by Paul & Phillip D. Collins, Jan. 11, 2008
As these authors write these words, Israel is conducting a major ground assault in the Gaza Strip. Israeli ground troops and heavy armor have moved deep into the Gaza Strip (“Israeli forces split Gaza in two”). According to the BBC, the move has, in effect, cut the territory in two (ibid). This ground assault followed hot on the heels of Operation Cast Lead, a December 27-28 series of Israeli airstrikes conducted in Gaza in response to Hamas’ refusal to renew the truce brokered by Egypt in the summer of 2008 (Khalil, “The already-strained Hamas-Egypt relationship sours”). Hamas had been launching rocket attacks into Israel since December 24, when no less than 70 rockets hit the small Jewish state, and Israel decided to strike back (“Israeli jets hit Hamas target, killing 1″).
Doubtless, the conflict between Israel and Hamas is one of the many issues that Obama will have to address when he enters the Oval Office. Is the President-elect sincere in his opposition to the terrorists responsible for the current Middle East crisis? Obama has repeatedly condemned Hamas, calling the group a terrorist organization (Oinounou, “A Hamas problem for Obama?”) The President-elect even went as far as to condemn former President Jimmy Carter for meeting with Hamas (ibid). But the words of Ahmed Yousef, a top Hamas political advisor, during a WABC interview, seem to suggest that Obama’s opposition to Hamas may be a mere public relations ploy. During the interview, Yousef stated:
“We don’t mind-actually we like Mr. Obama. We hope he will (win) the election and I do believe he is like John Kennedy, great man with great principle, and he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community but not with domination and arrogance.” (Ibid)