How to Respond to Ivory Tower Demands to Talk with Hamas
With professors demanding that Israel negotiate with “moderate” Hamas, Janet Doerflinger of Campus Watch explains why they’re wrong.
Hamas is a terrorist organization – so designated by the U.S. State Department, the European Union, and others – that is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israelis and calls unabashedly for the destruction of Israel. Despite this, a host of university professors in the U.S. and Europe continue to make public statements in favor of Israeli negotiations with Hamas.
In an article published by AmericanThinker.com, Janet Doerflinger lists some of these professors – and then rebuts them. Among the professors are Augustus Richard Norton (Boston University), Sara Roy (Harvard), and Fawaz Gerges (Sarah Lawrence College and the London School of Economics), who argue that Hamas has become more moderate.
In addition, Gerges and Rashid Khalidi (Columbia University) demand that the U.S. support Fatah-Hamas unity, while Dr. Ian Lustik (University of Pennsylvania) believes Israel should accept the Hamas' “offer” of a 20-30 year hudna (ceasefire).
Finally, Dr. Lawrence Davidson (West Chester University, Pa.), the author of "Islamophobia as a Form of Paranoid Politics" and similar articles, says the reason Israel refuses Hamas's “olive branches” is because of an Israeli mindset that "favors endless war."
The essential objection to the above is that Hamas has engraved on its charter the goal of destroying Israel and replacing it with an Islamic state. It has shown no signs of neutralizing, suspending or moderating this objective.
Doerflinger then adds the following talking points: “Hamas has shown no proclivity to… abiding by previous cease-fires... Their corrupt, brutal rule in Gaza reveals their true nature far more than any apologias from their academic defenders… Negotiating with terrorists is generally a bad idea because it legitimizes them and weakens the moderates… The desire to engage with terrorists betrays a failure to understand either the terrorists or civilized society. It asks the negotiators to overlook the terrorists' convictions, delude themselves into thinking that terrorists are more like them than they in fact are, and blinds the negotiators to their own weaknesses.”
Doerflinger also notes that the “Middle East studies establishment has for years held Israel to significantly higher standards of conduct than neighboring Arab states. Amidst their constant criticisms of Israeli policy and society, one hears precious little about the brutality of Arab regimes, the treatment of women in traditional Muslim societies, or other social pathologies common in the region.
“All these professors,” she concludes, “are united by their failure to recognize (or admit) the true nature and goals of Hamas, a militant Islamist terror organization dedicated to killing Jews and ending Jewish sovereignty and self-determination in the Middle East… Urging Israel to hold peace talks with Hamas is yet another example of the poor foreign policy prescriptions that result from the distorted viewpoint that is, unfortunately, so prevalent today among the Middle East studies faculty of our universities.”