What's all this fuss about hummus taking over in the middle east? So what if a bunch of hungry folks out in the middle of the desert want to share a little chickpea paste with their crackers? I myself love a little hummus on my carrot sticks - or maybe a little bit of celery. It's a healthy alternative to chocolate flavored peanut butter, and it's especially nice with a dash of paprika and a hint of lemon juice.
What's that? It's not hummus, it's Hamas? Well, that's very different then. Never mind.
On second thought, maybe we should examine, at least briefly, what distinguishes Hamas from hummus. Branded a terrorist organization by Israel, the US and the EU, Hamas is seen by its supporters as a legitimate fighting force defending Palestinians from a brutal military occupation. Their new-found political status hasn't done anything to soften their world-wide reputation. It also has a long-term aim of establishing an Islamic state on all of historic Palestine - most of which has been contained within Israel's borders since its creation in 1948. None of this would taste good smeared on pita bread.
Hamas maintains its opposition to the Oslo accords - the US-sponsored peace process that oversaw the gradual and partial removal of Israel's occupation in return for Palestinian guarantees to protect Israeli security. The spiritual arm of Hamas continues to predict Israel's destruction by 2025. Not exactly a good source of dietary fiber.
What did George W. Pinhead have to say about the elections? "If your platform is the destruction of Israel it means you're not a partner in peace," the president said. "And we're interested in peace." I get the Israel part, but I'm stuck on the "interested in peace" part. It seems almost incomprehensibly hypocritical for these words to spill out of his mouth, but that's why we love him so. Our president continued to hold out hope of some resolution with the democratically elected (are you savoring the irony?) Hamas led government. Can I defend Hamas' actions over the past twenty years. Suicide bombings are by and large not very conducive to diplomacy, and the first and second intifada haven't exactly paved the way for Middle East peace. Their stated goal continues to be the liberation of the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem. Sounds simple enough, right? The Jews and the Romans fought about it for a while, then that little dust-up in between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries - The Crusades.
Jimmy Carter couldn't do it. Bill Clinton couldn't do it. Richard the Lion-hearted couldn't do it. Why not give the guys in the nice green hats a shot (not literally)? We know what success would look like, but for now, the failure exists.
"Peace is never dead because people want peace." - G.W.P.H. Bush