Saul Singer in National Review Online shares my amazement at the broad consensus that eliminating a terrorist organization’s undisputed leader (Ahmed Yassin) “was counterproductive, if not downright idiotic.” He is also disappointed that the White House seems to lack the clarity to view the matter differently. Specifically, Singer finds that U.N. ambassador Negroponte’s pronouncement that Yassin’s demise doesn’t contribute to the peace process accepts the harmful paradigm that the jihad being waged by Hamas against Israel is different in kind from the war being waged by bin Laden. The paradigm gains whatever superficial plausiblity it has because, as Singer notes, “there is no path to peace with al Qaeda, but there is one with the Palestinians.” But there is no path to peace with Hamas, and no way to “get near the path to peace [with Palestinians] until we beat the jihad that prevents this conflict from becoming a negotiable one.” In short, “Hamas must be destroyed because its raison d’etre is to destroy Israel,” just as al Qaeda must be destroyed because it exists to conquer the West. By suggesting otherwise, the U.S. has missed an opportunity for moral clarity.
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