Yesterday I linked to the story about the Hamas Prime Minster, no less, who condemned America's killing of Bin Laden. Meanwhile he has been joined by others. The Al-Aqsa martyrs Brigades - that's Fatah, if you keep track of such matters, not Hamas; Fatah as in Mahmoud Abbas - published a long statement condemning the killing and calling it a catastrophe. And no, the explanation that it's Fatah's military wing, not its political wing, is not helpful. These people are claiming the right to a sovereign state, for crying out loud; would we brush off a separate foreign policy of the Syrians, say? The Russians? Karl Vick, a journalist not known for Zionist inclinations, wandered around Ramallah yesterday and found some support for Bin Laden even after his death, though of course Vick allows the supporters to explain it's Israel's fault. An imam in El Aksa mosque told Obama he'd soon be hanged for his crime of killing Bin Laden. The Economist, a bit more cool-headed, reports that support for Bin Laden among Palestinians has declined over recent years from 70% in 2003 to a mere third not long before he was killed. How reassuring.
Over in Egypt, the Muslim Brothers have also lined up on the wrong side of the current discussion. Something to keep in mind the next time a clueless media type assures us the Brotherhood is eager to be an Egyptian version of a European Christian Democratic party or some such silliness.
Of course, the Europeans weren't all unanimously overjoyed by the killing either, though not because they liked Bin Laden; rather, it seems there's a significant constituency in Europe for the idea that extra-judicial killings are always wrong, no matter what the circumstances. This is not at all the same as Muslim support for Bin Laden, but it does help explain why too many Europeans can't get their heads around the facts of Islamism. There are other facts they can't comprehend, either, because they don't fit the paradigm of how the world ought to be, which makes explaining Israel's positions largely impossible to such people. Personally, I think the sentiment that there's an international system of law which overrides anything else and must dictate everyone's behavior, is quaint at best on the day after the world's most powerful nation has just demonstrated it doesn't accept the idea: if not the US, and certainly not many others, what might be the source of authority for such talk except wistful thinking?
But I digress.
Too many Palestinians and others in Israel's neighborhood are firmly on the wrong side in the war between the Islamists and humanity. They are the enemy. This has to be clear, and the myriad attempts to obfuscate it must be countered. At the same time, the fact that too many Palestinians support humanity's enemies is not a justification for building more settlements on the West Bank, nor must it inevitably dictate that Israel needs to assist the Palestinians in their war against us by sitting on them and granting them perpetual propaganda victories for their victimhood. It doesn't even mean that the Palestinians can't have a state, such as everybody else has.
Thinking adults in a democracy can be - must be - expected to be capable of holding contradictory thoughts simultaneously.
(Short addendum: the strange people who inhabit the Mondoweiss universe are deeply troubled by the killing of Bin Laden. The reason this is significant is that it demonstrates how far from any type of American normality these folks are; this probably means their extreme aversion to Israel is just as far removed, and just as unlikely ever to have a politically significant public).