The Instigator
mindjob
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
snamd
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

Cutting off funds to Palestine after Hamas took over was a mistake.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/6/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,102 times Debate No: 3105
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (5)

 

mindjob

Pro

The international community should have never cut off Palestine from international aid after Hamas took control of the Palestinian parliament in January, 2006. The dramatic increase in poverty has had a direct affect on the increase in violence that we are now seeing. Rocket attacks, hostage takings and now a gun and bomb attack in a Jerusalem school...these are all directly attributable to cutting off the democratically elected government in Palestine. The administration's handling, as well as the western world's handling of the 2006 Palestinian election, was incredibly short-sighted and has only made Israel, and the world, less safe.

For one, we missed an opportunity to moderate Hamas by allowing them to have power and have to operate on the world stage. Fatah was once considered one of the primary terrorist groups in Palestine, with Arafat even considered a terrorist himself until his death, yet they are now the prefered partner for peace talks. Fatah, as the primary party in charge of the Palestinian authority, was the party responsible for negotiating the Oslo Accords in 1993, as well as the Camp David Peace talks in 2000, despite being considered a terrorist group. This relative moderation was due primarily to their political control of Palestine. It is the party that is not included in power that is the danger.

In addition, it is hypocritical for Bush to push for democracy in the Middle East, yet drive an already poor people to even greater depths of poverty because they voted for people Bush didn't like. Hamas's militant wing has done more horrible things than anyone can count, but they were democratically elected nonetheless. Hamas as a whole is not altogether bad either. Their social wing does a lot of welfare-type activities that the Palestinian Authority has been unable to provide. Cutting off international funding doesn't just hurt the militant wing, it hurts everyone, which will only spur more violence. Because of this, the Bush administration has lot all credibility in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as across the world with regard to spreading democracy. This has hurt our presence in Iraq as well, as if we could look any worse there.

I think that's a good start for now. I eagerly await someone taking this debate.
snamd

Con

The assumption that violence has increased due to the cutting off of international aid is simply ignoring the facts. High levels of violence (even rocket attacks) existed well before aid was cut off.

If Hamas had been given funding a large percentage of it would have undoubtedly gone to attacking Israel and aimed at killing more Israeli civilians. Until the world community can be assured that no money would be used by the Hamas government to attack Israel, then no country should have a share in the blood of Israeli civilians by financing further terrorist activities. While it is tragic that there are poor people, clearly ensuring that lives are not lost to these terrorist activities must be the top priority.

Being democratically elected should not give any government more benefits. the hope of a democracy is that there is enough of a moderate center to elect a reasonable leadership. Perhaps this moderate center does not exist in the Palestinian Territories If the people choose to elect an extreme leadership or a violent leadership, than one could argue that the people are more responsible and therefore more deserving of whatever consequences other nations deem to impose on them. Hitler was democratically elected, yet clearly that fact alone should not condone his actions.

In terms of equating Hamas with Fatah, Fatah took two major steps that Hamas has not. 1) The official renunciation of violence 2) recognition of the State of Israel. Until these two basic elements are fulfilled, there is no "moderating" Hamas.

The most clear cause of the current situation was Israel's decision to pull itself out of Gaza. I was initially in favor of this position for a whole host of reasons all of which have been summarily dismissed. I hoped this would lead to goodwill on the part of the Palestinians and encourage moderation, both for the land, the autonomy, and for the various industries left over by the Israelis that should have helped the Gaza economy. Clearly there has been no goodwill, as Hamas immediately claimed "victory" for chasing out the Israelis, and all of those factories now lie in ruin. Even the "moderate" Fatah has now been chased out.
I had argued with friends that the Israeli border would now be more secure. 2000 rockets have quickly dispelled that notion.
I even argued that if all else fails and Gaza does become violent, now when Hamas attacks Israel, Israel can fight back as if it is fighting another country that attacked it, and clearly there would be no international condemnation of Israel's right to self defense. The UN "Human Rights" commission quickly erased even that argument with it's condemnation of Israel today while quaintly rebuking the "crude rockets" causing "some wounded" that have been affected on the Israeli side.

Pulling out of Gaza has only emboldened the opponents of Israel into believing that resistance is a desirable option. That is the more direct cause of the current situation, that has allowed Hamas to seize control of Gaza and has placed Israeli citizens in greater danger.
Debate Round No. 1
mindjob

Pro

To say that Hamas is still the terrorist group it was is simply false. Other groups, such as Islamic Jihad and al-Aqsa Martyars Brigade, have taken the mantle of leading militant actions since the second intifada. Still other groups seem to be coming to the fore with these latest attacks, which had nothing to do with Hamas. Hamas has tried to present itself as more of a political organization to rival Fatah. Any group vying for Palestinian support must have some method of militancy, but much of Hamas's support comes from the work it does to provide benefits that Palestinians need. Cutting off funding to the democratically-elected leaders of Palestine only leaves them less able to control splinter groups that truly do want to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth. The poorer and more idle a group of agitated people are, the more likely you are to see a rise in terrorist violence. Cutting off funds to Palestine did just this while leaving the ruling party financially unable to deal with it.

There is no doubt that cutting off funds have hurt Hamas in the eyes of their supporters since they have been unable to provide the benefits they did, but that has only served to destabilize the Palestinian territories as evidenced by the civil war between Fatah and Hamas. Other, much more militant groups have been able to thrive in this power vacuum and have pushed the violence that we see now. Hamas was victorious in January, 2006, because Fatah had been seen as corrupt and unresponsive to the needs of their people, while Hamas did more to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians. This is exactly what democracy is suppose to bring about: the overthrow of a corrupt and unresponsive regime in favor of a group that will benefit the people. We should be supporting this, not hurting it.

Yes, Fatah did take those steps, but that was the direct result of being in power. Fatah was much more actively militant when they took power of the PLO than Hamas was in 2006. To quote the BBC: "Arafat took over as chairman of the executive committee of the PLO in 1969, a year that Fatah is recorded to have carried out 2,432 guerrilla attacks on Israel". As time went on, and the international community put pressure on the visible head of the Palestinian movement, they became more mainstream, leading to the advances you mentioned at Oslo in 1993. Hamas had already been mainstreaming itself by its running in internationally observed elections, so this process would have been accelerated.

The current situation is the result of Fatah and Hamas fighting each other, since neither can claim the backing of Palestinians since they are poorer then they were before Hamas was elected, and neither group being able to exert power over smaller, more militant groups. Israel pulling out of Gaza was part of a peace process that was undermined by cutting off funds to Palestine. The unrest and militancy that cutting off funds fomented left the power vacuum that has lead directly to this violence. Sharon didn't want to continue occupying Gaza anyway, so dumping Gaza was as much alleviating an Israeli headache as it was fostering good will. Israel had occupied the West Bank and Gaza since the 1967 war. Obviously occupation wasn't working either.

Pulling out of Gaza could have worked. Hamas took power because Fatah was seen as corrupt and unresponsive, even though the pullout happened under Fatah's control in 2005. Therefore, to say tht pulling out emboldened Hamas is baseless. The international community could have worked with Hamas just as it did with Fatah, but it chose to cut it off. This has created the unrest that is directly related to the violence we are seeing right now. Cutting off funds left Hamas unable to provide the services they use to and left them unable to corral smaller, more militant groups. The pullout was stabbed in the back by short-sighted reactionism that is fueled by the emotionalism that surrounds the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Just yesterday, the Israeli ambassador to the UN came on CNN and said that the attackers went in to a jewish seminary and killed people reading the bible. The bible? I thought rabbis in training read the torrah personally. He did that intentionally to get christians in this country to be outraged over the incident and support Israel. The attack was dispicable, but it is very difficult to figure out the truth when such misinformation is willfully spread like this. Cutting off Hamas was the result of this kind of reactionary emotionalism fueled by the misinformation I just cited, and Israelis are paying for it now.
snamd

Con

Even if you want to say that Fatah became more "moderate" by being in power for 30 years, they did NOT receive international aid UNTIL they had renounced violence and recognized the State of Israel. If Hamas would like to enter into a similar pact, this would be welcomed by Israel and international aid would immediately start flowing into Gaza.

I would argue that gaining political power has made Hamas more extreme, rather than less. Instead of suicide bombings, they launch rockets directly into civilian population centers with the sole intent of murdering as many civilians as possible, and they now are able to provide greater financial support to other terrorist organizations from government revenues.

Is this statement from the new Hamas or the old one?
"We bless the operation. It will not be the last."
One would have to take an extreme leap of faith to assume that Hamas has any desire to "control splinter groups that truly do want to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth."

Hamas has openly stated it's desire to destroy Israel, and any country giving them money would have to do so knowing that their will be blood on their hands.

To assume that aid alone would increase moderation is to ignore history. The Palestinians have been one of the largest recipients of international aid in history. One would be blind to assume that this aid (despite almost half of it coming from the United States alone) has had any effect on moderating the Palestinian leadership. There was a nine month gap from the time Israel pulled out until Hamas took over Gaza. Nine months of funding. While Fatah corruption may be viewed as a cause for the takeover, their corruption has always been known, and Hamas had not taken power. Hamas declared victory after the Israeli pullout, and this apparently resonates with the Palestinian people more than compromise. The Palestinians voted for Hamas, knowing what they represent, and knowing that aid would be cut off as a result. The consequences are their own.

Finally, your last comment about the "Bible" was foolish. Bible is simply the english translation for Torah. Jews read the same book as the Christians, just Jews do not believe in the New Testament. And honestly, I think people would be more outraged by the murder itself, rather than what the people were doing while being murdered. I must say that it is odd how that seems to makes you angrier than "We bless the operation. It will not be the last." Hope that doesn't spark any "reactionary emotionalism."

TO RECAP - (please try to address these points)
a) Fatah received international aid only once they renounced violence and accepted the State of Israel. Hamas has yet to do that.

b) Any aid to Hamas would be given knowing quite certainly (from their own words) that it would be used to kill Israeli civilians. Can you ask any country to contribute to that regardless of whatever other uses their aid may go to?

c) Aid has not been shown to increase more moderate behavior in the Palestinian people.
Debate Round No. 2
mindjob

Pro

mindjob forfeited this round.
snamd

Con

It is unfortunate that you did not respond to my last three points, b/c I would have liked to hear your point of view.
for someone who "loves debating and spreading some knowledge and reason with those who seem to lack both" it is a shame that you could not find an answer to my points that I posed.
And this argument really is open and shut. Hamas is a terrorist organization that has shown no signs of moderating since they took power. If a country would like international aid, then they have to obey international policies and that includes renunciation of violence as a means of negotiating. No country can reasonably be expected to contribute to a group who openly states their joy at the murder of innocent civilians and who continues to perform and support these attacks. Even Fatah would "wink and nod" at these attacks while stating in English how they objected to them, shrugging their shoulders asking "what can we do to stop them?" (Meanwhile, in Ashkelon a local citizen built a rocket to shoot back into Gaza and was quickly stopped by the Israeli army.)
Hamas openly supports these actions and as such can never be allowed to receive international aid.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Solarman1969 9 years ago
Solarman1969
Wishful thinking by liberal terrorist apologist morons

" It's nice to see that solarman continues to be disavowed by the rest of the site."

YOUR DAILY DOSE OF ISLAM, Dhimmis

Latest Offerings from the Religion of Peace

"He who fights that Islam should be superior fights in Allah's cause"

3/12/2008 (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - A passing truck driver is killed by a suicide car bomber along a city street.
3/11/2008 (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - Two children and two women are killed in the crossfire when Taliban militants attack a military convoy.
3/11/2008 (Bajaur, Pakistan) - Two women are among eleven civilians killed during a firefight following an ambush on government troops by Muslim militants.
3/11/2008 (Nasariya, Iraq) - Sixteen men, women and children are blown to bits in a Jihad roadside attack on their bus.
3/11/2008 (Duluiya, Iraq) - Two al-Qaeda car bombings leave seven Iraqis dead.
3/11/2008 (Lahore, Pakistan) - Children are among the thirty-five innocents murdered when twin Fedayeen suicide bombers detonate in two different parts of the city.
Posted by snamd 9 years ago
snamd
A. This is not Aid by any definition. Israel would welcome a similar agreement deporting the Hamas leadership, and the US would undoubtedly escort them out. There is a big difference in say, negotiating a cease fire or truce agreement which Israel has done with Hamas, and negotiating transfer of land in exchange for peace. Regardless this does not address my main point in (A) which is that Fatah took concrete steps to be awarded international aid which Hamas has yet to take.

B. While I do not for one second doubt Fatah's terrorism or their corruption the bottom line is that Fatah's official statement was that they had renounced violence and woudl work to stop terrorism. Obviously this was a lie, but since no "smoking gun" could be found, the countries had to give aid. I am not saying aid should have been given (it probably shouldn't have), but a country could allow themselves to believe that the money was only going towards aid and not towards killing Israelis. Hamas states outright their intention to kill Israelis. Given that stance no country can give them aid. Furthermore, while Fatah has of course been corrupt, it is difficult to say that without their corruptness the economic situation would drastically improve. A 60%-70% unemployment rate may be a result from years of Aid where people felt they did not need to learn labor skills, rather than a byproduct of lack of Aid.

C. (not sure why this became 3) See arguments above, i.e. hard to blame economic situation largely on corruption. In terms of Percentages, i read a report (I'll look for the link) that said like 5% of aid went to leadership. Now while this is 5% going to a small group of people, that still does leave an awful lot of Aid for the rest of the Palestinians. It's not like if that 5% went to the Palestinians everything would turn around.
Dude... its ok to admit when you're wrong by the way. This is so open and shut.
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
for interpretation, but I believe that Hamas's much more genuine concern for the state of every Palestinian is the root of this opportunity. Besides given the fact that both Fatah, through mainly al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, and Hamas continue to fund terroristic activity against Israel, wouldn't we rather send it to an organization that isn't rife with the corruption that is characteristic of Fatah?

3. Aid has not been shown to moderate Palestinian behavior because of the corruption rampant in Fatah thus far. Increased standards of living have been proven to moderate behavior across a population, but most of this aid has been swallowed up by the private accounts of Fatah leadership. Palestinians are acutely aware of this corruption, which is why they voted Hamas in. We should not punish Palestinians because they are tired of having aid intended for them being funneled into lavish compounds of a select, connected few. We would ordinarily reward such an awakening of civic conscience, and since we already have a history of aiding terroristic organizations in the region for the sake of peace, why are we pushing Palestinians further into poverty (something proven to increase militant behavior) by cutting off funding?
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
It's nice to see that solarman continues to be disavowed by the rest of the site.

To address your points in round 2:
A. You are right that Fatah has received more aid than some Marshall Plan countries, but aid takes many forms. Fatah's leadership was escorted and guarded by a multinational force to Tunisia as part of a brokered deal between Israel, Fatah and the US. The deal was only necessary because Fatah continued to launch rockets into Israel from Lebanon. So, imagine if we escorted and guarded any other terrorist organization anywhere besides to hell today?

That would sound like aid to me. At the very least, such an action recognized Fatah's stance as the main party through which any peace agreement would be negotiated. Keep in mind, it was considered at the time, and by most is still considered to be a terrorist organization. For me, this established a precedent of dealing and negotiating with a terrorist organization for the purpose of furthering peace between Palestinians and Israelis, as well as expending resources and energy to benefit a terrorist organization for the purpose of creating peace. How is this any different than continuing to send aid to the Gaza Strip even though Hamas controls it?

B. Any country with any kind of understanding of the PA knew that they money they were sending since 1993, as well as in the lead up to the 2006 election to try and defeat Hamas, knew that their money was being used to kill Israelis. This is an illuminating article I found from the Wall Street Journal:
http://online.wsj.com...

The article summarizes Fatah's continuing militarism and rampant corruption and how continuing to back them would be a mistake. At the end of the article, it cites Ehud Olmert as saying that Hamas's takeover might represent an opportunity for Palestinians. Whether Olmert actually thinks a Hamas-led Gaza is an actual opportunity for Palestinians to better themselves is up...
Posted by Solarman1969 9 years ago
Solarman1969
whats ad hominem , or directly against a particular person that I have said?

this is nonsense

I am attacking ISLAM -
Posted by snamd 9 years ago
snamd
In true John McCain fashion....
I do not condone the comments posted by solarman. this should be a forum for civilized debate, not arrogance or ad hominem attacks.
-Noam
Posted by Solarman1969 9 years ago
Solarman1969
Islam must be banned immediately and opposed vigorously on all fronts- political social and military in that order

anyone who ever wants to debate me on the merits of Islam vs the horrible enslaving mysogynist terror doctrine that it is - FEEL FREE

But you must read these sites FIRST

Sites detailing the current and recent violent history

www.prophetofdoom.net
www.jihadwatch.com
www.religionofpeace.com

Best English translation of the Qu-ran

http://www.usc.edu...

let me know when you are ready to debate the merits versus the threat of Islam

SOLARMAN

p.s. the last muslim scholar totally disavowed ANY worship or devotion to Muhammed- he said it was for Allah only

problem is Allah is Muhammeds twisted moon-god creation
Posted by snamd 9 years ago
snamd
dude... so comment now... that what comments are good for.
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
If only everyone else could live in the black and white that solarman does. Unfortunately, only solarman's fantasy world operates like that.

To my opponent and everyone else, I'm sorry I wasn't able to get to my last round. I had a number of personal issues come up just s I was trying to write it.
Posted by Solarman1969 9 years ago
Solarman1969
I will have to check in here

OF COURSE they should SHUN hamas- a KNOWN terrorist group

and Israel should shut off them and kick all islamists OUT of Israel

this WAR is between FREEDOM and ISLAM

take your side

Warning : Choose Islam and you may die a violent death

and you will also suffer every day of your life

nuff sed

SOLARMAN
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mindjob
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