By Richard Falk
There is no doubt that Hamas has exhibited extraordinary resilience under the most difficult of conditions that have bedeviled its period of political leadership in the Gaza Strip that started in 2007.
It also seems clear as persuasively argued by Sandy Tolan in a valuable Common Dreams article – “Blown Chances in Gaza: Israel & U.S. Miss Many Chances to Avoid War”, Aug. 13, 2014 that Hamas pursued multiple initiatives starting in 2006 designed to achieve calm and quiet in its relations with Israel, and that these initiatives, including back channel reassurance about peaceful intentions, were rebuffed without even being acknowledged by either Israel or the United States.
It also seems the case that Israel acted to provoke the three most sustained military onslaughts directed at Gaza since 2008, and in each has relied on disproportionate force, inflicted numerous civilian casualties, and acted in a manner defiant of international humanitarian law.
For these reasons Israel deserves to be treated as an ‘outlaw state’ for reasons set forth by Akbar Ganji and I argued in a two-part article appearing in the online pages of AlJazeera English [“The Outlaw State of Israel,” Aug. 20,21, 2014].
And yet Hamas also has some explaining to do if it wishes to be more widely accepted throughout the world as entitled to full respect as a legitimate political actor. Read More »