Wednesday, June 20, 2007

On The Map : It's called a 'coup'

Whatever we may think of Hamas, their armed aggression, and their refusal to recognize Israel, they did win a decisive victory in a democratic election in Palestine a year and a half ago. This prompted Peter MacKay to fall all over himself in his rush to clock in before the US and officially nominate Canada to be the first country outside Israel not to recognize the new government. Condemnations were issued and aid was cut off.

Last week, in response to Hamas' taking of Gaza, President Abbas fired Prime Minister Haniyeh and his Hamas cabinet and replaced them with an appointed more western-friendly "emergency government".

Bush and Israeli PM Olmert responded with statements of support for Abbas and the promise to resume aid. Bush said he would keep fighting for democracy in the region because it is the only way to prevent extremists from gaining a foothold.

Screw democracy when it doesn't come out the way you want, eh?

Last night I was pleased to hear Avi Lewis on On The Map name last week's events in Palestine for what they actually were - a coup d'etat.

UPDATE : Avi called it on Tuesday and now via a link at Buckdog:

An oped in Wednesday's New York Times from now ex-Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's political advisor Ahmed Yousef : What Hamas Wants

"The events in Gaza over the last few days have been described in the West as a coup. In essence, they have been the opposite. Eighteen months ago, our Hamas Party won the Palestinian parliamentary elections and entered office under Prime Minister Ismail Haniya but never received the handover of real power from Fatah, the losing party. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has now tried to replace the winning Hamas government with one of his own, returning Fatah to power while many of our elected members of Parliament languish in Israeli jails. That is the real coup."

Continued at NYT. where Yousef lays out the Hamas position here.


West End Bob said...

Great link, Alison! I hadn't checked out this CBC show before - it's on way past my bedtime. :)

Now it's on my GoogleReader . . . 'Preciate it!

ALW said...

Well this is a classic bit of simplistic moral equivalence.

Respecting the democratic choices that other countries make, extends the same distance that the right to swing my fist ends where your face beings. Countries can elect whomever they want, with whatever policies they want to implement - excep that those policies can't include, you know, the indiscriminate use of violence to kill innocent people. Don't suppose that occurred to you.

And if a party that explicitly states its objective is to physically annihilate an entire other country doesn't qualify, I'm not sure what does.

Jael said...

I feel inclined to fall over in surprise that someone actually used the word "coup".

ALW, I can think of several governments generally accepted as more-or-less legitimate that have engaged in some relatively indiscriminate killing of people, whether through wars or capital punishment... (I suppose you'd say that's "discriminate" killing, but the civilians of several countries would beg to differ)

That's the tricky thing about this "democracy" idea, isn't it -- sometimes the masses make decisions the rest of us might disagree with.

Q said...

Does an elected democracy 'count' if they invade and destroy defenceless countries that are not threats to anyone, that have the world's largest stockpiles of nuclear and WMD., that are the largest suppliers of arms to tyrants, mass murderers, terrorists, drug dealers, pedophiles...basically whoever they want and pollute indiscriminately the earth and oceans with the most dangerous toxins? And of course the 'fascists disguised as a democracy' favorite flaunt , grabbing citizens in any country and detaining and torturing them without trial or charges?
Or is this too 'simplistic'?

Anonymous said...

typical. and i went and bought rabbit ears for the tv last week because you had mentioned avi lewis had a new show....but then i forgot i had them and didn't see it. hmmm. i did watch some weird college drama last was vaguely entertaining.

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