The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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Lesser of two evils

First of all, let me extend my deepest condolences to my fellow alcoholics on the loss of Jack’s Pub. This doesn’t affect me, since I drink alone, but I’ve heard the news, and I empathize.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s do a quick rundown of what’s been going on in your world this week. I don’t really follow the news, and I don’t really like to read, but I read articles in “Playboy,” so I’m pretty well informed. Hamas, or as I like to call it “Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya,” recently won a majority of seats in the Palestinian Parliament. In case you didn’t know, Palestine is a small nation in the Middle East with a penchant for praying to Allah and the occasional “hating Jews.” So, the nation is now ruled by the terrorists. I’m going to step out on a limb here and say, “This is the best thing that could happen for the entire region.”

Previously, Palestine operated under the Fatah party. Fatah is a reverse acronym for a bunch of gobbledygook that translates roughly to “Palestinian Freedom.” It makes up a majority of the P.L.O. terror group that brought us such things as suicide bombers, Munich and, well, Munich. Moreover, since taking the reins, it has succumbed to its power and is basically about as profoundly corrupt as any group can get while still fearing God or helicopter attacks.

So, Palestine took a good long look in the mirror and decided to get a makeover. Its citizens had two options: A) They could vote for the same curmudgeons who got them into this mess, or B) Vote for the idealists in the other party who have a bunch of social reform plans, such as “lift the most destitute out of power,” “raise the standards of education” and “kill all Jews.” In other words, it was not so much a matter of choosing the party they love as much as the candidate they hate the least. Try to relate.

Why is it a good thing that Hamas is finally in power? Well, for one thing, it means the group isn’t going to be doing any more bomb attacks, or at least not bragging about it. If Israeli intelligence finds a suicide bomber to even probably be a member, it’s going to send over a few of its own “homicide bombers” in return. Hamas understands that Israel is begging for a reason to wipe it off the map, and being in control guarantees accountability.

Now, let’s look at Hamas’ No. 1 goal, to “remove Israel from the map.” This does not require violence. In fact, the easiest way to do this is to avoid all violence whatsoever. Ever since early 2004, world opinion has slowly shifted against Palestine as a result of broken ceasefires, bulldozers and a poorly marketed doctrine of assassination. This only stopped when Sharon basically reversed his policy on Palestine and surrendered the entire Gaza Strip. In other words, by playing up its role as “the victim,” Palestine was able to take back a large chunk of land that Israel never really owned anyway (UN SC 242).

So, if it can put a stop to all violence and just garner international sympathy, it could earn back roughly one acre of land for every suicide bomber they ever sent over without killing anyone and, more importantly, saving a boatload of cash.

But, this is not the first time Hamas has been in control. It has control of a speckled few districts along the border with Israel, none of which are particularly violent and none of which are a breeding ground for terrorists. Moreover, Hamas officials actually have dealt with the Israelis in a civilized if icy manner concerning the shared infrastructure of power and water. In other words, in times of great need, Hamas governmental organizations have negotiated terms with Israel.

There’s also money. It’s no secret that without international aid, the entire Palestinian nation would basically fall off the deep end and into the black morass of poverty that has already swallowed up most of Africa. Palestine lacks a major trade network on an international scale, and the only real trade partner it has is Israel. To put it lightly, this puts Hamas’ feet to the fire. It comes into power promising social revival, and if its only key trading partner cuts all ties, things will “go critical” not just for it, but for the entire world.

From the French Revolution to the Second World War, economic destitution has been a very powerful tool in driving people to violence. Specific to Palestine, economic turmoil and social chaos often precedes major outbreaks in anti-semetic terrorist activity, which only exaggerates the domestic upheaval and Israeli intrusion.

Moreover, should foreign aid cease, Palestine’s only friend capable of providing aid would be Iran, an alliance with whom could prove to be very dangerous in the coming months.

In short, people are freaking out because Hamas has a clause in its charter proclaiming its desire for the destruction of Israel. However, there is no reasonable way to carry this out. As the main governmental authority, it will be economically hamstrung until it reforms any remaining terrorist activity, just as Mahmoud Abbas was forced to do when he came to power. Moreover, if it fails to pacify the fears of the community, the economy will be ruined, terrorists will start an open war with Israel and Hamas will go down in history as the group that wiped Palestine off the map.

Austin Rucker is a junior advertising major. He may be contacted at [email protected].

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