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The Hamas story is annoying on lots of fronts, not the least of which is that it only works against Obama if you believe the spokesman is telling the truth. John McCain thinks Hamas is a truthful organization? Does he accept all the other "truths" Hamas tells?

Or perhaps Hamas is just naive. They simply don't understand how elections work (except, I suppose, the one they won in Gaza) and have no idea that "supporting" one American candidate might actually hurt him in the general election.

We know that's crap, of course. Here's some evidence of their ability and desire to interfere with the elections of their enemies.

Benny Morris is the dean of the revisionist Israeli historians. He attacked the founding myths of Israel with hard facts offering a more balanced view of the arab/jewish conflict than partisans of either side were able to see. Because he is Israeli, he became a favorite to be quoted (and misquoted) by the anti-zionist side, but in fact I find in his work a more nuanced and intellectual defense of the Israeli experiment than in the typical noise from the Right.

Anyway. In his book Righteous Victims, A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict 1881-1999, Morris discusses efforts by Hamas to impact the crucial 1996 elections in Israel. After the assassination of Rabin in 1995, his Labor rival Peres took over the government. Continuing peace talks which followed the "Oslo II" accord were predictably hated by the extremes on both sides. Terrorist attacks against Israel were unleashed as the election campaign began.

It appears to Morris, that at this point Iran "egged on the Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists to mount a terrorist campaign to unseat Labor". He reports that there were celebrations in the headquarters of Iran's Revolutionary Guards when Netanyahu defeated Peres and Likud took over.

If Morris is correct, Hamas is perfectly capable of planning terrorist attacks to help defeat a candidate it fears would help bring peace. Maybe, just maybe, they would be capable of lying to the press about their true desires too.

Originally posted to pavlov dog on Wed May 14, 2008 at 08:58 AM PDT.


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