Monday, August 10, 2009

How to Handle Hamas - a new proposal

Yagil Henkin, an associate fellow at the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies at the Shalem Center, has some suggestions on how to deal effectively with Hamas.

While there is much discussion as to the continuation of sanctions against Hamas, Henkin asks, What sanctions should be applied and what can they achieve?

It is very unlikely that sanctions will cause the Hamas government to fall. Historically, embargoes have either failed to catalyze change, or were extremely slow in bringing it. In the best-case scenarios, sanctions have been helpful as part of a wider strategy.

After discussing the use of sanctions in the cases of Rhodesia and South Africa, Henkin turns to Israel's restrictions on building supplies and other materials going into Gaza (with the acquiescence of Egypt.)

SO, WHAT sanctions can be applied against Hamas? Apart from controlling the border and an arms embargo, the most effective way to apply pressure on Hamas is not to indirectly pressure them via their population, but rather pressure Hamas itself, as part of a wider strategy. The international community must act, if it is interested in the welfare of Gaza's residents and curbing radical Islam.
The steps to be taken?

First, Hamas leaders should be prevented from traveling abroad and being officially received - including the leadership based outside Gaza. Second, any organization affiliated with Hamas should be ignored, and, third, economic sanctions applied against individuals and businesses connected to Hamas.

Will this dissolve Hamas's obstinacy? Hopefully, but not certainly. Both Zimbabwe and Myanmar have survived government-targeted sanctions. But hopefully by focusing the sanctions and blame where they belong - on Hamas - while keeping civilians uninvolved, this will succeed. Sanctions may not catalyze change as effectively as we would like, but this neither renders them unnecessary nor suggests we should embargo lock, stock and barrel.
Read the full article, How to effectively sanction Hamas


Khalid said...

well, first of all Egypt is not acquiescence to Hamas ! as u said ..
Egypt is helping the Palestinian people by food, medicine etc...
if the Egyptian president refused to do that, the people will still do it even if this will get them killed .. because simply Israel conquered an Arabian land and when the people are defending themselves it's called " terrorism " WoooW !!!
anywhere in the world if any other country defending itself they will be heros and everybody will support it .. except The Arab Islamic Countries ...
another thing .. I am really wondering about this sentence ( curbing radical Islam. ) seems like your one of those who are infected by IslamoFobia as they call it ..

Can you define what is the meaning of Islam?
what do you know about Islam ?

* please be Neutral and dun follow the circular policy.

Stephen M. Flatow said...

Khalid,I don't think that Henkin is opposed to delivering food stuffs to the residents of Gaza. His approach calls for the boycott of the Hamas government, civilian population is off-limits to sanctions. But organizations and businesses affiliated with Hamas would be the target of sanctions.

I'm not going to get into a discussion with you about the nature of Islam. I know of its major holidays because I deal with Muslims in business.

I think your remark about Israel conquering an Arabian land is naive, Jews have been in the land of Israel (which, by the way, included what is now Jordan) for more than 3,000 years.

Happy Ramadan.

Khalid said...

Mr Stephen,
I'm not going to get into a discussion with you about the origin of Palestine, because it will be too long =)
by the way thank you for your explanation and for the Ramadan wish :) I appreciate it.