Thursday, October 29, 2009

HuffPoWatch: Hamas To Ban Holding of Elections in Gaza

Last night the Huffington Post carried this article detailing about how Hamas rejected Palestinian President Mahmound Abbas’ call for elections. Although it’s true that Abbas’ legal backing for his power is practically non-existent, refusing to allow people to elect their own leaders is about as undemocratic as you can possibly get. What kind of people would defend such actions?

The answer of course is obvious: The HuffPo talkbackers will gladly defend Hamas’ right to oppress their own people.

Many posters liked to take the track that because Abbas doesn’t have the authority to call elections, it’s okay for Hamas to refuse to hold them:

Wisdo permalink
“Hamas are absolutely 100% correct in rejecting Abbas calls for an election.

For people who read the headline only, this would be like Rush Limbaugh or Michael Steele announcing there will be a new presidential election next year - they simply do not have the authority.”

alysheba 3 permalink

“No matter what Israel and the US say, Abbas is not the elected leader of Palestine and has no right to call an election.”

Ergon permalink

“Abbas was elected separately, as President. His term of office ran out in January. He had NO right to call an election.”

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This kind of thinking is problematic for two reasons: First of all, if Abbas has no authority, and Hamas won’t allow elections, then how is anything going to change in the Palestinian government? Even if Abbas leaves, Hamas and their supporters on HuffPo will just the same argument to his successor. Secondly, even if the HuffPo talkbackers don’t recognize Abbas’ authority, what can be wrong with another election? Are they afraid of the results? Are they afraid of another demonstration of how flawed the Palestinian government is?

Of course, other posters used the classic playground “If I am then you too” argument, to try and make the case that even if Hamas is undemocratic, so is Israel and the USA. These comments are listed along with straight up Israel-bashing, off topic and hateful but still allowed:

who38 permalink

“Democracy and human rights are a joke in Israel as well. Why single out Arabs on this issue?”

[Ed note: Freedom House would seem to disagree ]

chonus permalink

“Prediction: Israel will not stop its occupation and oppression until it annexes all of Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories.”

alysheba 3 permalink

“Like an Israeli supporter would know what is democratic. Israel isn't.”

Ergon permalink

“A democracy in that it holds elections, yes. But a 'Jewish' Democracy? An oxymoron surely?”

And most unbelievable of all, there were the commentators that defended Hamas. Yes, that’s correct. In a bastion of liberal thought Islamist dictators were considered to be on the side of the right.

Wisdo permalink

[In a response to how Hamas calls for Israel’s destruction] “yeah Jerry - how dare they vote for "total liberation"
They deserve total oppression right?”

LeeCalif permalink

“[Palestinians elected] a party with backbone and independence from Israel.”

chonus permalink

[In response to a post that Hamas doesn’t want peace and are out for destruction]

Only "destruction" of the powers that harm and oppress them.

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In their devotion to Israel hatred, it seems the “progressive” bloggers among the Huffington Post talkbackers have managed to convince themselves that Hamas are people that deserve their support. Cognitive dissonance surfaces yet again.

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