Disclaimer: I am both a Cornell alumnus and a staff member of Cornell. Everything I write in this post (and every post) represents my opinion and my opinion only. I have not and will not be paid by Cornell to write this post or any other post. I write this on my time and any attempt to portray what I write here as representing Cornell's position is patently dishonest unless Cornell's Administration explicitly states its agreement with me. I also do not know Assistant Dean Joseph Scaffido.
Hamas started a public relations campaign on Friday to explain their position to the world. They announced that there would be a high level Hamas official available for each of the next five days to answer questions about Hamas. If you had a question all you had to do was tweet it using the hashtag #AskHamas and a Hamas official would be available to provide an answer.
Israel's hasbarists LOVE quoting Abba Eban who said the Palestinians "never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity". They jump on this quote and cling to it like a life raft from the Titanic to PROVE that no matter how miserable the Palestinians are, it's all THEIR fault. The implication is that Israel has done EVERYTHING it can to deal fairly with the Palestinians and that they have searched every reasonable option to live in peace with them.
Hamas's Charter is a bloody document that calls for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews. It considers all of the Palestinian Mandate, including Israel, to be part of an Islamic waqf, and no one has the right to give up an inch of this territory for peace. I have discussed Hamas's Charter in much more detail here.
How Israel Can Establish A Truce: Institute a Unilateral Withdrawal And Challenge Hamas To Hold A Vote
Israel provoked the latest round of rocket attacks from Gaza when it overreacted to the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens by a rogue element of Hamas. The moral responsibility for provoking a war that has led to nearly 650 deaths in Gaza rests mainly with Israel. Hamas does indeed share some responsibility for the war.
There is a perception by many in the West that Muslims and Jews have been at each other's throats for over a thousand years. They believe that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been going on forever, and there is no hope for a peaceful resolution because Islam is a uniquely virulent religion. This fundamentally misreads the situation--the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is relatively recent and is primarily a conflict over land, though the introduction of religious elements into the conflict makes the conflict much more dangerous and difficult to solve. I will discuss how religion complicates finding a s
If you ask most Americans what a waqf (plural, waqfs or awaqf) is they might answer that it is something to stir-fry their vegetable in or that it is a word from a Klingon dictionary. Actually, understanding what waqfs are is essential to understanding why Hamas refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist. Trying to understand Hamas's position without understanding what a waqf is is like parachuting into Pakistan wearing nothing but an American flag T-shirt. You may as well apply for the Darwin awards because your understanding will be fatally flawed.