to make their own bed, and they did. Now let them lie in it, and learn. Hopefully, they will, quickly - for their sake and for ours.